Grade 3 and Up
11-year-old John Hale has already survived one brutal Dakota winter, and now he’s about to experience one of the deadliest blizzards in American history. The storm of 1888 was a monster, a frozen hurricane that slammed into America’s Midwest without warning. Within hours, hundreds would be dead, thousands terrified, lost, and freezing.
John never wanted to move to the wide-open prairie. He’s a city kid, not a tough pioneer! But his inner strength is seriously tested when he finds himself trapped in the blinding snow, the wind like a giant crushing hammer, pounding him over and over again. Will John ever find his way home?
You might remember The Children’s Blizzard of 1888 from I Survived True Stories: Five Epic Disasters (If you don’t, check out 2017 September section of this blog, Post #91).
It’s amazing how strong the pioneers were to live on the prairie. Blizzards, where the snow hits you in the face like little pieces of glass. Grasshopper swarms’ miles wide that devour crops, saddles, wooden fences, and laundry hanging out to dry. But the worst part, to me, were the houses made out of sod – dirt and grass peeled right up from the ground. The way John describes it is just awful; muddy floors with bugs and mice popping out of the walls. I swear, I would have a panic attack.
While reading how John and his classmates trudged through the snow and wind, I got chills all over. And not just because it was scary. I don’t do well in the cold. My body heat doesn’t exactly stay in my body, it radiates out. I can’t sit too close to my mom on the couch because she starts complaining that I’m too hot. Even my dog gets too hot sitting next to me. If I was around during this blizzard people would have been huddling around me for warmth (I’m only exaggerating a little bit).
Cool Fact: The Children’s Blizzard was so named because many of the victims were schoolkids trying to make it home.
If you want to learn more about Lauren Tarshis, check out the link below.