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I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 (I Survived, #11)
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I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871

(I Survived #11)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,517 ratings  ·  327 reviews
Could an entire city really burn to the ground?
Oscar Starling never wanted to come to Chicago. But then Oscar finds himself not just in the heart of the big city, but in the middle of a terrible fire! No one knows exactly how it began, but one thing is clear: Chicago is like a giant powder keg about to explode.

An army of firemen is trying to help, but this fire is a feroci
Paperback, 112 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Scholastic Inc.
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Nate No. In every book they survive. That is why it is called I SURVIVED.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,517 ratings  ·  327 reviews

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Mariah Roze
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
My student loved this book. This series is great because kids learn about different times in history while enjoying a quick, easy read. I highly suggest this series!
This I survived series in one of the most popular series in my school library. The quick moving action and appealing characters make this series an ideal way to introduce children to historical fiction. Lauren Tarshis gets a great big thank you from me for starting this series.

For this book in particular I would say this is a nice addition to the series. Disasters have long fascinated me and I know I'm not the only one. Not because of the horrible things that happen, but because of the good thin
Hunter Soerens
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I Survived The Great Chicago Fire

Personal Response
I really enjoyed reading this book. I visited Chicago about a month ago and stood on the place where the fire was. It's built up now. I think of how horrible it would of been to be there on that tragic day. It's a very good book and really explains the whole thing in lots of detail.


It all started when Lucas's mom was asked by Mr. Morrow to marry him. After the wedding, she had to leave their farm in Minnesota and moved to Chicago. While on
Ethan Cass
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Their is a lot of thing packed inside this small book. I think that this book is for people interested in history of natural disasters or maybe you have someone in your family that survived the Great Chicago Fire!
Apr 27, 2016 added it
Personal Response- I actually enjoyed I survived The Great Chicago Fire, 1871 by Lauren Tarshis. The story had a good story line and included a lot of action. Although I did get bored with the story a few times, I managed to stay interested and kept reading up until the end. I thought the beginning of the story was the best because the story got sad toward the end.

Plot- The main event of the story was the about a fire in Chicago. The fire was an event that actually happened. The main character,
Kim Hampton
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great way to teach kids about the Chicago Fire.
Aidan Armas
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.I like history and usually I like more war history,but I really wanted to read this book and liked it.I didn't know much about the Chicago Fire except that it happened.Since I love the I survived series and want to learn more about this event I gave it a try.It turned out to be a great book with one amazing turning point at the end.I love the deep description of how it was around him during the fire.Also, it wasn't about some rich kid getting out of the city and seeing it from ...more
Nishi Banker
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gracie Horlbogen
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was ok..
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, young-adult
While tutoring a student, he told me this was his favorite series. "I've read every one," he said. We connected pretty well, so when he asked me to check them out, I did.

I can't believe I hadn't heard of them before, as I consider myself pretty up with YA lit - and there are currently 17 books in the series. Maybe it's because they're aimed at 2nd-4th graders, and I'm generally reading YA that's a bit older than that. (Although, what age is Greg Heffley aimed at? Love that kid...)

The student I w
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oscar's dad past away leaving his wife and son with the responsibility of a farm. One day Oscar's mother meets a man who tells them to go to Chicago with him. Oscar finds himself in a great fire. His mother's boyfriend tells him tht Chicago has the best firefighters around, when Oscar see'd thoses fires he is not so sure.
I loved this book because I love this serie first of all and I Survived shows all the details which is very interesting. I would recommend this book from ages 8 to 12.
This is a book #11 included in the vast I Survived.. Series. A story of young boy who was reluctant to move to Chicago in 1871. Oscar wasn’t only facing the stress of moving to a new city and changing his life, he ended up in the middle of the Great Chicago Fire! Lauren Tasrhis is a great author and researches these events in depth to write relatable stories to young readers as they learn about historical events from a child’s point of view.
Rachel Macdonald
Sups easy
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Could've put more details in but ok
Chris Curtin
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
it was pretty bad
Laurie DelaCruz
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very cute book about the Chicago fire that is age-appropriate, but yet doesn't sugarcoat events.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it gave facts in between the story. This book is also a very quick book since I have just finished it in 1 day.
Maddison Aiken
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a AMAZING Historical-Fiction series book. This is a great book to read because it teaches you about the "Great Chicago Fire". I recommend this book.
Cain Chitwood
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
fire is warm. warm is good.

We are Savages. We are always Lit. We Are Powerful. We prank people. We Love Team 10. We love Bizzarkvark. We are JakePaulers. @jakepaul.
Justin Totimeh
Mar 08, 2017 is currently reading it

(SPOILER WARNIING)"Oscar had not wanted to leave their farm in Minnesota, the one Papa and Mama had worked so hard to build. But Papa was dead, and Mama had married Joseph Morrow. The farm was sold and the new family boarded the train to begin their new life together in Chicago. "We'll have dinner at the Palmer House, and the fire will be over before we finish supper," Joseph Morrow had said". I like this book because it's about a boy who somehow be all odds and survives the fire.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Preteen stories but really for anyone. True historical facts included along with a story.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire by Lauren Tarshis is a book that takes place in a farm and in Chicago. The characters in the book are Oscar,Bruno,Jennie,Oscar’s mom, and Mr. Morrow. Oscar lives in a farm With his mom. His dad had past away a few years ago. Oscar’s dad had left Oscar in charge of the farm. One day an artist named Mr. morrow came to paint their farm. On one of those days Mr. Morrow asked Oscar’s mom to come live with him in Chicago. She said,”yes’’. Oscar didn’t want to go but s ...more
Chloe (aka Crystal)
Previously Posted on Purely by Faith Reviews.

This is a good book. The story had a great story line and included some action. Honestly I did get bored with the story a few times. I did manage to keep reading until the end. I thought the beginning of the story was the best because the story got boring and (obviously) sad toward the end. I feel like the book was rushed. I mean, the fire was suddenly there when SPOILER Oscar followed Jennie and Bruno…END SPOILER

Anyways I think this a good book for a
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book title: I Survived The Great Chicago, 1871

Personal Response
I liked this book a little bit. I liked it because it is historical fiction. It is a book that has a lot of real events. I didn’t liked it because it was a little boring.

Plot Summary
First Oscar and his mom moved to Chicago, next some guy stole Oscar’s suitcase. Then Oscar went to the little girl her house. Her name was Jennie. A man took Jennie and Bruno. Oscar was alone. Mr. Morrow who was Oscar’s step father. He found him. They t
Billy Noecker
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This installation of the I Survived series has Oscar, who never wanted to come to Chicago, right in the middle of the terrible Chicago Fire of 1871. His father had been killed in a blizzard, could a fire destroy the whole city of Chicago. Oscar finds himself away from his family and fighting to survive. This story provides a real feel of what it may have been like to have experienced such a horrible tragedy. Oscar escapes and is found, and as the story ends, there are visions of the city of Chic ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I survived the Chicago Fire was a great historical fiction book that explained how dangerous the Chicago Fire really was. Lauren Tarshis is the author of a lot if not all of the I Survived books. This book was definitely an interesting action packed story.
Oliver had once lived on a farm in Minnesota. Oliver was soon forced to move to Chicago. When Oscar got to Chicago his first impressions were horrible. Oscar was not very excited throughout the whole book. He was miserable and sad. He met thie
Debbie Segoviano
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, primary
Oscar didn't want to move from Minnesota to Chicago. Little did he know that he would become involved in the terror of the historical Great Chicago Fire. Students picked up this book from the Scholastic Book Club choices and convinced me to drop everything and read it now. I'm glad I did even though I had more unanswered questions about the characters at the end. So, Ms Tarshis, what's next?
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Shepard
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire is an amazing book that tells about a boy named Oscar who moves to Chicago with his mom and dad. As they are in Chicago, all of their luggage is stolen and as Oscar is looking for the bandits that stole his luggage, the whole city of Chicago lights on fire!
i would recommend this book to anyone who loves books about survival and great disasters.
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Lauren Tarshis often wonders how she came to spend most of her waking moments thinking about disasters, as the author of the children's historical fiction series "I Survived." Each book takes readers into the heart of history's most thrilling and terrifying events, including the sinking of the Titanic, the Shark Attacks of 1916, Hurricane Katrina, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the San Francisco ear ...more

Other books in the series

I Survived (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 (I Survived, #1)
  • The Shark Attacks of 1916 (I Survived, #2)
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005 (I Survived, #3)
  • The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 (I Survived, #4)
  • The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 (I Survived, #5)
  • The Attacks of September 11th, 2001 (I Survived, #6)
  • The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 (I Survived, #7)
  • The Japanese Tsunami, 2011 (I Survived, #8)
  • The Nazi Invasion, 1944 (I Survived, #9)
  • The Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79 (I Survived, #10)
“The fire started inside a barn. It was tiny at first, a glowing dot, some wisps of white smoke. But then flames reached up. They grabbed hold of a pile of hay. Crackle! Pop! And then, Boom! Towers of flame shot up, higher, higher, punching through the roof, reaching for the sky. Voices screamed out. “Fire! Fire! Fire!” Alarm bells clanged. Firefighters readied their horses and raced their pumpers through the streets. But it was too late. The flames blasted a shower of fiery sparks into the windy sky. Like a swarm of flaming wasps, they flew through the air, starting fires wherever they landed. Shops and homes erupted in flames. Warehouses exploded. Mansions burned. Crowds of panicked people fled their houses and rushed through the streets and along the wooden sidewalks. They screamed and pushed and knocked one another down, desperate to get away from the choking smoke and broiling flames. But there was no escape. The winds blew harder. Flames shot hundreds of feet in the air, spreading across miles and miles. And in the middle of it all was eleven-year-old Oscar Starling. Oscar had never felt so terrified, not even two years ago, when a killer blizzard hit his family’s Minnesota farm. He was trapped inside a burning house, fighting for his life. He’d made it down the stairs, desperate to escape. And then, Crash! A ball of fire and cinders crashed through the window, and the house exploded in flames. And suddenly, Oscar was in the fire’s ferocious grip. The flames clawed at him, seared him, threw him to the ground. Smoke gushed up his nose and into his mouth. But the worst was the blistering heat, the feeling of being roasted alive. Was this the end? Oscar had never wanted to come to this city. And now he was sure he was going to die here.” 2 likes
“Was the Chicago Fire the deadliest in U.S. history? The Great Chicago Fire is remembered because it destroyed a four-mile swath of one of America’s most important cities. But it was not the deadliest fire. Amazingly the deadliest fire in U.S. history happened the very same day as the Great Chicago Fire, about 250 miles to the north, in Peshtigo, Wisconsin.” 0 likes
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