Mystery at Thunderbolt House by Howard Pease
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This historical story, set in San Francisco the year going up to the great earthquake, is a broadly disguised fantasy of Pease's own experience of the shake.
Some elements are based upon his recollection of his aunt, who he recalls being pictured high atop a loaded waggon that is transporting her household items away from the destruction.
The story of rags-to-riches, a common Horatio Alger era theme, also mirror's Pease's family suddenly acquiring a windfall inheritance. However, his own family experience is considerably more subdued to the immense wealth his protagonist finds.
Pease said this book was his personal favorite.
Pease's full stories were printed in American Boy Magazine and illustrated by the renowned artist Anton Otto Fischer whose graphic work was found on many covers such as The Saturday Evening Post.
If you are interested in the artwork that illustrated Pease's stories, go to:
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