Now you can read FIRE ON THE WIND on your Kindle for only $2.99! Click here to check out the Amazon site.
Portland area teachers: The Tillamook Forest Center makes a great field trip destination for those of you using FIRE ON THE WIND in your curriculum. Their short, award-winning film about the Tillamook Burn and the re-planting of the forest is truly inspiring, and the exhibits are excellent.
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Available at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath, Oregon and
"... a poignant coming-of-age story set against the apocalyptic backdrop of the historic Tillamook Burn in Oregon ... a gripping, well-researched story." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Crew's novel is first-rate historical fiction, and it is also an engaging tale of a strong girl's maturing, a family's struggle for survival against big odds, and family loyalty and love, with a thrilling climax in which Storie's courage saves her father's life." -Booklist
"Author Crew understands the power of detail in fiction, and mixes it in perfect proportion with believable dialogue." San Diego Union-Tribune
"An enlightening, quick read that infuses an interesting coming-of-age subplot into a larger tale of disaster and heroism." School Library Journal
"An expertly written, realistic and altogether impressive novel. It teaches, but it also excites and cuts to the heart. Get it for your kids. And read it yourself." Dan Hays, the Salem Statesman Journal
These books gave me the facts of the 1933 fire. I also re-read, on micro-film, all the newspaper accounts published at the time.
For background on life in logging camps, I studied memoirs of teachers and women who had worked as cooks in the big camp mess halls.
The question "Where do you get your ideas?" is not always easy to answer, but in the case of Fire on the Wind, I can pinpoint to the day and hour when I realized my next book would be about the Tillamook Burn. Like everyone else who's grown up in Oregon, I was always aware of the story of the great fire. Our parents told us about it as we drove through the burned over stump land in the coast range of Oregon. One day I was driving along, telling the story to my own children, when it occured to me that I had never read a dramatized version of the story, a novel. Suddenly I wanted to imagine the whole thing for myself. Research for the novel included studying the details of the fire itself, logging in the thirties, the Depression, and what life was like in a logging camp, especially for the women and children.
Writing this book may have impacted our lives more than any other because by the time I was done, I had thoroughly fallen in love with the idea of planting and growing trees. When we saw land for sale that promised "huge old growth trees" I had to go--"just to look," I promised my husband. Well, we ended up buying that parcel, joining the Small Woodlands Owners and switching from growing fruits and vegetables to growing trees. As a birthday present my husband gave me a long-handled pruning saw, and now one of my favorite things to do is is limb Doug fir trees! My oldest son calls this a "goofy hobby" but I don't care. When I'm doing it I'm happy, and that's what counts.