Skip to Main Content

Is It Available?


Cory Castoe

Library Specialist


How to Set a Fire and Why

By Jesse Ball

The best way I think to describe this book is YA for anarchists. If you like either one of those things, you’ll like the book. If you like both of those things, you’ll love the book. The book stars Lucia Staton, a teenager living with her elderly aunt in an abandoned garage. Lucia is very bright and intelligent, and at times, a tiny bit nihilistic. She gets kicked out of one school, and is constantly in trouble at the next. While serving detention at her new school, she overhears two boys talking about an Arson Club, and she decides she wants to be a member of the club.  The book is the story of her attempt to join the club, and everything that happens in the meantime. The book is similar in character to movies like Edge of Seventeen, or Juno, but for the Sacco and Vanzetti crowd. In conclusion, I’d recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick, fun read. It’s a real barn burner.