September 11 – A Day to Remember

Today is a day to remember our country, its heroes, and those whom we’ve lost.

Today is also a celebration, a birthday, a different memory:  my son, Timothy. 

Because this historical event happened on my son’s young birthday, I have begun to collect books that recall the heroic events of that tragic day.  One book that I found and enjoy is Fireboat:  the Heroic Adventures of the John J. HarveyMaira Kalman researched and shares the story of how a retired New York City fireboat was used to help during September 11th. Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey (Picture Puffin Books)

The story begins with a brief history of where the fireboat began.  Then, time jumps to 1995 and the John J. Harvey is old and retired.  The boat was not being used and waiting to be scrapped.  A group who once worked on the fire boat decided to buy and restore it.  They did not know that the boat would be used during such a tragic time. 

The water pipes were broken and buried.  And the fire trucks that had raced to the scene could not pump water.  The firefighters attached hoses to the Harvey. […] For four days and nights the Harvey pumped water.

John J. Harvey Fireboat was awarded the National Preservation Award.  To learn more about the fireboat, visit their website with original photos.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Fireboat:

  • Asides – It had 5 diesel engines so it could go 20 miles per hour.  (that’s pretty fast!)
  • Text placement – the writing is not just in paragraphs but more like picture captions.
  • Close echo – CRASHED, CRASHED, CRASHED into these two strong buildings.
  • Flashback Lead – New York City.  1931.  Amazing things were happening big and small.
  • Colon in a list – People brought supplies:  fuel, sweaters, gloves, pizza, sandwiches and coffee.
  • Prediction

One Response to September 11 – A Day to Remember

  1. teachin' says:

    Have you read 14 Cows for America? I used that today with my 8th graders to talk about why it’s important to tell stories and make them personal. It also has some nice similes and some really incredible artwork that is used to deepen and expand the story.

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