In this provocative discussion-starter about what really matters, Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park’s linked poems capture the diverse voices of a middle school class answering the question: “If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?” Recipient of four starred reviews.
"[Park's] message is powerful: We don’t need a great blazing tragedy to determine what we hold most precious in our lives; we can define what’s vital through our thoughts and memories, always at hand, in our heads and hearts—safe, where the flames don’t reach."—New York Times Book Review
When a teacher asks her class what one thing they would save in an emergency, some students know the answer right away. Others come to their decisions more slowly. And some change their minds when they hear their classmates’ responses. A lively dialog ignites as the students discover unexpected facets of one another—and themselves.
With her ear for authentic dialog and knowledge of kids’ priorities and emotions, Linda Sue Park brings the varied voices of an inclusive classroom to life through carefully honed, engaging, and instantly accessible verse. Elegantly illustrated with black-and-white by Robert Sae-Heng art throughout.
Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medal winner for A Single Shard and #1 New York Times bestseller for A Long Walk to Water, is the renowned author of many books for young readers, including picture books, poetry, and historical and contemporary fiction. Born in Illinois, Ms. Park has also lived in California, England, and Ireland. She now lives in western New York. Learn more at lindasuepark.com.
★ "The class’s camaraderie and caring spirit comes through clearly, poised to inspire thoughtful classroom discussion." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
★ "This is a combination of piquant premise and accessible, engaging text... that will invite both reluctant and enthusiastic literati to reconsider their possessions. It also cries out to be a classroom read or even readaloud." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)