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The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
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The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  269 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
A gripping portrait of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake by Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner Laurence Yep.

When the quake subsides, Chin and Henry and their families are lucky to be alive. But now they must escape the fires that have broken out and find their way to safety-before it's too late.

Based on actual events and told from the alternating perspectives of two young f
Hardcover, 117 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Kimberly Ehrlich
Jun 07, 2015 Kimberly Ehrlich rated it liked it
I read this book with my students for a combined science (earthquakes) and social studies (early 1900's, different location) unit. The book is about two family's perspectives on the events of a true story--one of the biggest earthquakes to rock the U.S. in the early 1900's. One family is from China town and the other is from another neighborhood. This makes it a multi-cultural perspective as well, which is another great discussion starter.

As a historical text, it does a good job of keeping reade
Jun 12, 2009 Donalyn rated it really liked it
The author, Laurence Yep, switches between two narrators-- one Chinese and one white-- as they struggle to survive after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. In between the narrative chapters, the author inserts chapters that detail the scientific and historical events surrounding this famous quake.

This would be a great read aloud! Short with lots of suspense and something for every reader in the room- science, drama, and the heartwarming story of two families.
Steve Holden
Feb 07, 2016 Steve Holden rated it really liked it
This is a book in our curriculum. Historical fiction is difficult for young students, but this is a hit- for both the students and I. I've learned a lot of this tragic event from this book, and it serves as a great means of introducing extremely difficult subject matter to students. We use this book for many things - one of which is narrative writing. Lawrence Yep writes with such wonderful imagery, and my students begin every year to truly write with description after I use his work as a motiva ...more
Yep, L. (2006). The earth dragon awakes. New York: Harper Collins.

A fictionalized account of a true event, told from the viewpoint of 8-year-old Henry (Caucasian) and his friend, 9-year-old Chin (Chinese-American) as they experience the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. This powerful story is based on historical facts and accounts. The layout of the story jumps from chapter to chapter between the two protagonists’ viewpoints, which can get a little confusing at times (especially when it
Oct 24, 2011 Lebit rated it it was ok
If you want to know how the earthquake in San Francisco affected hundreds of people, this book talks about it. In the book, there are two families that suffer the effects of earthquake. The families are the Travises and the Quons. Chin Quon and his father Ah Quon work to send money to Chin’s mother who lives in China. On April 18, 1906, the earth started shaking and the buildings fell down and they trapped a lot of people, including Chin and his father. Chin was trying to get out and finally he ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
Chin lives in Chinatown. Everyday him and his dad travel to San Francisco to take care of the Travis family. His Dad, Ah Ching, is their houseboy. One morning when Chin is getting ready to go into San Francisco the earth begins to tremble. They have lived through many earthquakes but this one is different. It's much more violent and seems to go on forever with many after shocks. Chin and his father are buried in the earthquake but are able to dig themselves out. Once they are out their first con ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Keyla rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading this novel with my son. We love the way the author describe the events that happen at that time. It's even a little be scary about the nature disaster that occur on earth but also how vulnerable we are when we have to face with this type of disaster
Jul 21, 2011 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: battle-book-2012
The book read quickly and was devoured in one sitting. I enjoyed the style of storytelling. Yep alternates points of view each chapter between a young white boy (Harry), a Chinese boy (Chin, and a third narrator that describes the science, more or less, of what happened the day the Earthquake of 1906 stuck. Although, the topic was fascinating, I did not find myself lost in the book or attached to the characters due to the lack of character development. I also found the theme of everyday heroes b ...more
Nov 23, 2013 Tanja rated it really liked it
Narrates the events around the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, as experienced by a well-off American family and their Chinese houseboy and son. Told through brief chapters and in a somber, matter of-fact voice, it not only describes with much accuracy what happened (based on the many sources used by the author and referred to in an elaborate author's note) but also shows how disaster of this kind bring out the worst and the best in people. It tells the story of the many unknown heroes. This is ...more
Getchens Mathurin
Jan 06, 2016 Getchens Mathurin rated it it was amazing
how do I read the book OK listen up put a reads button so the readers read the I am telling you now if that button is not putted I will delete the app that will also give you less process so you better get moving
Chin, a nine-year-old Chinese immigrant, tells us the story of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Ah Sing, Chin's father is a house servant to a prominent banking family. Chin and Henry Travis, the eight-year-old son, have become friends. The boys witnessed the damage, injuries, pain, and loss created by the earthquake. They participated in the rescue of family, friends, and neighbors from the rubble and learned a great deal about selflessness, responsibility, and leadership. This action adve ...more
Laura Verret
It is just after 5:00 AM in San Francisco, California, April 18, 1906. All is calm and peaceful. Suddenly, catastrophe strikes. Massive buildings collapse. Homes crumble. People are trapped inside of buildings. Those in the streets rush away, fleeing for their lives. Fires rage, engulfing large portions of the city. All is chaos. This is The Great San Francisco Earthquake.

Mr. Yep does a great job of relating the historical facts in the context of a story. Having main characters made the event s
I'm of two minds about this book--on one level I felt like it had the subtlety of an earthquake, knocking the point of the book: "everyday people can be as heroic as those in books when the circumstances call for it," but on the other hand it was still a quick and interesting read. It has science, history, adventure, and is short enough to appeal to those kids who do not like to read at all and need to read some historical fiction. So while I almost walked away at the fourth obvious statement of ...more
Feb 13, 2016 June rated it really liked it
Great RA for reluctant readers. This book has interesting facts
incorporated in the story.
Gail Morris
Jun 14, 2015 Gail Morris rated it it was amazing
great tale of on the ground events before, during, and after the earthquake.
Jul 29, 2010 Mrs. added it
Shelves: battle-books
It's 1906. You live in a very wealthy part of San Francisco with your parents and your dog. Life as you know it is good. All of a sudden the ground begins to shake. Your house is shaking like a tambourine. The walls of your house are cracking, the ceiling is falling and pretty soon your house is nothing more than a pile of rubble. What do you do? How are you going to survive? Where are you going to go? These are questions that Henry, his parents, and the many other people living in San Francisco ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Timothy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i think Henry and chin would be a life
Scott Williams
Janet Frost
Jun 21, 2011 Janet Frost rated it liked it
This was a quick read about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. It was told through the voice of two young boys. One boy is a Chinese immigrant and one is the son of a local banker. Their story details the 2 families' struggles to escape the earthquake damaged city and then the subsequent firestorm. The facts seem to be carefully researched and a few original pictures add reality. I felt a map of the city would have been a nice addition and a little more detail about the struggles in the months t ...more
Shannon Dickinson
Aug 31, 2012 Shannon Dickinson rated it really liked it
The Earth Dragon Awakes is a historical fiction story about the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Henry and Chin are good friends who experience the earthquake in very different ways. Both boys, however, come to understand what a true hero is and that disasters can bring out the best and worst in people. I enjoyed this story and really appreciated the emotional strength and intelligence of both Henry and Chin. I also learned a lot about what it was like to be Chinese and living in the United Sta ...more
Aug 15, 2016 Alimah12252000 rated it it was amazing
My teacher has read this book to me & I loved it. At first, it was really boring. But then when I kept reading it, it got really interesting. That book inspired me. And now, I bought the book, & now every time I read it, I feel sad cause I'm in 3rd grade. When I first read this, I was in the 2nd grade. But the only reason I keep reading it is because it's really interesting. So, I would give this book 5 stars. And you should too.
Virginia Campbell
Dec 05, 2010 Virginia Campbell rated it it was amazing
I especially enjoyed this book because my family lived in San Francisco for a few years. I could vision the areas that were talked about in the book. I even learned some history of the Chinese people in San Francisco by reading this historical fiction book. It is a story of survival for two families during the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. I cannot even imagine what this family experienced. I highly recommend this book.
NewFranklin School
Nov 15, 2010 NewFranklin School rated it really liked it
Shelves: mrs-buck
I loved this book because of the way the author showed how the way chinese people were treated during crises like this earth quacke. Another reason I liked it was because it showed how people really care about each ohter and want everyone to be safe. Lasly I loved how you get to learn so many cool things without noticing it now this your oppertunity to learn it so to find out read this book.
Jan 28, 2011 Simon rated it did not like it
The book was told in second person and was delivered terribly. What a silly and redundant way of writing. The plot itself was okay, but I had difficulty reading it because of how it was written. I feel like someone foreign wrote this and doesn't have the best English. The last name of the author is Yep. That sounds foreign to me.

At least the imagery was okay.
Dec 20, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
The story of Chin and Henry two young Chinese boys during the Earthquake in San Francisco in 1906. A moving story of heroic measure an average person is capable of regardless of age, size or ethnicity. I enjoyed this story and think it is a great historical fiction book for children!
Sep 13, 2012 Peggy rated it it was amazing
I thought the book was well written, but it was a little too young for the book competition that I was considering it for. I would recommend it as well done historical fiction for 3rd to 5th graders, but I read it as a possibility for 5th to 7th grade book competition program.
Mahdi Ali
Oct 19, 2011 Mahdi Ali rated it liked it
I like this book. This book describes things that makes it feel that you where really there during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. I like this book because they're brave people that risk their lives to save others.
Christine Dube
Aug 04, 2013 Christine Dube rated it really liked it
I read this for my elementary library. I've always loved Laurence Yep. This was heavy on the history and could have used a little more story. I will recommend this for my students who like adventure and/or historical fiction.
Nov 07, 2011 Maryann rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading about the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 from a Chinese perspective. I learned more about Chinese culture than I did about the actual earthquake. It was a fun light read!
Mar 30, 2013 Jill rated it liked it
A good book for learning about the San Francisco Earthquake. The book failed to capture my son's interest though, and I think this was due in part to a lack of character development.
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Born June 14, 1948 in San Francisco, California, Yep was the son of Thomas Gim Yep and Franche Lee Yep. Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After ...more
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