Review / The Children’s Blizzard, 1888

20211218ma_4061Book: The Children’s Blizzard, 1888 (2018)
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: MG, Historical Fiction
Series: I Survived

Opening lines from the book …
A deadly blizzard raged across the prairie, and eleven-year-old John Hale was trapped in a frozen nightmare. The wind screamed in his ears as he staggered through the blinding snow. His whole body was numb.


1) That opening is pretty exciting! The first chapter (which feels like a prologue) drops us right in the middle of things. Of course, the second chapter will take us back a few months to let us get to know the characters before letting us know what happens next.

2) I liked the story about the boys hunting King Rattler. As the newcomer to the prairie, John feels outside the friendship circle. But then they invite him along. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a good thing, but I’m glad it was the start of their friendship.

3) There’s some nice foreshadowing going on when John thinks he’s lost his sister Frannie in the long grass at the beginning of the story. I like how that comes into play during the blizzard later on.

4) I love the story trope of the strict teacher that the kids don’t quite understand but learn to trust. This teacher is sort of like that.  

5) This book reminded me so much of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I later found out that this was a different blizzard (her book was set in 1880-1 rather than 1888).


1) At the end of the book, the author has a list of other books about blizzards, etc. And the one book that is missing is The Long Winter. While the blizzard years are different, they do both take place in Dakota Territory. And that book is arguably one of the BEST of the Little House books, and even was given a Newbery Honor book. In fact, I had to go to the internet to find this info out. It’s like talking about the best fantasy books and forgetting to mention The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings


This is the first book I’ve read from the I Survived series. They’re short and quick to read. It had a lot of exciting parts and I’m glad to see historical fiction that isn’t a time-travel book!



Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

11 thoughts on “Review / The Children’s Blizzard, 1888

  1. The I Survived series is a lot of fun to read! Thanks for sharing the Blizzard story. We have the occasional blizzard – I remember when we had to dig out from our house – and the kids loved walking through the 4-ft high snow-walls to the road. (which we turned into a sled-run for the month)


  2. This sounds like such an exciting story! I’ve heard really good things about the I Survived series, and the opening is an exciting one! I’m sorry that it didn’t mention The Long Winter when it listed out all of those other blizzard books, though. Thanks so much for the great review, Maria, and happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love books set in blizzards, and I agree with you about The Long WInter! Have you ever read Haywood’s Snowbound with Betsy? I think I read a book about this event back in the 1970s, but can’t for the life of me think of the title. If this book is ever NOT checked out in my library, I’ll have to check the list again. Thanks for this review!

    Liked by 1 person

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