Valerie Sherrard is the author of 12 previous novels for young people, including the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries, Watcher, Sarah's Legacy, Speechless, and her first historical novel, Three Million Acres of Flame. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Canadian awards, including the Red Maple, White Pine, and Arthur Ellis Awards. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick.
Three Million Acres of Flame
Commended for the 2009 Best Books for Kids & Teens
For Skye Haverill and her family, it begins as an ordinary day. But in the annals of Canadian history, October 7, 1825, is the date of one of our greatest national disasters.
The Haverill family has been turned upside down in the last year. Following the death of their mother, Skye and her brother, Tavish, have adjusted to live with a single parent. And when they’re asked to make another adjustment – when his father remarries and his new wife becomes pregnant – Skye finds that some changes are too much to handle.
But family struggles quickly become irrelevant when the Haverills and their community are caught up in the Miramichi Fire, the largest land fire in North American history. As the family and the town struggle through the fire and the devastating aftermath, all must find a way to rebuild homes and relationships.
Three Million Acres of Flame is a very good book because it is a truthful account yet still has a good fictional storyline. I give Three Million Acres of Flame 5 stars.
Sherrard’s storytelling ability is amazing, bringing me to tears several times as I read about the fates of the townspeople and the hardships they had to endure … Using strong female and male characters to drive the story, the reader ends up learning about a compelling time in history as well as becoming invested in what happens next for each of the characters. It felt like I had walked into the 1800s and visited with friends.
Sherrard is so good at telling the story from the child’s point of view with all the immature emotions and thoughts that entails.
Its strength lies in its historical accuracy.