From School Library Journal Grade 4-7?While their parents attend a World Series game in San Francisco, Franny, 14, and her once-best friend Jennie, now a tattooed stranger wearing headphones, are babysitting her bratty brother Sidney. Clearly, getting reacquainted with Jennie, who moved away when her parents divorced years before, will be a disaster. But when the ground starts shaking their Loma Prieta home, Franny and her brother are plunged into a real crisis situation. In a flash, blood-and-gore loving Sidney becomes a terrified little boy. Jennie sheds her flaky facade to display competent first-aid skills and Franny finds herself calmly able to follow the preparation instructions drilled into her over the years. The hours and days after the quake are a time in which the children and their neighbors fumble toward survival, showing themselves to be "the best kind of hero...an everyday sort." With unsettling realism, Franny describes the aftershocks, the struggle to rebuild homes and lives, the triumphs of restoring basic services, and the steps she and her family take to re-establish their lives. Cottonwood spins his tale with great immediacy and power. Characters and relationships are multidimensional and convincing. Readers who enjoy survival and disaster stories will find this one inspiring and thought-provoking.?Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Booklist Gr. 5^-8. Based on California's 1989 earthquake, this survival story fleshes out the newspaper headlines in fascinating detail. Cottonwood, himself a survivor of the earthquake, chronicles the nightmarish ordeal through the eyes of 14-year-old Fran. While her parents attend the World Series, Fran stays home with her bratty brother, Sidney, and Jennie, a visiting friend. Their reunion is awkward until the earthquake shakes them into action: they lift a Volkswagen off a neighbor, turn off combustible propane tanks, and help at the school emergency shelter. The experience builds bridges between the trio and offers Fran the bittersweet challenge of being in charge until her parents return safely home. There are surreal details--" when the water heater fell out [of the closet] . . . for a weird moment it looked like a mummy falling out of a coffin" --and the triviality of a "Go Cheetahs" sign at Fran's school mark the shift in perspective that accompanies a major seismic shift. Grippingly told, this story will add depth to any study of earthquakes. Julie Yates Walton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.