FC: The Great Wheel | By Robert Lawson Created By Grant Buchanan
1: Summary | Conn Kilroy is the main character in the book. He was an Irish immigrant to America. The story spans seven years from when he was 12 to when he was 19. He came to America at 18 years old. Conn is kind, respectful, polite, and smart. He is a hard worker and a fast learner. Uncle Patrick is one of Conn's uncles. His job as a construction worker is his life. He is middle aged, and physically large. Patrick is a hard worker never staying in one place very long. He is a very confident man. Uncle Michael is the other of Conn's uncles. He is also middle age but is a business man, and also a family man. He is good and fair to Conn. Michael lives in the city. Aunt Honora is Conn's aunt. She is the tea leaf reader in Conn's family. She read Conn's fortune when he was 12. She is very old and very wise.
2: Trudy is a German girl Conn met on the ship to America. She had long, blond, curly hair, and blue eyes. She was very clean and her skin was almost pink. She was a young lady still living with her parents. She and Conn became friends and later sweethearts. Martin Brennan is Conn's best friend who was crippled and smoked a pipe. Conn met him on the ship to America. Brennan was a sailer until his accident. After the accident he became a rigger. George Washington Gail Ferris, mostly referred to as Mr. Ferris, was a brilliant young engineer. He was a kind and generous boss. Ferris designed and created the first Ferris wheel.
3: Setting | The story starts out in Ireland and quickly moves to New York. The main setting in the story takes place in Chicago at the 1893 Worlds Fair. The building of the ferris wheel took place from January through June of 1893.
4: Problems, Solutions and Conclusions | In this story the mystery or problem is in the fortune that Aunt Honora read over Conn when he was twelve years old in Ireland. Conn did not know what the prophecy meant, when it would take place or how it would take place. This is the fortune: "Your fortune lies to the west, lad," she said. "Keep your face to the sunset and follow the evening star and one day you'll ride the greatest wheel in all the world."
5: When Conn was 18 and living in Ireland, his Uncle Michael invited Conn to come live and work in New York City in America. Then Conn met his Uncle Patrick and was invited to work for him in Chicago. Uncle Patrick's boss was Mr. Ferris who was planning to build the world's first and largest Ferris Wheel. These are the events that brought about the fulfillment of Conn's prophecy. These events also played a big part in Conn's personal life. Conn met his best friend, Brennan, and his bride to be, Trudy, on the voyage to America. He enjoyed working and learning the business of his Uncle Michael's contracting company but felt a longing to find Trudy again, farther west. When Uncle Patrick offered him a job in Chicago, Conn quickly decided to take the job. It surpassed Uncle Patrick to hear that Aunt Honora's fortune for Conn happened to be what was already in the planning of Mr. Ferris' latest invention: the great wheel. When Conn and Uncle Patrick arrived in Chicago Mr. Ferris was trying to find someone to invest in making the Ferris Wheel. Soon Mr. Ferris had talked a wealthy businessman into the last 100,000 dollars needed. His name was Mr. Zillheimer.
6: Uncle Patrick quickly taught Conn the trade of construction work. From January to June of 1893 many workers constructed the Ferris Wheel. Thanks to the hard work of many men and the brilliant design and planning of Mr. Ferris, the world's first Ferris Wheel was a huge success. Conn Decided to stay on and work as a guard attending the passengers riding the Ferris Wheel. Now he understood Aunt Honora's prophecy. He felt that if he stayed with the Wheel, Trudy would come. Mr. Zillheimer, the investor, also loved the Wheel and often brought friends and family to ride throughout the summer. At the end of the summer, Mr. Zillheimer brought two brothers and their families to ride the great wheel. Mr. Zillheimer turned out to be one of Trudy's uncles and brought Conn and Trudy back together again.
7: Main Character | Conn Kilroy is the main character. Conn starts out in the story at age 12 while living in Ireland, but for most of the story he's between 18 and 19 years old. He grew physically strong by working very hard. He gained knowledge from all the different jobs he learned from Uncle Michael, Uncle Patrick, Uncle Auto and Sergeant Keogh. Conn was shy when he left Ireland but as he worked with Uncle Michael, he learned social graces by dealing with New York society. Being a guard for Sgt. Keogh he gained experience with the public socially and was trained for any situations that might arise. Conn was raised to know right from wrong, morally, and was very polite to other people. When Conn came to America, he didn't know much about himself; he didn't know who he was or what he wanted out of life. Through all of his experiences he found out that he wanted a home, a wife, and to be a farmer. After his prophecy was fulfilled he felt at ease with himself and who he had become.
8: An Important Scene | On June 20th, 1893, late in the evening, Mr. and Mrs. Ferris stepped into Car Number One. As Conn shut and locked the door, the Ferris Wheel started out slowly rotating. Mr. and Mrs. Ferris excitedly began their very first ride in the very first Ferris Wheel of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Reaching the top, the Ferris Wheel came to a stop at Mr. Ferris' request. The couple enjoyed the magnificent view of the city lights and all of Chicago. They listened to the singing of Negro workers passing by below. A strong baritone voice rose above the others singing: | "Ezekiel saw the wheel Way up in the middle of the air And the little wheel ran by faith And the big wheel ran by the grace of God It's a wheel in a wheel Way in the middle of the air." | "Wasn't it beautiful, Conn?" Mrs. Ferris asked. "It's a sign, surely ma'am," Conn said. "It is, I am sure," she agreed.
9: I felt that this was a very important scene because Mr. Ferris' dream had become a reality. Also it was the first time the wheel completed a full rotation.
10: New Character | If I were to be a character in the story, I would be the brother of Conn. My name is Ian. I am 2 years younger than Conn. I came to America with Conn to work together for Uncle Michael. When Uncle Patrick came to visit and offered us a job, we both decided to go. Being the youngest, I felt compelled to prove myself worthy, always following in Conn's footsteps. Uncle Patrick always seemed to let Conn in on the details of the projects instead of me. And he always chose Conn for the hard jobs. This frustrated me into always working my 100% best. When the Ferris Wheel was completed it was an easy decision to go with Patrick on the next big job - while my brother, Conn, followed his dream to marry Trudy. This pleased Uncle Patrick very much to have a nephew want to follow in his foot-steps.