Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Book Review: The Finches' Fabulous Furnace by Roger W. Drury (1971)

The Finches' Fabulous Furnace is a quirky story about a family with an unusual secret. Their new home is heated not by a furnace, but by an active volcano. Knowing how their neighbors would react to the knowledge that the volcano beneath their home may someday erupt and destroy their town, the family does its best to hide the truth and fend off rumors about their heating system. This proves difficult, however, when obvious signs of volcano activity begin to appear around the house.

Like The Enormous Egg, this book takes an utterly implausible situation and makes it completely believable. Though it is ridiculous to think of a home in upstate New York housing a volcano in its basement, the way the situation is explained within the context of the story makes perfect sense. The family does not come to life quite as strongly as many other families I have read about in vintage kids' books, but the town overall does develop a personality as the book goes on, and there are a lot of humorous moments where the Finches make ridiculous excuses to hide the strangeness of what goes on in their basement. 

This is a clever and light-hearted story, and the odd premise and surprise ending will appeal to a broad range of ages, including adults. It would make a great read-aloud for a snow day, as well as a perfect fictional tie-in for scientific lessons on volcanoes.


  1. I remember reading that book from when I was a kid!

  2. I haven't heard of this book before but it is ironic that you mentioned this being a good snow day read as it is currently snowin where I live. This week I posted two reviews. Check them out:

  3. Sounds really adorable! I'd never heard of it, but maybe something for my little nephews this Christmas?