Under the Ashes

Eleven-year-old Elizabeth “Littlebeth” Morgan would rather race the boys, chase skunks, and read about bandits than act like a lady. When she whacks the head off a rattlesnake, her parents decide it’s the last straw. They send her to live with her maiden aunt Sally in San Francisco to be tamed and refined. The city proves to be anything but tame. Littlebeth wakes one morning to the crashing chaos of a massive earthquake and finds herself surrounded by wreckage. Then a fire breaks out and tears across the city. Now she must depend on her instincts and a few unlikely friends to find her way to safety. But does she have the spirit to survive in a city that’s broken and burning?

  • 240 Pages
  • 5.5" x 8"
  • 9780807536353
  • November 2016

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 240 Pages
  • 5.5" x 8"
  • 9780807536377
  • April 2018

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807536360
  • November 2016

Other Places to Buy


  • Littlebeth’s resilience and strong, memorable voice make this a vivid account of grace under fire.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • An intriguing cast of secondary characters—including her Presbyterian aunt’s Jewish beau, the opera star Enrico Caruso, and a newly immigrated young Chinese girl—add diversity to the cast.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Incorporates historical cultural references and vivid accounts of the devastating quake and its aftermath…fans of historical fiction will find plenty to like.

    - Booklist

Common Core

L.7.3,4,4a,4b,4d,5,5a,5c,6 RL.7.1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10 SL.7.1,1c,1d,2,3,4,5,6 W.7.2,3,4,6,7,8,9,9a,10

Activities & Resources


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 6
  • ATOS Level: 4.6