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Gr 4-6-Karwoski's novel conveys very capably the fear, disorientation, and shock of living through a major disaster and coping with the aftermath. On occasion the novel's tone seems more like that of historical novels of a few decades ago, but the protagonist is appealingly unvarnished, alternately sweet and angry, open-eyed both to the destruction at large and the smaller scale unhappiness at home since his mother's death. Jacob's latest argument with his father, over a stray dog he wants to keep, results in him leaving home early the morning of the quake and being separated from his family when disaster strikes. Jacob has the unsettling experience of finding a friend's grandmother dead in the city's ruins, but also-thanks to the dog's heightened senses-the opportunity to save the life of San, a Chinese boy who becomes his fast friend. Jacob, already personally familiar with anti-Semitism, sees through San's eyes how badly the Chinese immigrants are treated. On the other hand, the boys also take part in the community created by the tent cities, in which people who might otherwise never have met begin to live and work together. The hoped-for happy ending materializes, but not before Jacob entertains the strong possibility that he may have to live with San's family if his own cannot be found or-worse-is dead. He also learns that he should not let disagreements stand between him and his loved ones. Quake! combines disaster and family longing for a sturdily constructed and affecting look at the past.-Coop Renner, Fairmeadows Elementary, Duncanville, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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