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Big top burning : the story of an arsonist, a missing girl, and the greatest show on Earth

Author: Laura A Woollett
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press, [2015] ©2015
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : Elementary and junior high school : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
On July 6, 1944, thousands of fans made their way to Barbour Street in Hartford, Connecticut, to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance. Not long after the show's start, a fire broke out and spread rapidly as panicked circus-goers pushed and scrambled to escape. Within 10 minutes the entire big top had burned to the ground, and 167 people never went home. Big Top Burning recounts the true  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Case studies
History
Juvenile works
Juvenile literature
Case studies Juvenile literature
Material Type: Biography, Elementary and junior high school, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Laura A Woollett
ISBN: 9781613731147 1613731140
OCLC Number: 890912597
Target Audience: Ages 10-13.
Description: 167 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: The circus comes to town --
"The greatest show on Earth" --
Fire! --
"The day the clowns cried" --
Municipal hospital --
"Who knows this child?" --
Who was to blame? --
Accident or arson? --
A name for Little Miss 1565.
Responsibility: Laura A. Woollett.

Abstract:

On July 6, 1944, thousands of fans made their way to Barbour Street in Hartford, Connecticut, to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance. Not long after the show's start, a fire broke out and spread rapidly as panicked circus-goers pushed and scrambled to escape. Within 10 minutes the entire big top had burned to the ground, and 167 people never went home. Big Top Burning recounts the true story of one of the worst fire disasters in US history. It follows the tragic stories of the Cook family -- including children Donald, Eleanor, and Edward, who were in the audience that day -- and 15-year-old Robert Segee, a circus employee with an incendiary past. Drawing on primary sources and interviews with survivors, author Laura Woollett guides readers through several decades of investigations and 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? Young readers are invited to evaluate the evidence and draw their own conclusions.

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