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Night Fires

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
An unflinching look at a painful chapter in America’s past

It’s 1922, and Woodrow Harper has moved with his widowed mother to his father’s hometown of Lawton, Oklahoma. Perhaps here he will find the closeness to his father that eluded him when his father was alive. Instead, in his new neighbor, Senator Crawford, Woodrow finds something that offers even more comfort—a father
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Aladdin (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 17, 2011 Colleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school-library
This book is really powerful. This book is supossed to make you angry. And let me tell you it does its job well. I just finished and I am so mad right now. The main charater is so desprate for a father it kind of turns him stupid. He is willing to do anything just to make his "dad" proud of him. He despratly wants to be someones son. And his "father" Senator Crawford, dont even get me started on him. I just want him to explod. Just to explain to you why I am so angry I will choose one of the ...more
Jennifer Lavoie
Oct 19, 2010 Jennifer Lavoie rated it really liked it
I liked this book, and at the same time I hated it, but I think that shows how talented the author is. I have read young adult novels with racism before, but never one that deals with the Ku Klux Klan, or one that features such a group so prominently. Woodrow is a boy who just wants a father figure and to fit into his new town. He does not understand what is happening around him, but by the end, he ultimately redeems himself. It was this change that made the book worth it.

I will admit, though,
Aug 09, 2009 Muriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book to read with my niece so that we could discuss. It is a book for tweens and set in Oklahoma in the 1920's. It is the story of a boy who moves to Oklahoma after the death of his father and centers around KKK activities. Fast paced and a story that needs to be told - even if you don't want to hear it. I will be interested to see what Asha thinks. George Edward Stanley is an Oklahoma author (Lives and Works here). I look forward to reading more of his books - hopefully adult fare ...more
Caryn Boyle
Sep 03, 2010 Caryn Boyle rated it it was amazing
Incredible book about the KKK and a young man's struggles with losing his father and the man who becomes his mentor.
Rachel Paller
Sep 09, 2016 Rachel Paller rated it really liked it
At the ripe age of 21 I was expecting to be bored with a book geared towards 12 year olds. But this book really kept my attention. I absolutely believe that this situation actually happened. The writing is well done and the character development of Woodrow is crafted in a believably.
When I first started reading I had no clue that this book was about the KKK. I was actually shocked by the town of Lawton. How could they as a community support the KKK? How could they applaud when men in white robe
John Kiaourtzis
The Night Fires, written by George E. Stanley, takes place during the roaring 20s. The main character's name is Woodrow. He is nice because he treats blacks as equal. He is caring because he helped an old lady get her very heavy bags off a train. He is Curious because through out the book he tries to learn more about things like his father.After Woodrow's father dies him and his mom move to Lawton. Woodrow starts to rely on Senator Crawford as a father figure and Jimmy as his only friend. But ...more
Beverly Herrera
Aug 12, 2011 Beverly Herrera rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure to meet the author. As a matter of fact he was my college freshman English teacher - forty years ago. He was sincere, encouraging and meticulous in his writing and his teaching. Years later I had the chance to introduce my children to him and thank him for teaching me how to write well. He was the same man, with a deep feeling that we need to discuss our differences in order to understand how we are all very much alike. His thoughts about how people do things they know are ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Night Fires is about Woodrow and his mother, and how they move back to Lawton in 1923, after his father died in a car accident. Woodrow and his Mom miss his Dad terribly. When they arrive in Lawton, they move back in their family home, and they soon learn they live next door to Senator Crawford.

Woodrow wants to fit in and make new friends while he lives in Lawton. He also hopes that Senator Crawford can be the father figure he never had in his own father. Senator Crawford states to Woodrow that
May 31, 2013 Brady rated it liked it
Night Fires
George E. Stanley
183 Pages
May 28, 2013

This book is about a kid named Woodrow Harper. His father just died in a car accident. So him and his mother move to his dads home town of Lawton Oklahoma.Woodrow finds a next door neighbor that is kind of a father figure to Woodrow, this neighbor understands him how his father never did. Also he is a respected man who will help Woodrow find friends. Though in 1923 there are some bad secrets about Lawton that no one knows about. And the sen
Kelsey Dangelo
Nov 27, 2013 Kelsey Dangelo rated it liked it
After the death of his father, Woodrow moves down south with his mother. Searching for a father figure, Woodrow befriends the Senator next door. In trying to fit in, Woodrow soon finds himself embroiled in the Klan. Though the book tells an important, powerful, and informative story about an all-too-often forgotten period in American history (the racism and terrorism of the Klan in the 1930s South), it is not a well-written story. The characters never become anything more than flat plot-devices, ...more
Brandi Young
Woodrow Harper and his mother move back into his father's childhood home after he is killed in an automobile accident. Both Woodrow and his mother cling to the memory of their lost loved one in different ways - his mother in keeping herself locked in her bedroom with his father's things and Woodrow by finding a substitute father in their next door neighbor. This is 1923 in rural Oklahoma and the KKK are running the town. Woodrow must find a way to fit in and once he discovers his new father is ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Cash rated it really liked it
Night Fires
This books is about how Woodrow Wilson moved back to Oklahoma after his father died. While he is in Oklahoma he makes a new friends who is Senator Crawford. To Woodrow Senator Crawford is like a father to him. They do everything together. Also during this time is when the KKK was huge in Oklahoma. Later on the Senator seen Woodrow as his kid and wanted him to be in the KKK with him. Senator was the leader of the whole thing. The only thing Woodrow had to do was whip their maids kid.
Jan 03, 2011 Amber rated it did not like it
Shelves: bookclub
This book, with its story that centered around the KKK of Oklahoma, had a lot of potential. However, I was disappointed in the development of the two main characters: Woodrow and Senator Crawford. They were not at all realistic to me, and their stilted dialogue was more intent on moving the story forward and unfortunately never sounded genuine. I read this one for book club and I'm certainly glad we paired this with Bartoletti's They Called Themselves the KKK, as I would be disappointed if this ...more
Rll520a_Christina Coleman
After Woodrow's father dies, him and his mother moved back to the dead father's hometown, Lawton, OK. Woodrow is 13 and struggling do really understand his new surroundings. He becomes friendly wiht the man next door who becomes a father figure to him. Woodrow appreciates and looks to the time spent with the senator next door neighbor. Wodrow's mother doesn't approve of her son's relationship with the senator becuase she knows something Woodrow doesn't. However, through a series of events, ...more
Jan 12, 2010 Becky rated it liked it
This is a young adult book. I chose to read it because it is set here, in my hometown, of Lawton. It is also written by a man I took a writing course from, Dr. George Edward Stanley.

I think this is a great book for kids ages 9-13 to read. It explains a lot about the racial tensions of the 1920's and gives a very realistic view of what racism and the KKK were all about. It's a part of history that our children need to know about. In reading it, I drew a lot of parallels to today's racial profili
Mar 10, 2011 Catherine rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
I liked the first 50 pages, but the rest of the book was too predictable. I knew who was good and who was bad - there were no surprises. There is something about this book that really bothers me. I'm not sure why I dislike it so much, but it doesn't set will with me.

This is no where near the caliber of writing of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, or To Kill a Mockingbird. It just seems like a poor imitation. I didn't care about any of the characters - they ALL seemed so flat and underdeveloped. Thi
Trey Beasley
Nov 05, 2015 Trey Beasley rated it it was amazing
This book is about people living in the racist era of time. When Woodrow's father dies in a car accident , him and his mother moves back in to the house they owned in Lawton , Oklahoma. When they moved back to the house Woodrow finds out that Senator Crawford was their neighbor and him and Woodrow becomes real good friends. They also meet Mary, which is their maid and her son Joshua. Woodrow gets so close to Senator Crawford ,Woodrow starts to like him as a father. Later on in the story they ...more
Angelina Meitzler
Feb 03, 2015 Angelina Meitzler rated it it was amazing
Woodrow's two friends just got into a fight about how one called the other a rather offensive name. Because of this, I think that this is leading to the climax because throughout the book so far, it seems as though the two boys had already known each other before Woodrow came along. I also have a bad feeling about Senator Crawford because he keeps on saying how it's important to friends with the right kind of people. I think that he means that Woodrow shouldn't be friends with colored children. ...more
Carol Cowan
Jan 15, 2015 Carol Cowan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I did NOT like this book at all. The subject is the Klan in the 1920's in Oklahoma. I feel like this book fell way short of delivering a coherent message. The young teen main character made too many adult decisions (in my opinion) and the author tried to show both pro and con-Klan views using his main character which, to me, was confusing. I would not recommend this book to anyone for either leisure reading or historical information.
Jan 19, 2016 Kim rated it liked it
If this had been set in the South, I would have put it away right from page 1. I'm sick and tired of everyone picking on Southerners when in reality, the Klan was most active in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio during the 20th century. However despite the 2 quips about the South I continued reading. Obviously the Klan twisted Christianity to justify their own hatred and I would have appreciated the author pointing that out, but he didn't. And the ending was so incredibly anti-climatic!
I'm bothered by YA and middle grade literature that pretends to deal with heavy topics yet over-simplifies or whitewashes the content. The timetable on this was just ridiculous. Relationships requiring trust and secrecy were established after ludicrously brief acquaintances. The climax was tied up far too neatly and easily.

There are MANY other books on this topic that are more accurate and believable.
Nov 26, 2011 Sierra rated it really liked it
This was a quick read about the Ku Klux Klan's presence in Lawton, OK in the 1920's. This historical fiction is told by a 13 year old boy who recently lost his father & is looking for a male role model.
Mar 07, 2016 Carterkempgmail.Com rated it it was ok
The writing stilted and predictable, this piece of historical fiction set in 1920's Oklahoma pales in comparison to the excellent Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, which is set in the same period and is a much better book.
Nov 07, 2010 Kristina rated it it was amazing
Good YA book (appropriate for 8th grade on) about a boy learning a small town's history with racism and the KKK. The author does a wonderful job in bringing depression-era Lawton, OK to life. Hope to include it in my Children's lit course next year.
Sep 03, 2009 Lori rated it liked it
Difficult story of a young boy who lost his father. His new father figure turns out to be the leader of the Klu Klux Klan. Unique view of how young minds can be twisted and even though you just want to scream at him, you can sort of understand why he's vulnerable to this sort of pressure.
Jul 16, 2014 Kristi rated it really liked it
This was an interesting story about a boy living in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1923. It centers around racial inequality and the KKK.
May 20, 2012 Jan rated it it was amazing
This is such a great book. I read it with my 8th graders, and students who hate to read want to know where they can buy their own copy to keep.
Carol Moore Kollar
Apr 23, 2013 Carol Moore Kollar rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A 13 year old boy in Oklahoma must decide whether to embrace the klu klux klan belief of supremacy or stand up to the senator next door who has filled the void of his father's death.
Mar 07, 2015 Kary rated it really liked it
Read for historical fiction week. Disturbing, but important for students to learn about.
Jose rated it it was amazing
Jan 14, 2016
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An extraordinarily prolific writer, George Edward Stanley has also found time to travel and teach, drawing many of the plots for his books from his diverse experiences and natural curiosity. In addition to penning numerous books under his own name, Stanley has also published under several pseudonyms, including the well-known house pseudonyms Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Bramley.
More about George E. Stanley...

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