Book: 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.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…
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).
THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…
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…