Larry Dane Brimner
Calkins Creek, 2015
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.
Whoa. I had no idea that there was ever a profession that claimed to make it rain. Then I read this book. Seriously. It was so interesting! I had so many questions that will never be answered. What was his special formula? How did he time everything right to make it seem like he helped it to rain? How did he get away with it for so long? Would anyone believe this in modern times? Would I have believed it had I lived back in the early 1900s? I wanted to know the answers! I even did some extra research, and I didn’t find a ton of material out there - just a few books that my library didn’t have. Would YOU believe someone who claimed to make it rain?
Someone needs to make this story into a movie. So interesting.