Publisher's Note:  

Sirens! A scary sound, especially to Siria, whose brave pop is a firefighter. Siria loves everyone at Pop's city firehouse. She also loves to study the stars. Her mother named her after the brightest start in the winter sky.   
   When Siria hears sirens, she sneaks out to chase the trucks, to bring Pop and the other firefighters luck. She'd be in big trouble if she ever got caught. Good thing her best friend, Douglas, is always by her side.
   As Christmas approaches, Siria suspects that someone in the neighborhood is setting fires. She has to find out who's doing it. When clues point to a surprising suspect, she realizes that solving this mystery will take all kinds of courage.
   Patricia Reilly Giff, the author of many beloved and award-winning books, is at her best in this action-packed story. In Winter Sky, friends, family, and a very special dog help Siria see how brave she really is.

Winter Sky

by Patricia R. Giff

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Overall Review:  

I don't know about you, but if my father were a police officer or a firefighter, I would probably have frequent nightmares about him bursting into flames, or being shot on the job. Both professions are equally dangerous, and for Siria, one of them means maybe losing her only parent to the hot flames he fights weekly, if not daily.


Siria is a spunky girl, who takes after her deceased mother. She was named after a star, after all, and not just a star--the brightest star in the night sky. Her personality definitely made me think of a star, or something equally as bright. Siria struck me as the type of girl who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to chase after it. One of the things she yearns for is her father's safety. Though it may seem like an eleven year-old girl might not have the power to do much, Siria believes she has a certain pull in her universe that consists of her beloved father (Pop), best friend Douglas, and new pet dog. Oh, and I can't forget about Izzy, a woman who has stepped up as a sort of mother figure for both Siria and Pop.


Siria has secrets that I was eager to uncover. One of them is the fact that she doesn't sleep much. No, instead she is out on the streets of her city, chasing fires "beside" her father, though he isn't privy to this information. I was enchanted by this story of a young girl who may seem to be tiny and innocent, but believes she has the power to be so much more. This book is one that young girls can read, and find a fine role model in its heroine. Boys might balk at the idea of reading a book about a girl protagonist, but if they give Winter Sky a chance, I'm pretty sure they will fall head-over-heels in love the tom-boyish Siria.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  A house fire is described; a character is injured in a fire and must go to the hospital to recuperate; arson is mentioned several times and suspects are followed, some brief "scary" scenes occur; a character feels threatened twice by a person they are following.


Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Homelessness, death of a parent.

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Reviewed By Lydia
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