If you were expecting a post about the iconic musical group adding some rain to their band, you won’t find it here. What you will discover is another fantastic Mystery and Mayhem title written with flare by author Judy Dodge Cummings.

Five tales demonstrate that Mother Nature is truly in charge, sometimes helped by the poor decisions of humans. The first three were new to me even though the devastation was epic in proportions:

  • The Peshtigo, Wisconsin forest fire in 1871, killing an estimated 1,500-2,500 people.
  • The great blizzard of 1888 that engulfed New York and kept some drifts visible for months.
  • In 1989, the South Fork Dam in Pennsylvania breaks and kills and estimated 2,000 men, women and children who lived below.

The last two were familiar but told in a fresh, engaging way:

  • The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fires, in a chapter called EARTH DRAGON.
  • Horrific dust storms swept across parts of five states from 1935-1940 causing sickness and death.

What makes each of these five chapters special are the personal stories that come out of each. Father Pernin, Sarah Wilson, Sam Strong, Victor Heiser, Hugh Kwong Liang, and the Shaw family are names you won’t recognize, but each one will stay in your memory with what they each had to endure. You learn the details from the five big events, but it’s the human stories that will touch your heart.

One of the classic Earth, Wind, and Fire hits was “Shining Star” and this new Mystery and Mayhem title certainly fits that description.

Two other new titles in the series may also interest young and old readers alike. Learn more about the entire series here:

Coming up next week is another…
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count–but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you’re featuring and a link to your blog at gpcolo (at) gmail (dot) com
 (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and for spreading the middle grade love!
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in non fiction, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I’m glad to know about all these books. Earth, Wind, Fire, and Rain sounds incredible. I didn’t know about the South Fork Dam tragedy, but I am familiar with all the others. I will have to check this one out. Thanks, Greg, for the post.

Place your thoughts here with a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.