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I Survived The Great Molasses Flood, 1919 by Lauren Tarshis

Yes, this really happened!  And, if you live in Massachusetts, it happened close to home – in the North End of Boston!  This tragic event was caused by negligence on the part of the company who owned the molasses tank, United States Industrial Alcohol.  For the first time in American history, a company had to pay victims for causing the disaster. The molasses flood also resulted in the creation of building safety laws.

Fifth grade readers quickly notice the injustice of this situation.  

“It shouldn’t have happened.  The company should have known.  They should have tested it. They didn’t want to lose money so they said maybe there was a bomb planted in it, which wasn’t true.”

Flooded North End

“It was worse than a real tsunami because molasses is sticky goo, like you are in quicksand.”

The I Survived series is historical fiction that engages upper elementary students (and adults too).

“This book is very exciting and thrilling.  It is hard to get out of the disaster so it is nerve-wracking.”

“Carmen was very brave.  She knew how it felt to be in a tsunami so she knew how to survive.  It helped her.”

North End, Boston, 1919

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