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Winter Sky

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Sirens! A scary sound, especially to Siria, whose brave pop is a firefighter. Siria loves everyone at Pop's city firehouse. She also loves to study the stars. Her mother named her after the brightest start in the winter sky.   
   When Siria hears sirens, she sneaks out to chase the trucks, to bring Pop and the other firefighters luck. She'd be in big trouble if she ever go
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  318 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Chelsea Couillard-Smith
A sweet story, but not one that distinguishes itself. Giff develops a nice sense of a community of realistic characters surrounding Siria, the element of danger that comes from Siria's father's job as a firefighter is engaging, and it's a fluid, quick read. However, I had too many questions surrounding the plot - How long has Siria been chasing fires? Does no one really notice how often she is sneaking out at night? Why isn't she able to differentiate between fires that are dangerous, and those ...more
I don't know what it is about this book that I didn't like. It was nothing objectionable. It just didn't catch my attention the way I would have liked. My son, who listened to it with me, also wasn't impressed.

The story follows Sirius, named for the star, as she tries to solve a mystery of who is starting fires around her neighborhood. And though it COULD have been a good mystery, and I didn't guess the culprit ahead of time, I just didn't love it. It was very short, and maybe that was part of i
Ms. Yingling
Siria's mother died when she was very young, and her father is a firefighter. Siria is so concerned for his safety that whenever she hears the trucks in her urban neighborhood, she runs or bikes to the scene to make sure he stays safe. Her friend Douglas loves fires, and often comes with her, but her friend Laila is content to stay at the apartment building. In her roaming around, Siria finds a dog that is hungry and living in abandoned buildings, sometimes getting its chain caught. She tries to ...more
Siria's family consists of her pa, her babysitter Mimi and herself. Siria's mother died when she was very young but Siria vaguely remembers her mother whispering to her, "take care of your pa". Siria lives on the 7th floor of an old apartment building and spends much of her time sitting on the fire escape looking at the winter sky for the star she was named after. Every time Syria hears a siren she runs to the fire escape to see her father's fire truck is racing down the street. Then she grabs h ...more
Angie Fehl
Siria has a love of astronomy she inherited from her late mother, her name itself inspired by the stars. Now being raised by her firefighter father and the neighbor down the hall, Siria spends much of her time bonding with her friends and worrying over her father's dangerous job. She's developed a habit of sneaking out of their apartment late at night (when she's left with the neighbor-babysitter) to follow sirens and make sure her dad is okay.

This Christmas season, there has been a rash of fir
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You're lying awake in bed when all of a sudden, the wail of sirens and the rumble of fire truck engines break the silence. That's your cue. You have to make sure he's safe. After all, you're his lucky star!

Eleven-year-old Siria, named after Sirius, the brightest star in the winter sky, has a secret: she and her best friend, Douglas, chase after fire trucks, just to make sure her dad and the other firefighters are safe. She'd be in huge trouble if she were ever caught! But then, someone starts se
There sure are a lot of fires in this little community that a young girl is within walking/biking distance to. Why is that? Never explained. Most things aren't explained very well. What's with the stars/constellation themes? No idea, it's just kind of there. (The ties of the dog stars, and Siria being named for Sirius, and there being a dog in the book are all superficial.) Conflicts come up now and then and are solved with amazing ease. Not a terrible book, but inconsequential and dull. The mos ...more
Karen GoatKeeper
When Siria hears sirens headed for a fire, she follows. Her father is a fireman and she is scared he will get hurt.
Things change when Siria spots several small fires in the neighborhood. Who is setting them? Is it arson? And how does it involve her friend Douglas?
Then there is the dog that looks like a wolf. It has a rope collar and drags a chain.
The rescue is the thing, the best part of being a fireman or, possibly, of being anyone.
Siria is named for the dog star Sirius, brightest star in the w
Oct 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, gave-up-on
Gag! Was this a kids book? Talk about boring a kid to death and make them not read anymore. The language is too infintile though for a YA or even a middle grade reader. It jsut didn't fit anywhere. I had to finally start skipping bits of the book. I never did figure out who the fire starter was. I didn't care enouch to go back and try to figure it out either.
I picked it up based on cover and back blurb. I should look these books up on on Goodreads first.
Emilee (emileereadsbooks)
This is a sweet story of a girl and her quest to fulfill her understood duty of protecting her firefighter father. But real life isn't as simple as it should be and she has to deal with life's hardships along the way. A great read of middle grade readers at Christmas. ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book on tape. Little mystery but written for a younger audience so not to complex of a plot. Main character very likable in what was a believable story.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A quick, easy read, with an easy-to-follow plot (I believe. Again, I don't remember how it was when I read it). ...more
Richard Bunaskavich
Very interesting book
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was cool trying to figure out the mystery of the fires going around town and the small little stories about the constellations.
Vicki Gooding
Sweet story. Children who find a mystery, and loyalty in the mediocre things of life. And a great dog
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-kids
This held my almost 9yo's attention better than mine. ...more
Kandyce Barber
A good story, I would have liked to have had “more”.
Becky B
Siria is worried about her father who is a fireman, and after the death of her mother she feels like she has to keep him safe. So whenever she hears sirens, Siria sneaks out of the apt and chases the firetruck to make sure Pop is safe. On her trips, Siria discovers that someone is setting fires in the neighborhood. She takes in on herself to save the fire house by figuring this mystery out on her own, but she soon discovers that tiny clues can possibly lead to hasty conclusions that can ruin fri ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Children are often filled with anxiety that we may not know about, which is why a book like Winter Sky can be a good choice. It's helpful for them to see that others are going through the same fears that they are. In Winter Sky, Siria, named after the star Sirius by her deceased mother, uses the stories and legends that her mother told her about the stars, to make decisions in her life.

Her father is a firefighter, and Siria believes that she is his good luck charm. So when she hears the sirens
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siria's mother has passed away and she lives with her father in an apartment. Her father is a firefighter and she doesn't like it when he is called away to fight a fire. In fact, she sneaks out of the apartment and follows the sirens to make sure that all of the firefighters end up okay. As the calls begin to happen more and more often, Siria and her best friend Douglas need to find out if there is an arson in their midst.

My thoughts:
This is an okay book. I understood the motivations beh
Joan Roll
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, middle-grade
Siria’s mother has died but she loved stars and named her daughter after the star Sirius. Siria’s father is a firefighter so Siria fears for his safety when he is on duty and gets a call to put out a fire. Since he works the night shift, Siria sneaks out at night to chase the trucks to the fire so she can make sure that her dad is okay. When she is out, she notices a stray dog that she soon befriends and hopes to make her pet. She also notices that someone is setting small fires and she worries ...more
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine, Jeannie
In spare prose Patricia Reilly Giff tells the story of Siria, an eleven-year-old whose father is a fireman. As her only surviving parent Siria worries about his safety and secretly follows him to the dangerous fires he faces with the rest of the fire fighters in his station. When she suspects arson is occurring, Siria makes a series of suspenseful, and scary secret missions around the neighborhood pursuing possible suspects. Named after a star in the constellation Canis Major, Serius (the femini ...more
Clare Rossetter
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read. The suspense mixed in with the astronomy tales was well written. The cover art with the contrast of the cold frozen ground with the fire blazing and a girl running will certainly intrigue a young reader and make them want to pick up the book to read. The text will not disappoint as the mystery of who is setting the fires and Siria's push to find the culprit will keep the reader engaged right to the end. The ending is somewhat anti-climatic and the text just seems to end with ...more
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winter Sky

Siria is a young girl living with her dad. Her mom who died gave Siria the name after Sirius - the brightest star during January. When there was a fire, she chased her Dad's fire truck. Siria thought as long as she was there Pops, her dad, would be safe. She found a dog dirty and hungry, took it home, bathed it, and fed it. She later called it major. Earlier that week she found someone setting fires and thought that her dog, Major, who used to wander the streets had a connection with
There's a great story here-it just seemed rushed Maybe because I read for 5th grade books, but there were amazing characters that I was just getting interested in, when the book was done. I felt like I had started in the middle of a series where I missed the first books.

"Siria loves everyone at Pop's firehouse. And she loves the stars in the winter sky. Her mother, who died, named her after Sirius—the Dog Star, brightest in January. But starry nights can fill with flames, and Siria sneaks out to
Janet DeCastro
MG Fiction, mystery

Siria, named after the star Sirius follows her love of the stars embedded in her memory by her mother who has passed away. Her father is a fire fighter and Siria feels it is her obligation to keep him safe. So she chases fires when he is on duty. To watch. To keep him safe. She hangs out on the fire escape with her friends who sometimes accompany her on her nighttime chases.

A series of mysterious fires crop up and Siria reads up on her father's arson books. She is determined t
Rachel Marie
A very quick read filled with mystery and family.

Siria, a twelve year old girl only wants a bigger family. With just her and her father she spends her time pretending her two best friends, Laila and Douglas are her siblings. While remembering her dead mother by reading her star book. But then the fires start. With her father as a firemen Siria is worried she'll lose him too.

With an arsonist on the lose its up to Siria to find out who it is. Is it somebody she trusts and loves? What will happen
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, mystery, 2014
I felt this book was too short for everything that was happening. There's a lot going on in this book and it felt really rushed. I like Siria and I thought the other characters were great but could have been more in the book -- they seemed to have depth but that depth wasn't explained (or, if it was, I missed it). Giff gives great descriptions of the city Siria walks through but no explanations for the many vacant shops. As an adult reading this novel, I figure the vacant storefronts and shops w ...more
Siria is a ‘fire chaser’. She can’t seem to fight the urge to sneak out of her apartment whenever she hears sirens blare at night. She’s on a mission. She believes she’s the luck that will keep her firefighter father and the other firefighters, her extended family, safe. So far she hasn’t been caught, and everyone has been safe. Only then the fires start happening more frequently, and closer to home! Someone is starting the fires, but who? Siria has to find out. When evidence begins to point to ...more
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was fine, and my middle grade kids in book club will probably enjoy it. I was a little disappointed; the story felt a bit choppy, the character motivations rote, and while there was potential for some good emotional connection I felt like it never quite got there. I had trouble suspending disbelief at points. On the positive side, the urban setting and the close relationships between neighbours were both extremely well done; I had a feel for Siria's neighbourhood and the people in it. I enj ...more
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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan ...more

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