Drawing on family interviews and memoirs, as well as hundreds of contemporary accounts, here is a meticulous account of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, which killed some 500 settlers in Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota--many of them children lost on their way home from school.Drawing on family interviews and memoirs, as well as hundreds of contemporary accounts, here is a meticulous account of the blizzard of January 12, 1888, which killed some 500 settlers in Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota--many of them children lost on their way home from school.Read Less
This is about the blizzard annd massive cold front that hit the Minn.,Dakota area in 1887. It struck very quickly,fooling the weather bureau,which was still in its infancy.It also surprise many farmers. It hit, for some, just after kids left for school; and, for others, as the kids were leaving school.
Immediately, the temperature dropped 40-50 degrees, and high winds whipped ice and dirt into faces.
Hundreds of children were frozen, dropping in their steps. Others, were able to get cover, but hundreds lost toes, feet, ears, and fingers.
The story follows several familes, therefore, getting you involved(as the reader). So you are caught up in the story.
Nov 18, 2010
Well Researched, Highly Readable
The story is a grim but fascinating one, and it is a powerful example of the power of the weather of the Great Plains and how ill-prepared some settlers were to face it.
Apr 3, 2007
Compelling and intelligent, 'The Children's Blizzard' is definately worth reading. The structure is rich and clear without being dry or overly technical, a feat considering how much explanation of weather is included. From begining to end this history reads more like a 'story' that is told so well that, despite knowing how it ends, the reader is compelled to follow each stage and twist of the tale rather than skimming forward to 'get to the point.'
Publishers Weekly, 2004-10-25 In 1888, a sudden, violent blizzard swept across the American plains, killing hundreds of people, many of them children on their way home from school. As Laskin (Partisans) writes in this gripping chronicle of meteorological chance and human folly and error, the School Children's Blizzard, as it came to be known, was "a clean, fine blade through the history of the prairie," a turning point in the minds of the most steadfast settlers: by the turn of the 20th century, 60% of pioneer families had left the plains. Laskin shows how portions of Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas, heavily promoted by railroads and speculators, represented "land, freedom, hope" for thousands of impoverished European immigrants-particularly Germans and Scandinavians-who instead found an unpredictable, sometimes brutal environment, a "land they loved but didn't really understand." Their stories of bitter struggle in the blizzard, which Laskin relates via survivors' accounts and a novelistic imagination, are consistently affecting. And Laskin's careful consideration of the inefficiencies of the army's inexpert weather service and his chronicle of the storm's aftermath in the papers (differences in death counts provoked a national "unseemly brawl") add to this rewarding read. Agent, Jill Kneerim. (Nov.) Forecast: Praise from Erik Larson and Ivan Doig, a nod from the B&N Discover program, and book club attention (it's an alternate for BOMC, Literary Guild and the History Book Club) should help this title stand out. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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