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For Ages: 8 - 12
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Twelve-year-old Poppy is an orphan living in a bad neighborhood in Chicago, pick pocketing so that she has a place to sleep at night. Justin’s world couldn’t be more different—his father owns a jewelry store—but when he and Poppy meet, they become fast friends, thanks in part to Justin’s sweet pet goat. Through their friendship, Poppy realizes that she doesn’t want to be a thief anymore and she begins to feel like she may have a place with Justin’s family. But when Justin makes an expensive mistake at his father’s store, Poppy is immediately blamed. In response, she flees . . . right into the Great Chicago Fire.

Poppy and Justin must rely on their instincts if they are going to survive the catastrophe. Will anything be left when the fire finally burns out?
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  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416984863 | 
  • September 2011 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
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Read an Excerpt

- Poppy -

SEPTEMBER 30, 1871

Poppy sat up on her bare mattress and coughed. The stone walls and dirt floor of the room were closing in on her and she couldn’t stop gasping for breath.

“Shut up!” Ma Brennan yelled from her bed across the room. “You’re keepin’ me and my girls awake.”

“I … can’t … help … it.” Poppy’s mouth was dry and her throat sore. It was hard to speak, and each word was interrupted by spasms of coughs.

Ma got out of bed and stomped toward Poppy.... see more

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