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Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Great Molasses Flood Book Review and Giveaway

I'm sure this will come as a big surprise to many people who never heard of the flood, but back in 1919, a flood of molasses killed twenty-one people in Boston when a tank exploded and caused a forty foot wave of molasses to come rushing down the street.
The Great Molasses Flood Cover

After posting about the anniversary of the Great Molasses Flood last month, I contacted the publisher of the recently published children's book The Great Molasses Flood: Boston 1919. I received a review copy, with a second available as a giveaway. After reading the book, I'm amazed that it was only twenty one that died.

The Great Molasses Flood book takes a compassionate look at the bizarre day and its aftermath where a child reader wouldn't be shocked after reading about death and destruction. The approach of the author is to take a personal look at the disaster, from how it affects individual people like a bar owner or banana salesman, to the claims of terrorism, and the lawsuits that followed.

The book is broken down into six chapters:
  1. Lunchtime Near the Harbor
  2. A Terrible Wave
  3. Hundreds to the Rescue
  4. Who is to Blame?
  5. A Flood of Stories
  6. A Real or Mythical Bomber?

Each chapter explores the happenings of the times on a person-to-person level. The book even starts with a Cast of Characters so you get some background on twenty-five people from the time. They range from firemen, children, laborers, elderly, and the legal team, among others. Throughout the title you get a feel for what each was going through. It isn't a typical history book with just the facts, but one where people live, and you understand their day-to-day dealings as the disaster happens all around them.

The book by Deborah Kops is 112 pages and targets the 9-12 year old range. As far as reading level goes, my six year old can read the book but because it is more a chapter book, cannot sit long enough to read the lengthy pages. Given the target audience level, I believe she hit the mark quite well. It is also full of pictures of the era to help describe the different scenes. These help a great deal, even if they all are in black & white, or sepia as the case may be. Today's kids want the visuals and she does her best here.

Overall, I like the approach of the author. She gets the information across well, without being too scary. I'll definitely save it for my son for when he is older. I highly recommend it for those looking to have their children explore the history around Prohibition times. Next time you're in town, look for the commemorative plaque on Commercial Street. 

Win It!

1 lucky winner will receive their own copy of The Great Molasses Flood book
This giveaway ends on February 25, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST.
Open to the US only, ages 18+.

Winner has 48 hours to respond to winning notification email
before another winner will be selected.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to facilitate my review. All opinions stated are my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. I love to bake with molasses thank you for the giveaway

    1. I have never heard of this before and am kind of speechless at the moment. Thank you for sharing something I can learn from.

  2. I would like to read Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves & Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple.

    Who would have thought that molasses would be dangerous?

  3. I'm intrigued by this piece of history I didn't know about. I'd love to read this book.

  4. I really wanted to read a book on this subject!

  5. Alright--great giveaway -- well another book that would be fitting with our history right now would be WAR DOGS--thanks --that was sort of hard I found a lot I want to

  6. What a great giveaway. I have not heard about this and I am really excited about learning about the Great Molasses Flood. I am going to order this from Amazon.

  7. i am from boston , and i as a child read this book and would love to have it as part of my collection, its amazing how something like molasses did so much damage!

  8. I would like the word search book.

  9. I want to read Food & Wine: Annual Cookbook 2013

    rugerpuppies at hotmail dot com

  10. Smoothies, Smoothies, and More Smoothies sounds like a cookbook for me. I love them and would love to find more variations!

  11. THe Big Test looks cute! Thanks for sharing!

  12. i would like to read the Valentine Be Mine
    By author: Jacqueline Farmer

  13. I would like to read "Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot".

  14. I would like to read The Art of Stone Skipping and Other Fun Old-Time Games
    By author: J. J. Ferrer


  15. Brain Busting, Mind Twisting, IQ Crushing Puzzles


  16. The Art of Stone Skipping and Other Fun Old-Time Games sounds interesting.

    juliebillyl01 at atlanticbb dot net

  17. I'd like to read Bet You Can't Do This Sudoku!