Worlds Afire Author:Paul B. Janeczko Harry King, war veteran, went to the circus to take his mind off things. Eddy Carlyle, sideshow fan, came to see the freaks. And eleven-year-old Polly McDonald, who wanted to stay outside with the animals, went in anyway because Aunt Betty didn't want to miss the Greatest Show on Earth. — And then firefighters were called, but they were too l... more »ate to save Harry or Eddy, or Polly and her aunt Betty, because the canvas tent, waterproofed with gasoline and paraffin, caught fire like "one huge candle/just waiting for a light."
These haunting poems of dreams and disaster, heroism and heartbreak, draw their power from a true event: the Hartford, Connecticut, circus fire of July 6, 1944, in which 167 people were killed and more than 500 injured.« less