Author: Giff, Patricia Reilly
Almost twelve-year-old Siria, who chases firetrucks in the middle of the night to ensure her fire fighter dad's safety, learns about bravery one winter as she tries to mend a broken friendship.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.80
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 163572
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.10
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 63917
Kirkus Reviews (12/01/13)
School Library Journal (01/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2014 Siria spends her nights scanning the winter sky for Sirius, its brightest star and the inspiration for her name, which was chosen by the mother eleven-year old Siria can barely remember. She also looks for the telltale orange glow of any fires across town, as this means her firefighter father must put his life in danger to save others. If Pop goes to a fire, so does she, sneaking out of her apartment and biking to the blaze to make sure Pop gets through it unharmed. Only her best friend Douglas knows about these late-night excursions, though even he doesn’t know about the other fires Siria has started chasing: small ones started near an abandoned shed, in an old movie theater, and in trashcans by the school. Convinced that she must protect Pop and the rest of his crew, Siria soon finds herself out almost every night trying to determine the source of these fires, braving smoke, a hungry, wolflike dog, and an unknown arsonist to keep her firefighting family safe. With simple prose and an appreciation for the growing sense of freedom and responsibility of late childhood, Giff creates a gentle and enjoyable read with a light touch of suspense. While Siria’s insistence on these dangerous late-night excursions and her reluctance to confide in an adult go on a bit longer than believable, the book effectively captures the mind of a preteen who feels deeply responsible for those around her. The mystery element will keep young readers guessing, while the themes of loneliness, friendship, and family will resonate strongly. Siria’s late-night sleuthing and realistic friendships-along with a well-worn dog-adoption subplot-also make this a potential readaloud for an upper elementary classroom. AA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2014 Gr 4–7—Siria's dad is a firefighter who doesn't know that someone special watches out for him; each time his daughter hears a siren, she sneaks out of her apartment building to chase his fire truck and make sure he is safe. During one such nightly pursuit, Siria discovers evidence of what she believes to be arson. Who could be purposely setting fires? When clues point to someone close to home, Siria must find the strength to unravel the mystery. Despite moments of seriousness, such as her father getting injured during a rescue and a fight with her best friend, conflicts are resolved smoothly and quickly. Interspersed throughout the book are tales about Siria's namesake, the star Sirius, which add a layered dimension to the storytelling. Children will relate to Siria's desire to protect her dad and those she loves. A powerful tale of friendship, family, and discovery.—Kerry Roeder, Professional Children's School, New York City - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2014 Eleven-year-old Siria lives with the memory of her mother—who left behind a narrative guide to the stars—and the reality that she might also lose her single firefighter father, whose job sends him repeatedly into danger. The residents of her apartment building serve as a surrogate extended family, complete with siblinglike friends, grannyesque babysitter, spatting young marrieds, and a not-so-stray dog—especially in the Christmas season, when homemade gifts are in process. Afraid for her pop’s safety, Siria has a penchant for chasing late-night fires. Surrounded by loyal friends, her curiosity about the cause of the local fires makes her question those closest to her. Siria’s strength grows as she confronts her suspicions and faces her own truths. Fans of award-winning author Giff will appreciate the smooth juxtaposition of the mother’s warm omnipotence through her ethereal guidebook, the devastating burning power of fire, and the crystal clear luminosity of the winter sky. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.