In December 1915, San Diego’s leaders claimed the town’s reservoirs were nearly dry. Knowing the city would not survive and grow unless it had water, they hired Charles Mallory Hatfield, whose skills at making rain were legendary. But when torrents and torrents of rain came, disaster struck. Roads were closed, people drowned, and dams burst. The town elders blamed Hatfield and refused to pay him. Was Hatfield really a rain wizard, or simply a fraud? Renowned author Larry Dane Brimner examines the man and the myth by relying on personal recollections from growing up in California, as well as extensive research. Readers will be captivated by Hatfield—a man once known as the Frankenstein of the air—and his secret rainmaking formulas. Includes author’s note, source notes, and bibliography.
* “This well-written and attractive book… (is a) well-designed, impeccably researched work.” —School Library Journal,starred review
* “Most kids have never heard of Charles Mallory Hatfield, but this fascinating biography will help remedy that… The book’s design is a standout, with intriguing historical photos filling the pages and a typeface that makes this invitingly easy to read.” —Booklist, starred review
“In December 1915, San Diego’s reservoirs were nearly empty, so the city turned to Charles Mallory Hatfield, whose skills at making rain were legendary… In this attractively designed and illustrated biography, Brimner offers a fascinating, well-timed portrait of an enigmatic character… The generously leaded text is set within wide margins and accompanied by copious archival illustrations; both decisions keep the relatively complex text accessible. An engaging, intriguing story of a fascinating man.” —Kirkus Reviews
“During the early twentieth century, Charles Mallory Hatfield claimed that he could coax rain from the sky. His services were offered to drought-plagued cities at the price of up to $1000 per inch of rain, and his success rate was remarkable. [R]eaders are tantalizingly left to contemplate whether he was mostly effective or mostly lucky…. Excellent archival photographs appear throughout, and an author’s note…” —Horn Book