When dared to pull a fire alarm by his friends Pete and Miguel, Sam Avery hesitates with the struggle of right and wrong. In his hesitation, Pete pulls the fire alarm and causes Sam to face the consequences of pulling a fire alarm without an emergency. Unfortunately caught by the authorities as the perpetrator, Sam has to work at the local fire station where he learns about the jobs of firefighters and goes on to befriend them. There at the station, Sam begins to enjoy his job and learns how to both save lives and homes while understanding that a firefighter’s job is more than just putting out fires.
Michael J. Hughes develops both an education in morals and the lives of firefighters in a fast-paced book for young readers, providing an enjoyable read without a dull moment. For the child interested in the daily workings of firefighters, Firefightin’ Sam will definitely excite and entrance them. Hughes goes into clear, vivid detail of how a station operates, even delving into the technical parts of the job; his own personal experience adds much to the realism of the events described. However, because of the lengthy descriptions of the job, the book may be slightly advanced for those of a younger age and may cause some confusion. The addition of tables and graphs clarifies the technical aspects but may require parental assistance to fully decipher and understand.
Besides discussing the work required of a firefighter, Firefightin’ Sam heavily emphasizes the consequences of actions and the necessity of speaking up when a situation seems morally wrong. Hughes does a marvelous job in teaching valuable life lessons and morals in an easily accessible format for young readers. As an introductory chapter book, Firefightin’ Sam does a wonderful job of incorporating larger vocabulary within an understandable context.
Hands-down, Firefightin’ Sam provides a riveting, entertaining, and educational read for all children.
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