For the summer reading list that needs a healthy dose of fact along with fiction, we recommend some thrilling historical fiction. Perfect for the history buff who needs an adventurous read or for the avid fiction reader who is looking for a closer connection to reality, Quake!: Disaster in San Francisco, 1906 should definitely get bumped to the top of a few reading piles this summer.

This stirring fictional account of the infamous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 begins before daybreak on the fateful day. Jacob Kaufman slips out of the wooden boarding house where he lives with his immigrant father and little sister Rosie, and suddenly the ground beneath his feet begins to rumble. Buildings collapse and the street splits wide open as Jacob runs to find safety. Fires engulf the city. He returns home hoping to find his father and sister, but there is nothing left of the building but a pile of sticks. Jacob and his dog join the throng of other people searching for shelter, food, fresh water, and loved ones who are missing.


Gail Langer Karwoski’s Author’s Note in the back of the book carefully separates fact from fiction, giving young readers a glimpse into one of the worst earthquakes in modern history.

Read an excerpt and take a look at the Teacher’s Guide for summer book club discussion questions and activity ideas!

Get Quake! from your indie bookstoreBarnes & Noble, or Amazon! For more reading suggestions this summer, check out our summertime reading and summer-themed round-ups.