Joe wants more for his life that what his father has. He thinks that by showing his dad he was able to save up and purchase a news stand on his own that his dad will respect him more. And then he can ask Maggie to begin planning their lives together. Or that is what he hopes as the country gets ready to celebrate Decoration Day, to honor all the soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
Some of Joe’s friends just can’t wait for school to be over, so they can go sneak off to the forest, and to the lake that is high up above Johnstown, Lake Conemaugh, a man made lake owned by members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club. Basically, rich people from Pittsburgh, PA. But people from the town aren’t really welcome at the hunting club, unless they are working there.
All little Gertrude Quinn wants to do is go to the big parade for Decoration Day! But with all this rain and the streets flooding, and her stick in the mud aunt, it looks like she might not get to have the fun time she is hoping for.
As the streets flood, and the rain keeps coming down, more and more people get worried about the dam that holds Lake Conemaugh in its banks. Because what will happen if the dam fails?
Flooded: Requiem for Johnstown by Ann Burg is based on true events in 1889 when an earthen dam collapsed and sent millions of gallons of water rushing down into the town of Johnson, where homes, businesses and people were in its path.
Recommended for 7th grade and up. If you enjoy this book, consider reading another novel in verse on the same subject called Three Rivers Rising by James Richards.