City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888

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9780802789105: City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888

It was Sunday morning, March 11, 1888, and rain was falling, spraying a steady tempest from heaven.

With spring just around the corner, New Yorkers have no reason to suspect that one of the United States's greatest natural disasters is brewing. By Monday evening a ferocious blizzard would completely shut down the largest city in the country.

Trapped by the storm, a young girl and her family struggle on as even the smallest daily routines of life in the city grind to a halt-- electric and telegraph lines go down, trains and buildings alike are buried in the snow, and the streets are impassable, with no way to deliver fresh food, milk, or coal for heat. Life must go on, but both the family and the city are forever changed by the awesome might and majesty of the Great Blizzard of 1888.

A pivotal moment in American history vividly brought to life by Linda Oatman High's free-verse narration and Laura Francesca Filippucci's detailed, timeless illustrations.

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About the Author:

Linda Oatman High is the author of fifteen books for children and teens. In addition to writing for children, she is also a journalist and songwriter who has played in several bands. Ms. High lives in Narvon, Pennsylvania, with her family, which includes a golden retriever named Angel and a Bichon named Ozzy.

Laura Francesca Filippucci was born in Milan, Italy, where she attended the Istituto Europeo di Design. She later specialized in children's-book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has worked for European and American magazines and publishers, including Simon & Schuster and Charlesbridge. Ms. Filippucci lives in Milan with her husband, also an illustrator, three children, and some goldfish.

From Booklist:

Gr. 1-3. In her author's note to this story-in-verse, High writes that New York City suffered "enormous" destruction from a massive blizzard that struck in 1888. Even so, the "Great White Hurricane" doesn't seem to threaten High's fictional narrator, a little girl whose family is only mildly inconvenienced by the city's paralysis, even attending P. T. Barnum's circus while the storm rages. As she did for Depression-era Atlantic City in The Girl on the High-Diving Horse (2003), High conjures a snowbound Victorian New York through sharply etched details: "Howling winds rattled the windows / like careless thieves, / and the eaves wheezed, / heaving as if the house were breathing." At times, High's narrow columns of verse seem overworked, with the poetic devices falling as fast and furious as the snow itself. Choose this as a wintry read-aloud; listeners can then experience the poetry's drifting musicality while losing themselves in Filipucci's lovely, Currier & Ives-style cityscapes, which beautifully capture both the eeriness and tranquility of a city blanketed in white. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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