With primary source documents and survivor interviews, Big Top Burning recounts the true story of the 1944 Hartford circus fire—one of the worst fire disasters in U.S. history. Its remarkable characters include Robert Segee, a 15-year-old circus roustabout and known pyromaniac, and the Cook children, Donald, Eleanor, and Edward, who were in the audience when the circus tent caught fire. Guiding readers through the investigations of the mysteries that make this moment in history so fascinating, this book asks: Was the unidentified body of a little girl nicknamed "Little Miss 1565" Eleanor Cook? Was the fire itself an act of arson—and did Robert Segee set it? Big Top Burning combines a gripping disaster story, an ongoing detective and forensics saga, and World War II–era American history, inviting middle-grades readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence and draw their own conclusions.
Laura A. Woollett is a contributor to The Great Connecticut Caper, an online, serialized mystery for kids. Laura has a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College and is a full-time writer and editor of literacy curriculum for children in kindergarten through grade 12. Originally from South Windsor, Connecticut, Laura now lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and two cats.
Location: Street: Porter Square Shopping Center Additional: 25 White Street City: Cambridge, Province: Massachusetts Postal Code: 02140 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)