In a small village in Mexico, a farmer complains, "Nothing ever happens." Every day is the same: the farmer gets up and eats two corn cakes with honey and a cup of cinnamon tea. He takes his ox to the cornfield before the sun is up. "Perhaps today something will happen," his wife encourages. But nothing does. Then, one day in the field his plow sinks into the ground. Neither the farmer nor the ox can make the plow move. Soon, fire and smoke are coming out of the hole the plow fell into. It is the birth of the Parícutin volcano: "El Monstruo." The volcano erupts violently for days, and the farmer's village is buried. In fact, the entire community must relocate and begin again. Finally, the farmer is back to his familiar routine: rising before dawn, breakfasting on corn cakes, and taking his ox to work in the field. Only now he isn't complaining. Part of the I Can Read Book Series: Level 3®, the book is alive with a subject typically of great interest to young readers: the dramatic natural occurrences of our earth. In fact, Hill of Fire is a piece of historical fiction based on the rare occurrence of the birth of a volcano. Web sites devoted to Parícutin and other volcanoes, as well as the country of Mexico can add to the geographical, geological, and cultural information presented in the book. Joan Sandin's watercolor illustrations depict the rural village very close to the way it must have looked in the 1940s. Send students on a Web site scavenger hunt to find photographs of the volcano and the ruins of the village to compare to the illustrations.