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The rain wizard - Larry Dane Brimner

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The rain wizard - the amazing, mysterious, true life of Charles Mallory Hatfield
Larry Dane Brimner
Calkins Creek
UK Publication Date

In December 1915, San Diego's leaders claimed the town's reservoirs were nearly dry. Knowing the city would not survive and grow unless it had water, they hired Charles Mallory Hatfield, whose skills at making rain were legendary. But when torrents and torrents of rain came, disaster struck. Roads were closed, people drowned, and dams burst. The town elders blamed Hatfield and refused to pay him. Was Hatfield really a rain wizard, or simply a fraud?
Renowned author Larry Dane Brimner examines the man and the myth by relying on personal recollections from growing up in California, as well as extensive research. Readers will be captivated by Hatfield-a man once known as the Frankenstein of the air-and his secret rainmaking formulas. Includes author's note, source notes, and bibliography.

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Larry Dane Brimner: Larry Dane Brimner has written about civil rights in four titles published by Calkins Creek: We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin; Birmingham Sunday; Black & White: The Confrontation Between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ?Bull" Connor, a Sibert Honor book; and Strike! The Farm Workers' Fight for Their Rights. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego, California. Visit

"In December 1915, San Diego's reservoirs were nearly empty, so the city turned to Charles Mallory Hatfield, whose skills at making rain were legendary? In this attractively designed and illustrated biography, Brimner offers a fascinating, well-timed portrait of an enigmatic character? The generously leaded text is set within wide margins and accompanied by copious archival illustrations; both decisions keep the relatively complex text accessible. An engaging, intriguing story of a fascinating man." ?Kirkus Reviews

"This well-written and attractive book? (is a) well-designed, impeccably researched work." ?School Library Journal, starred review

"Most kids have never heard of Charles Mallory Hatfield, but this fascinating biography will help remedy that? The book's design is a standout, with intriguing historical photos filling the pages and a typeface that makes this invitingly easy to read." ?Booklist, starred review

"Brimner brings to light the story of enigmatic, entrepreneurial rainmaker Charles Hatfield? (l)arge, color-tinted archival photos create visual interest? (a) well-researched tale." ?Publishers Weekly

"During the early twentieth century, Charles Mallory Hatfield claimed that he could coax rain from the sky. His services were offered to drought-plagued cities at the price of up to $1000 per inch of rain, and his success rate was remarkable. [R]eaders are tantalizingly left to contemplate whether he was mostly effective or mostly lucky?. Excellent archival photographs appear throughout, and an author's note?" ?Horn Book

First edition
Keyword Index
Floods - California - San Diego - History - 20th century - Juvenile literature.|San Diego (Calif.) - History - 20th century - Juvenile literature.
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