“Riveting. . . . A memorable historical fiction selection, similar in intensity to Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust and Witness.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
One summer afternoon in 1944, hundreds of circus lovers crowded under the big top in Hartford, waiting for the show to begin. Minutes later, a fire broke out and spread through the tent, claiming the lives of 167 souls and injuring some 500 more. Paul B. Janeczko recalls that tragic event by bringing to life some unforgettable voices — from circus performers to seasoned fans, from firefighters to ushers. Using the lyrical power of language to render tragedy with a human face, this spare, startling book in verse leaves an emotional impact young readers will not soon forget.