History David Laskin The Children's Blizzard

ISBN 13: 9780060520762

The Children's Blizzard

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9780060520762: The Children's Blizzard

Thousands of impoverished Northern European immigrants were promised that the prairie offered "land, freedom, and hope." The disastrous blizzard of 1888 revealed that their free homestead was not a paradise but a hard, unforgiving place governed by natural forces they neither understood nor controlled, and America’s heartland would never be the same.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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About the Author:

David Laskin is the author of The Children's Blizzard, winner of the Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award for nonfiction and the Washington State Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Smithsonian magazine. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

From School Library Journal:

Adult/High School–That 1888 January day on the northern plains was bright and warm–the first mild weather in several weeks–leading many children to attend school without coats, boots, hats, or mittens. A number of students were caught in the sudden storm that hit later that day. Laskin details this event–the worst blizzard anyone in those parts ever encountered. It not only took the lives of hundreds of settlers, but also formed a significant crack in the westward movement and helped to cause a movement out. The author introduces five pioneer families, beginning with why they left the old country. The personalization of these settlers breathes life into this history and holds readers spellbound. Laskin devotes several chapters to the meteorology of storms, especially this one, and the politics and history of the Army Signal Corps, which ran a fledgling weather service at the time. Readers are then led through the storm and its effects on the featured families as well as on many others. Some teachers kept students at school, burning desks to stay warm overnight; some tried to keep students in but were unsuccessful; and some led them out, not realizing how dangerous it was. A few children and adults who got lost somehow managed to survive covered by snow, then died when they got to their feet in the morning. Laskin explains why, and delves into other effects of prolonged exposure to cold. A gripping story, well told. –Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA
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