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Cinnamon Moon

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  38 reviews
On the same day as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, 250 miles away in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, there was an even more devastating fire. Twelve-year-old Ailis and her younger brother, Quinn, survive, but their family does not. Ailis and Quinn are taken by a family acquaintance to live in a boarding house in Chicago, where they meet six-year-old Nettie, an orphan displaced by Chi ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Carla Johnson-Hicks
Cinnamon Moon is a great Historical Fiction Story for Middle Grade readers. It is based on an event that I did not even know about, The Peshtigo Wisconsin Fire as well as the Chicago Fire. Ailis and her brother Quinn were moved to Chicago from the small town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin after a fire killed their parents and young sister. A friend of their fathers, Mr. Olsen, set them up in a boarding house there. Unfortunately, he was not aware that Miss Franny, the person who ran the boarding house, ...more
Ms. Yingling
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline.

Ailis and her brother Quinn have moved to Chicago from the small town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin after a fire killed their parents and young sister. They are being raised in a boarding house by a negative, controlled woman, Miss Franny. Since Chicago is also recuperating from the Great Fire of 1871, Ailis is glad that she and her brother, along with another orphan, Nettie, have food to eat and a place to sleep, but hopes for more. She takes a job with a German
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cinnamon Moon is another wonderful book from a talented author. Tess writes children well, and writes wonderful lessons along with way. I loved this book. The characters were amazing. What I loved about them most, was how they tried to make their terrible situation better by helping themselves. I loved Ailis. She was smart, resourceful, and strong. As was Quinn. I loved how Quinn had his father's talent in playing the fiddle. She and Quinn are put in a hard situation with Miss Franny. Together, ...more
Nancy Cavanaugh
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such engaging historical fiction! Characters that pull you into their struggles and triumphs! Don't miss!
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am giving this five stars. Wow, what a great read! A story of two kids who survived the Peshtigo fire in Wisconsin, the greatest fire in American history in 1871 and a six-year old orphan, a survivor from a Chicago fire on the same day. A story of struggles and triumphs, a story of ups and downs, a story of survival.

Tess Hilmo is on my list of newly discovered authors. She writes a wonderful story, amazing children's dialogue. The characters are fictional but the events were based on true sto
Amayrani Olvera
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
book review #5 date: 2/5/2017 Amayrani Olvera AB2 Cinnamon moon
Cinnamon Moon had me turning the pages faster and faster as I got near the end. This book is absolutely full of suspense and surprises. When I first got the book this Christmas my mom immediately said she wanted to read the book, so I let her read the book a couple hours later I found her in her bed reading the book and crying saying the way the author describes the characters during their times of grief was very realistic. A couple
April Moody
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alilis and her Brother Quinn have lost their parents and little sister after a deadly fire rages through their small town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin. They have been placed in a boarding house in Chicago run by Miss Fanny. Miss Fanny has come from challenging circumstances herself and is often unkind. Alilis wants a better life for herself, her brother and another orphan friend, six year old Nettie. She finds a job with a kind German woman who runs a millinery shop and Quinn makes money by playing hi ...more
Susan S.C.C.L.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-these, arc
I'm glad I came across this ARC on the bookshelf in our staff room. I love learning about pieces of history that I knew nothing about before opening a book. This story opened my eyes to the destruction of a town in Wisconsin, Peshtigo.  The same day as the Great Chicago Fire, Peshtigo was destroyed by a fire as well and over 2400 citizens died in the inferno. It was a story about the survival of a brother and sister from that small town and how they learned to survive without their parents. Alon ...more
Creel Unbelove'D
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Wonderfully interesting premise; lets us know of a fire as horrible as that of the Great Fire in Chicago. The story does a good job of developing the "evil stepmom" feel of the mean lady running the boarding house where the lead character and her brother end up staying as orphans. Nettie, the young orphan from one of Chicago's orphanages that is damaged in the fire, is so "sickly sweet" as to be flavorless. The heart of the mystery doesn't start until chapter nine. By then, I had lost interest. ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Third book about the Chicago Fire I've inadvertently read this year. Ever heard of the Peshtigo Wisconsin fire? Same day as the Chicago fire! 2400 people perished in the Peshtigo fire, 300 in the Chicago fire. Both fires play a role in this story of two orphaned children, taken in off the street and placed in a Chicago boarding house by a railroad tycoon. Good historical fiction to hand to upper elementary school children. Kept me reading as the two tracked down a third orphan sold to a rat exte ...more
Angela Johnson
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Children's book that takes places in Chicago just after the great fire. The history was interesting and I love that the setting is in the midwest! I liked the characters, but they felt a little underdeveloped to me and the plot didn't move as smoothly as in her previous books. Still, a nice read for the pre-teens.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, fiction
My daughter met this author at a writing camp and we have both been reading all of her books since. She is a great author!
This book is a historical fiction about the Chicago Fire. It’s written for middle grades & is a perfect way to introduce kids to this part of history. I really enjoyed it and so did my 11-year-old daughter.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good read! Strong female characters. I like historical fiction and this one was a good one for kids 10-14. May just lead a few to look into the Peshtigo Fire. I'm not sure if the Great Chicago Fire is ever mentioned in classes today, but it wouldn't hurt for kids to learn how resiliant their forefathers AND foremothers were! Great tale.
Rachel D.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is great historical fiction. I had never heard of the Peshtigo fire, and I now know more about the Chicago fire as well. The characters are lovable and believable. I look forward to sharing this with my children and students.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an okay book for the younger middle school student. Gives an interesting view on the Chicago Fire of 1871, also on the status of children during that time period. A safe historical fiction with wholesome characters.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awesome historical novel for middle grade readers. The small details make it come to life. My daughters (ages 10 and 12) will love this story.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably the best book Hilmo has written. Good historical fiction about Chicago after the fire. It ended a little too nicely for me, but I still enjoyed it. 3.5 stars.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Very touching I loved it!
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting (and heartbreaking) historical fiction story about the Great Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo Fire. A great book for a middle school reader.
Kristi Bell
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Clean, juvenile read about a little known fire that took a back seat to the Great Chicago Fire (which is in this book, also).

Language: None
Violence: None
Sex: None
Katie Hutchison Irion
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. I enjoy a good historical fiction. This one opened my eyes to life in Chicago right after the great fire. I enjoyed the characters and story.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tess Hilmo does it again. I love her writing and story telling.
Jill Cd
I read this in one sitting. It confronts a lot of issues: Great Chicago Fire, orphans, child labor, and the firestorm in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. The last was something I knew nothing about but am terribly intrigued after reading this book. Of course the story of Mrs O'Leary, which is discussed throughout the book, provides a wonderful discussion for "fake news." All in all I loved the characters, plot, and backstory. An excellent read for grades 4 and up!
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So glad this is one of our 2018 RI Children's Book Award nominees! A great book for kids. My favorite line in the story is between brother and sister Quinn and Ailis who are discussing how long they will be sad.
"Maybe it's when you can't stand to carry the weight of it anymore. When you feel like the sorrow is changing who you are meant to be."
I love the idea of letting go of sadness when you feel it is changing who you are meant to be.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. This historical fiction takes place just after the Peshtigo Fire and Chicago Fire. Two orphans are trying to take care of each other and another orphan they have met in Chicago after suffering devastating loss. I like Tess Hilmo as a writer because her characters are strong and kind. The history of the Peshtigo fire was fascinating. My only issue with this book is the ending seemed rushed and the cover is awful making it hard to get kids to pick it up. Also reviewed on Kiss the Book B ...more
Marg Corjay
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Feisty young people. Great setting, history, and suspense make this a wonderful middle-grade read.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well this was a let down. Girl and her brother survives the great Chicago fire of 1871. In middle of book one of their friends, little orphan girl, gets kidnapped. This book didn't know what should be the main theme and so ended up mediocre. Was it going to be about the fire and how they recovered from that or if it should be about how people will take advantage of that situation and kidnap orphans? Both apparently. I could have worked with all of this until I reached the end. And *everything* f ...more
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On the same day as the great Chicago fire their was an even more devastating fire 250 miles away in Peshtigo Wisconsin. Twelve year old Ailis and her younger brother Quinn survived but their family did not.Ailis and Quinn were taken to a boarding house in Chicago. They meet Nettie an orphan displaced by the Chicago fire. Ailis vows to save money so they can afford a place of their own. But then Nettie disappears and they have reason to believe that she has been kidnapped. Ailis and Quinn must fo ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth-fiction
The story of Ailis and Quinn, survivors of a fire themselves, amidst the aftermath of the Chicago fire is heartbreaking! They're orphans who are trying to get ahead, by taking it upon themselves to make some money and get out of the boardinghouse where they're treated poorly. Then their friend Nettie goes missing and they decide they're going to find her.

I read this book to my daughter before bedtime, a chapter a night, and she loved it. Hilmo has a way with words and her endings are always just
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