Jane Kurtz: Author of Books for Young Readers

Water Hole Waiting

Fire on the Mountain by Jane Kurtz. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. (1994) Reading Level: Ages 4-10. 40 pages. Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 0671882686. Aladdin paperback. ISBN: 0689818963.

Fire on the Mountain
by Jane Kurtz

Illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Fire on the Mountain is my retelling of an Ethiopian folktale I heard as a child, about a dreamer who survives one test of a night on a cold mountain and then has to also outwit the rich man who would cheat him of his victory. -- Jane Kurtz


  • Alternate selection, Children's Book of the Month Club.
  • ALA's Book Links called it one of the best picture books of 1994.
  • One of five finalists for the PEN West Literary Award for Children's Literature.
  • Nominated for the Flicker Tale Award and Young Hoosier Award, state lists.

Classroom Connections

  • Ask Jane if you can borrow a copy of the British version of the picture book, Mamo on the Mountain. It's fun to spot similarities and differences. A British reviewer called the book "beautifully written it sings."

  • Compare Fire on the Mountain to any one of the titles listed in the booklist below.

  • This book was the first book illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Look at some other books by the same talented artist. Do you find any similarities?
    • Down the Road (Harcourt)
    • Magid Fasts for Ramadan (Clarion)
    • The New King (Dial)
    • Big Boy (Clarion)
Other Books to Read

  • "Fire on the Mountain" from The Fire on the Mountain and other Ethiopian Stories by Harold Courlander and Wolf Leslau (Holt, 1950).

    • "The Warmth of a Fire" from Fair is Fair by Sharon Creeden (August House, 1995)
    • "One Candle Power" in Once the Hodja by Alice Geer Kelsey (David McKay, 1994).
    • "Ooka and the Stolen Smell" in The Case of he Marble Monster by I.G. Edmonds (Scholastic, 1961).
    • In the Month of Kislev by Nina Jaffe (Viking, 1992).
    • "Rich Man, Poor Man" in Favorite Folktales from Around the World by Jane Yolen (Pantheon, 1986).

Last Updated:
November 2007
Pages created : 2/97

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