The Cresbard school means a lot to sixth grader Rachel Johnson. It means classes with a beloved teacher, important band rehearsals for the upcoming concert in Chicago, and time to hang out with Winnie and Darren and the rest of the town kids. For a twelve year-old living on a remote prairie farm with no phone, school means connection. And that connection is about to be severed. The most dangerous winter that Rachel has ever known is about to descend on Cresbard, marooning her on the farm and keeping her from the school she so desperately loves.
Then, in a surprising turn of events, Rachel’s dad agrees to fly his three oldest daughters to town so they can continue the school year. Rachel will be boarding in a hotel with no parents, no rules, and no chores. Her choice of desserts every night, two-stepping with Darren Baxter at the school dance . . .will Rachel ever be able to return to farm life after this?
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Bonnie Geisert grew up on a farm near Cresbard, South Dakota, and her childhood adventures there inspired many of the events in her Prairie trilogy. Ms.Geisert now lives in a small town in northern Illinois, where she still revels in beautiful prairie winters.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4–6—In this sequel to Prairie Summer (2002) and Lessons (2005, both Houghton), sixth-grader Rachel is once again the narrator. She and her sisters contend with ordinary concerns—friends, promises, chores—and with the challenges of a brutal 1955–'56 winter on the Great Plains. Rachel loves school, dislikes farm work, and does not look forward to snow days. Yet snow it does, and as it continues to block the highways, the Johnson girls are flown into town and housed at the local hotel for weeks so that they may attend school. Lack of a phone keeps them from knowing whether or not their parents and younger siblings are safe. The sisters grow in their ability to cooperate, and Rachel gets a more realistic look at town life. This is a heartwarming glimpse at a dimming past.—Kathryn Kosiorek, formerly at Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
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