Cover image for Fireboat : the heroic adventures of the John J. Harvey
Title:
Fireboat : the heroic adventures of the John J. Harvey
Author:
Kalman, Maira.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Summary:
A fireboat, launched in 1931, is retired after many years of fighting fires along the Hudson River, but is saved from being scrapped and then called into service again on September 11, 2001.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 280 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 63491.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.2 2 Quiz: 32595 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780399239533
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
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Material Type
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Newstead Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Clarence Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Clearfield Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Eggertsville-Snyder Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Grand Island Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Hamburg Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Kenmore Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Lackawanna Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Orchard Park Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Anna M. Reinstein Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Williamsville Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Frank E. Merriweather Library TH9391 .K35 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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On Order

Summary

Summary

* "A hundred years from now, when people want to know what we told our children about 9/11, Kalman's book should be among the first answers."-- Booklist , starred review

* "Intelligently conveys those unfathomable events in a way that a picture book audience can comprehend. . . . With this inspiring book, Kalman sensitively handles a difficult subject in an age-appropriate manner."-- Publishers Weekly , starred review

* " Fireboat does many things. It sets forth an adventure, helps commemorate an anniversary, offers an interesting bit of history, celebrates the underdog, and honors the fire-fighting profession. Children and adults will respond to it in as many ways."-- School Library Journal , starred review

* "Exciting, uplifting, and child-sensitive. . . . Revisits the tragedy without the terror and conveys pride without preachiness."-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books , starred review

* "Quintessential New York artist Kalman gives us an idiosyncratic but informative look at a Big Apple institution. . . . Kalman's use of the events of September 11 is honest and honorable, and rarely is she as straightforward as she is here."-- The Horn Book , starred review

This is the inspiring true story of the John J. Harvey--a retired New York City fireboat reinstated on September 11, 2001. Originally launched in 1931, the Harvey was the most powerful fireboat of her time. After the September 11 attacks, with fire hydrants at Ground Zero inoperable and the Hudson River's water supply critical to fighting the blaze, the fire department called on the Harvey for help. There were adjustments--forcing water into hoses by jamming soda bottles and wood into nozzles with a sledgehammer--and then the fireboat's volunteer crew pumped much-needed water to the disaster site. The John J. Harvey proved she was still one of New York's Bravest!


Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life, celebrating the energy, vitality and hope of a place and its people.


Author Notes

In her own words: "born. bucolic childhood. culture-stuffed adolescence. played piano. stopped. danced. stopped. wrote. discarded writing. drew. reinstated writing. married Tibor Kalman and collaborated at iconoclastic yet successful design studio. wrote and painted children's books. worried. took up Ping-Pong. relaxed. wrote and painted for many magazines. cofounded the Rubber Band Society. amused. children: two. dog: one."
In her own words: "born. bucolic childhood. culture-stuffed adolescence. played piano. stopped. danced. stopped. wrote. discarded writing. drew. reinstated writing. married Tibor Kalman and collaborated at iconoclastic yet successful design studio. wrote and painted children's books. worried. took up Ping-Pong. relaxed. wrote and painted for many magazines. cofounded the Rubber Band Society. amused. children: two. dog: one."


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-6. In 1931, in New York City, "amazing things were happening: big and small." The Empire State Building opened; so did the George Washington Bridge. The Snicker candy bar appeared, and Babe Ruth hit his 611th home run. That was also the year the John J. Harvey fireboat was first launched. It had levers, buttons, buckets, brass trim, and five engines, and it fought fires on the piers. But by 1995, the city had little use for a fireboat, and it sold the Harvey to group of people who restored and used it for fun. Then came 9/11, "something so huge and horrible happened that the whole world shook." The Harvey was called back into service. Firefighters attached their hoses to the boat and fought fires for four days and nights. Kalman does some extraordinary things in this beautiful picture book. She takes the fireboat's history and puts it within the context of a city that has endured, framing the enormity of 9/11 so young readers, and even small children, can begin to grasp what happened. At the same time, she makes the event part of life's continuum of loss and endurance. Her artistry is as compassionate as it is brilliant. Wonderful, sweeping images of New York icons bring the city to life; detailed images of the Harvey do the same for the boat. She shows the planes headed toward their targets, then the explosion, and the collapse. It is vivid, but the stark, sensitive rendering is also somehow easier to absorb than the horrible photographs burned into our hearts. By focusing on the boat and the people who worked on it, loved it, and placed it at the service of their city, Kalman casts a blessing far and wide. A hundred years from now, when people want to know what we told our children about 9/11, Kalman's book should be among the first answers. -GraceAnne A. DeCandido


Publisher's Weekly Review

In relating the heroic role of the John J. Harvey on September 11, Kalman (Next Stop Grand Central) intelligently conveys those unfathomable events in a way that a picture book audience can comprehend. She begins with the year 1931, which saw some of New York City's finest hours: "Amazing things were happening big and small./ The Empire State Building went up up up." She continues with the completion of the George Washington Bridge, then zeroes in on the launching of the John J. Harvey, "the largest, fastest and shiniest fireboat of them all." Spot illustrations show its equipment and introduce the crew (including "a dog named Smokey, who did not put out the fires but had many nice spots"), while views of the New York harbor stretch across a spread. She then fast-forwards to 1995: "New York was changing. The Twin Towers were now the tallest buildings in New York City." But the piers are also closing, so the fireboat rests in retirement. One night, a group of friends decide over dinner to restore the John J. Harvey to its original glory. Next, the volume takes an abrupt turn. White type on a black page announces: "But then on September 11, 2001 something so huge and horrible happened that the whole world shook." A sequence of spreads shows the towers literally exploding in dark, angry brushstrokes of black and gray and orange, followed by the many heroes who "sprang into action," including the John J. Harvey. With this inspiring book, Kalman (Next Stop Grand Central) sensitively handles a difficult subject in an age-appropriate manner. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Author/illustrator Kalman tells the inspiring story of the many heroes of 9/11-among them the crew of a restored fireboat who provided invaluable support to New York City during its hour of need. (SLJ 9/02) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-Kalman's hip, high-energy paintings portray American life in 1931: the Empire State Building is constructed, Babe Ruth hits his 611th home run, "Snickers" is invented, and the John J. Harvey is launched to fight fires on New York piers. In its heyday, the boat is the creme de la creme, but toward the end of the century as the piers start to close, it is forced into retirement, soon to become scrap. Amazingly, a group of friends decides to tackle a restoration, and the John J. Harvey is called upon to fight its worst blaze ever. The fireboat's role on September 11 calls for a shift in the book's mood and style. The transition is signaled with a quiet page of white text on gray-no art. The spread of the expressionistic explosion is followed by portraits of community helpers. The climax is depicted on a black background with the firefighters, appearing as blue, kinetic outlines, furiously battling the blazing orange, red, and yellow flames with long lines of white spray. Fireboat does many things. It sets forth an adventure, helps commemorate an anniversary, offers an interesting bit of history, celebrates the underdog, and honors the fire-fighting profession. Children and adults will respond to it in as many ways.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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