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Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey Paperback – Aug 9 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (Aug. 9 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142403628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142403624
  • Product Dimensions: 25.5 x 0.4 x 25.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #444,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

reSchool-Grade 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
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on Nov. 19 2003
Format: Hardcover
Fireboat is a really good book about recycling. The John J. Harvey was the best fireboat out of 12 other fireboats in New York City. The John J. Harvey fought fires up and down the river. It put out the fire that was huge on another boat, the Normandie. After awhile they did not need 12 fireboats, so the John J. Harvey was sitting in the river for five years, then a group of people saw it and wanted it so they bought it. They had perfessional people fix it up, then they did not use it to put out fires. It was thiers to keep for partys or go out on a ride. Then the fire department needed a fireboat.They needed a lot of fireboats at that time, so they had to use the John J. Harvey to help control this fire. Can you guess what fire it was? Remember it's in New York City. It was the fire that was spread because of the crash of the Twin Towers. Fireboat is a really good book. I can't tell you the whole story, it's so good you better read this book if you like boats or you are interested in what happened in New York City with the Twin Towers!
B.C
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Format: Hardcover
FIREBOAT tells the story of the John J. Harvey. In it's hey-day, the John J. Harvey was one of the finest fireboats in New York City, patrolling the piers and helping to save lives. However, society changed and the piers were destroyed and New York didn't have much use for many fireboats. Eventually, the boat was retired and was going to be turned into scrap. However, some people were interested in saving the John J. Harvey and bought the old ship. They restored her to pristine condition and she became a proud site for people to look at. No one thought she would ever fight another fire. Then came September 11th, 2001. Fires were raging and many water lines were broken. A call came asking for the John J. Harvey to help and help she did. For four days the little fireboat fought fires along with two newer, larger fireboats. When all was said and done, everyone was thankful for the John J. Harvey. She was given an award and would no longer have to worry about ever being turned into scrap.
The illustrations that accompany the text are quite colorful and playful, adding to the story the book tells.
Even though the story is mainly about the life of the John J. Harvey, it is also about September 11th. This book is directed towards young children, some who maybe too young to even remember the events of that day. For those that still do, the book deals with the tragedy in a very sensitive way. In time, I can see the book being used widely to help introduce children to something that, though still so close to our hearts and lives, will one day be remembered as a tragic day in history. The book also has some subtle lessons, such as respect for the elderly and how even the most seemingly insignificant things in this world can be worthwhile.
Overall, FIREBOAT is a great children's book that deals with some very deep issues in a sensitive way.
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By A Customer on July 10 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am the proud mom of a young man who has volunteered for the past few years in New York City, restoring the John J. Harvey. When he told me that the fireboat had been called into action on Sept. 11, I was very proud, and when I found out that this book had been written about her and her important contribution...well...let the book explain!
This is a somewhat gentle, positive explanation of New York City's and America's response to the tragedy of 9/11. No one can ever totally explain to young children why 9/11 happened, but we can certainly tell them how we reacted. Having been on the John J. Harvey, you can feel the pride and strength of her from stern to bow and that is protrayed in this lovely book. It is also a lesson for young people; that which we seemingly "throw away" as being "old" often comes back to help us and show it's worth.
I admit to being prejudiced for personal reasons about this book, but that aside, I feel it's a noteworthy example of the power of words and art to explain difficult situations to young children.
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Format: Hardcover
I was about half-way through the reading of this book when I abruptly slapped it shut in order to protect my four-year-old son. I thought I was reading him an educational story about a fireboat. This is, after all, a picture book with all the elements intended to hook the interest of a very young audience (note:age category 4-8). I was shocked to find graphic images portraying the September 11th tragedy. There was absolutely no warning on the front or back covers that this was yet ANOTHER Sept. 11th book, and no summary of the content on the inside cover or copyright pages (the copyright information and summery of the story are barely readable on the very last page before back cover; the text written in squiggled, wave-like lines). I thought it was simply a story about a fireboat. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
This book is clearly designed for very young children. The text is large and inviting, with the clever word play that kids enjoy. The word �big� is printed very large, the word �down� slopes downward, the description of the George Washington Bridge is shaped into the gentle suspension of the bridges design, etc... The illustrations take up the entire page and are very bright, colorful and, at times, beautifully abstract. The writing style is simple and direct... �The Harvey was the largest, fasted and shiniest fireboat of them all.� We�re given a grand description of the fireboat and all its qualities, stuff our kids love learning about... like how many engines the boat ran on, mini-pics of the control dial, steering wheel and water pump, and what jobs the crew members had. To make a long story short, the John J.
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