Fire on the Mountain

Orca. (Cricket McKay: Bk. 5). Mar. 2022. 96p. pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781459826144.
Gr 1-4–This fifth title in McDowell’s early chapter book series was inspired by the Kenow fire of 2017. Eight-year-old Cricket, who is white, lives in Waterton, Alberta, in the middle of the national park. Weather conditions start a fire that endangers the town. As she learns about the fire from her park warden dad, Cricket gathers her brother and friends so they can help before, and during, the eventual evacuation. Without them pooling their talents, buildings would have been damaged, a fawn and porcupine may not have survived, and a group of firefighters from Lethbridge would have gone hungry. Each of the short chapters contains black-and-white illustrations, practical information about fires, and adrenaline-fueled moments that depict Cricket and her town working together against the fire.
VERDICT This eye-opening, empowering book will appeal to those who enjoy natural disaster stories, or altruistic readers who want to know how to help keep themselves, their family, their community, and the environment as safe as possible during an emergency.

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