Project Description

Teacher’s Guide


Disaster in San Francisco, 1906

by Gail Langer Karwoski
illustrated by Robert Papp

It is before daybreak in San Francisco on April 18, 1906. 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 from a devastating earthquake. 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.

In Gail Langer Karwoski’s stirring fictional account of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, young readers will relive the drama of the actual event and its devastating aftermath. An Author’s Note carefully separates fact from fiction, giving young readers a glimpse into one of the worst earthquakes in modern history.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-310-8
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Page Count: 192
Size: 6 ̎ x 9 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-369-6
Publication Date: 3/6/2006
Page Count: 160
Size: 6 ̎ x 9 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-610-9
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 4.7
F&P: GRL T, Gr 5, Genre HF
Lexile: 770L
Themes: Earthquake, Immigration
BISAC 1: JUV001010 JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
BISAC 2: JUV016150 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century
BISAC 3: JUV030060 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / General


“Karwoski’s research is apparent in the many vivid details of life after the earthquake, but readers will be less concerned with social issues than with the developing stories of the sympathetic characters.” ―Booklist

“Karwoski’s novel conveys very capably the fear, disorientation, and shock of living through a major disaster and coping with the aftermath… Quake! combines disaster and family longing for a sturdily constructed and affecting look at the past.” ―School Library Journal


Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2004

Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award (Nominee, Grades 3-8) ―FAME, 2006-2007

Volunteer State Book Awards (Master List, Grades 4-6) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians, 2006-2007

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2005

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Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (Master List) ―Salem State College, 2006-2007

Nevada Young Readers’ Award, Young Reader Category (Nominee) ―Nevada Library Association, 2007

Land of Enchantment Book Awards (Master List) ―New Mexico Library Association, New Mexico Council of IRA, 2007-2008

Rhode Island Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―Rhode Island IRA Chapter, RILA, REIMA, 2006

Notable Children’s Books of Jewish Content: the Best of the Bunch (Older Readers) ―Association of Jewish Libraries, 2004

Maxwell Medal (Children’s) ―Dog Writers of America, 2004

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Meet the Author

Gail Langer Karwoski taught third- and fourth-grade students for many years. She received a BA from the University of Massachusetts and an MA from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Georgia. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Robert Papp has produced hundreds of award-winning illustrations for books from many different publishers, from romance novels to young adult books. He lives in Pennsylvania, with his wife, Lisa, who is also an artist.