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Worlds Afire

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In his first full-length poetic work, celebrated poetry anthologist Paul B. Janeczko creates a stirring fictional account of the 1944 Hartford circus fire.

One summer afternoon in 1944, hundreds of circus lovers crowded under the big top in Hartford, Connecticut, breathlessly waiting for the show to begin. Minutes later, the event took a horrifying turn when a fire broke ou
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by Candlewick
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May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I loved how the story was told through a series of short, first-person narrative style poems. In July, 1944, Ringling Brothers circus set up in Hartford Connecticut. Many of the men in town were still fighting the war, leaving women and children to find diversion where they could back home. The circus of course was trying to protect its profits, so the tent flaps forming the side walls were securely tied down to prevent children from sneaking in. At the time, it was a common practice to waterpro ...more
Jessica M
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Name: Jessica McClelland

APA citation: Janeczko, P(2004). Worlds afire. Candlewick: NY.

Genre: Poetry

Award (if applicable):

Format: Book

Selection process: This book is favored in Booklist. Rochman, Hazel. 2004. Worlds Afire. Booklist 100, no. 9/10: 857.

Review: Worlds Afire does its best to tell the true tale of the 1944 Connecticut circus fire that claimed many lives in a poetic and tragically beautiful way. The book is divided into three parts, the excitement before, the terror of the fire and the
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
Read this book of poems in about a half hour. Very tragic stories but beautifully written about the Hartford Circus Fire.
William Herschel
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
On Thursday, July 6, 1944, as the afternoon performance of the Ringling bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut, had just begun, fire broke out in the southwest corner of the big top. The fire was fast and angry, killing 167 people-- mostly women and children-- in a matter of minutes and injuring about 500 others.

It's been awhile since I've been to a circus. My only memory of going as a child is being uncomfortably squished with crowds of people, and me looking down at the
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-420, favorite
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mia Correa
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Worlds Afire
Paul B. Janeczko

Worlds Afire, a novel written by Paul B. Janeczko, tells the story of the 1944 Hartford circus fire. The book is a collection of poems told from multiple perspectives. The perspectives vary from circus workers to spectators, to fans,and even to firefighters. By having this variety of perspectives, I was able to gain a better understanding of the little details that maybe would not have been included had the story been told from just one point of view. This is because
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book Worlds Afire written by Paul B. Janeczko is very good in my opinion. Once you get into the book there are parts when the characters talk about how they never missed going to a circus. After that it gets exciting when someone accidentally burned the circus killing more than 100 people. Also injuring about 500. I would give this book a 5 star. The message for this story is to of how easy one person can turn things around.
I read this historical fiction novel in verse as part of the November chat for #yearoya focusing on books written between 2002 and 2007. I love Paul Janeczko and this spare novel was heartbreaking. A circus, lots of people, and a fire breaks out, killing 167 people in a few minutes! There are many voices each telling about the fire, the animals, the people, the circus, and how the 1944 fire affected all involved, compelling and great for reluctant readers!
Mrs. Fisher
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally quick read told through verse, this novel shares the accounts of the Hartford Circus fire of 1944. The stories are shared from a wide variety of perspectives, from circus-goers to animal trainers and is one full of more emotion than words. This is a great read for lovers of both poetry and history.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poem
I thought this book was interesting. It was different and I liked how it wasn't about one person. It was about multiple people for which the fire affected. I liked reading about different peoples perspectives on how the fire affected them and how they had dealt with it. I have always been a fan of the circus and so that is why I had chosen this book and that is how it had caught my attention.
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Paul B. Janeczko is a poet and teacher and has edited more than twenty award-winning poetry anthologies for young people, including STONE BENCH IN AN EMPTY PARK, LOOKING FOR YOUR NAME, SEEING THE BLUE BETWEEN, and A POKE IN THE I, which was an American Library Association Notable Book.
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