Title: Fiery Night, a boy, his goat and the great Chicago Fire

Author: Sally M Walker

Illustrator: Kayla Harren

Publishers: Capstone Editions

Format: ebook

Pages: 40

Genres: Picture Book, Historical, non-fiction, children’s,

Rating: 4/5


Release Date: 1st September 2020

Where To Buy: Amazon UK, Book Depository

Summary: Based on a true story, Fiery Night is a heartwarming, empowering picture book about a little boy’s devotion to his pet goat, Willie, and how they gave each other strength during the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Young Justin Butterfield was awakened in the night by neighbors warning his family of the coming fire. The Butterfields did what they could to save their home but eventually had to flee. Justin insisted on taking Willie with them, even though the frightened goat made it more difficult for them to get away quickly. Encouraging and comforting Willie helped bolster Justin’s own courage during the family’s difficult journey through the burning city.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Capstone for the e-arc copy to read and review.

Review: What an interesting part of history, it’s seldom talked about yet wow how impactful it is.

What a kind thing Justin did during all of this, his goat was clearly his best friend and it was sweet that no matter what obstacle was in his way Willie was going every step of the way with him and his family.

It was a very interesting but sad read, with very beautiful detailed illustrations along the way. What a sad story of history, peoples houses burning just after a major fire had been in the bigger city, of all families huddling away together.

This book would be a wonderful book to be read with a child, especially if you are teaching of history, it will teach them a lot of different things along the way. It also includes facts about the fire and of Justin himself. It’s a quick read but worth your time.

About Author: Sally M. Walker is the award-winning author of more than 60 nonfiction books for young readers. Even though she was raised in New Jersey, the story of the Great Chicago Fire has long fascinated her. While reading a magazine about history, she saw a copy of a letter that young Justin Butterfield wrote about his family’s experiences during the fire. He had also drawn a picture of his family, including his pet goat, as they fled their home. After confirming that the Butterfields’ story was true, she knew she wanted to share Justin’s story with young readers. Sally was awarded the 2006 American Library Association’s Robert F. Sibert Medal for Secrets of a Civil War Submarine. Her newest books are Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan’s Anishinaabe Sharpshooters and Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up.

About Illustrator: Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in illustration. Her work has been featured in the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, and 3×3 Magazine. She won the Highlights for Children Pewter Plate Award, and she is the illustrator of A BOY LIKE YOU, which won the 2019 Eureka Nonfiction Gold Award, and THE BOY WHO GREW A FOREST, which won the Eureka Nonfiction Silver Award. Kayla lives in Minnesota.


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