Hill of Fire (An I Can Read Book, Level 3)

K-Gr 3—Thomas Lewis's beginning reader (HarperCollins, 1971) is based on actual accounts of the 1943 eruption of the Paricutin volcano in Mexico. Pablo's father, a farmer, has grown bored with his daily routine. One day, shortly after the boy arrives in the field to assist his father and their ox with the plowing, the volcano begins to erupt in the middle of the cornfield. Their village becomes covered with lava and rock, and Pablo's family and the other villagers must relocate and rebuild. With the smoldering volcano called "El Monstruo," or "The Monster," in the distance, life continues much as before. Brian Amador's narration and Spanish intonations add authenticity to the tale and bring the setting and the characters to life. Gentle guitar strumming and subtle sound effects set the mood. Page-turn signals are optional. Listeners will be drawn into the story.—Cathie Bashaw Morton, Millbrook Central School District, NY

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