Daniel and his mother live in Los Angeles when the riots break out. Daniel watches the evil things people are doing outside his window and learns that they do it because they don't like the people who look or sound different from themselves. When a fire threatens his apartment building, Daniel and his mother must evacuate along with the rest of the tenants and go to a shelter for the night. Daniel is frantically searching for his beloved cat and questioning all his neighbors on her location. Finally, a firefighter brings his cat in along with Mrs. Kim's cat. Daniel thinks it is odd that the two of them were found together because he thought they despised each other. Then he realizes they now get along because they finally got to know each other. His realization brings about a revelation among his neighbors who then become friendly with one another, despite their skin tone or language.
Smoky Night was the winner of the 1995 Caldecott Medal; an American Library Association Notable Children's Book; a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; and a Parent's Choice Award.
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