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.
I received The RainWizard in a box of books to review for Boyds Mills publishers. Unfamiliar with the Charles Mallory Hatfield and his attempts to make rain, I was curious to read his story. Along with the a great job portraying Hatfield and his brothers, Brimner touched on others who attempted to control the weather. Although much of the story takes place in San Diego, the concept of a person trying to create rain with chemicals will engage readers. This well-written, brief history would be a good start for a young person interested in weather, science, or American history. A seldom addressed piece of scientific history, this would be a nice addition to a school or public library.
I received this book in exchange for a fair review.