The Children's Blizzard
The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a long cold spell, warm enough for the homesteaders of the D ...more
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The Children's Blizzard is a historical novel that deals with a real time in history known as the Schoolhouse Blizzard, due to the number of children that perish during this tragic storm. The time is January 12, 1888 and the blizzard covers the eastern United States and Canada. This story concerns fictional characters, families who homestead the Dakota territory, and a newsman who feels great guilt for his stories that enticed so many people to leave th ...more
This book reminded me of why I love historical fiction!! Woven into this story are real facts about the prairie. Not just the time of the blizzard but day after day life and what these settlers faced.
Immigrants were lured to the land with the promise of 160 acres of land if they settled it for 5 years. Many immigrants were looking for a fresh start, lured by advertising pamphlets that promised so much. “Come to Nebraska, the Garden of Eden!. Acres for the ...more
**This book is based upon the oral histories of survivors.
The morning of January 12, 1888, began as a mild day after a long period of cold weather. ...more
Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman in Omaha, “writes for the state’s boosters and railroad investors, advertising Nebraska as the Garden of Eden, something it was not. To sell all these acres, recently won from the Indians, to rub ...more
Come to Nebraska, the Garden of Eden!
With promises of a better life, people came in waves from across the seas and across the land, toting what meager possessions they could manage, their hearts filled with hope for a better life. Some were farmers believing in the promise of more land, and better soil. Some were fleeing lives where they were destined to die, believing the pamphlets they had read, believing the promises. Some were hopeful for a life with fresher, cleaner air, fleeing confini ...more
This is a work of historical fiction about a devastating and unexpected actual blizzard that occurred on January 12, 1888 in the northern Great Plains territories of the United States. The specific states affected were Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota and Kansas. It had been unusually warm that morning, so it caught people unawares, and many had decided to go out and did not dress appropriately for the event that would suddenly occur. It especially a ...more
One of my favorite things about historical fiction is when I learn new things about our past. I love how books like this bring events to life and make a memorable impact on me. This is my third book by this author and now my favorite of hers. I got to meet her at a bookstore event (remember those?) a few years ago and she gave an interesting talk a ...more
Jan 12th, 1888 an unexpected blizzard came through the plains, on what started out as a very balmy day.
It came at the time of day when children were about to be let out of school for the day, and so it’s known as The Schoolhouse Blizzard or Children’s Blizzard.
Many of the teachers in these schoolhouses were very young girls of about 16 yrs old.
This story is mostly about a young teacher named Raina and older sister Gerda, also a teacher at another school that got caught up with their student ...more
The story skipped around among several characters during and after the storm. Sisters Gerda and Raina were both teachers in different schools. One sister lead her stude ...more
I do have a bone to pick with authors or perhaps publishers that classify their books as an historical fiction. Many ...more
I thought the story itself was good though there were very few likable characters and it dragged in s ...more
This is an excellent work of historical fiction about the brutal blizzard that hit the Plains states on January 12, 1888, leaving a high death toll in its wake. It's known as 'the children's blizzard' because so many children were injured or lost their lives in often futile attempts to return home from school that day. Afterwards there were many stories of tragedy, heroic ...more
Raina and Gerda had to make the decision about letting the students run home or to keep them in the school. Either choice was risky...one made the right choice and one didn't.
The decisions made by Raina and Gerda stayed with them and affected them for their entire lives.
We follow the children, the teachers, the townspeople as the blizzard rages, as people become lo ...more
The Children's Blizz ...more
I went into this story unaware of this real disaster that took place ...more
BY MELANIE BENJAMIN
In her new book Melanie Benjamin decided to use fictional character's that a couple of them are loosely based on surrounding a real factual event. The book starts out rather slow highlighting all of the propaganda that was put out in Eastern newspaper's etc. about how the prairie land surrounding the states out west such as Nebraska, Minnesota, Dakota territory, then later Montana was rich farming land to lure many Europeans and poor people from Eastern ...more
The Children’s Blizzard follows two Swedish immigrant sisters, Raina and Gerda Olsen, who ...more
January 12, 1888 started as a mild day on the Great Plains, especially in comparison to the frigid temperatures of the past weeks. The children of the Nebraska and Dakota Territory were anxious to get back to school and they left their heavy jackets at home. So when the freak storm hit, school teachers were faced with life and death decisions. Keep the children at the ill-prepared one room schoolhouse or send them ...more
This book is exquisitely written. Melanie Benjamin does an incredible job of connecting the reader with the characters. She shares the backstories and inner though ...more
I was not able to finish the book because of the unpleasantness of the above. I appreciate this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It ...more
I found (a) racism, and (b) a woman who sells her child for a few farm animals.
And two sisters – the main characters – Raina and Gerda – one is tempted into an almost illicit affair with the husband of the household where she is boarding and the other one sends the children home from school early because she wants to have a f ...more
The day began unusually warm so that many of the homesteaders and school children ventured out without their warm woolens and coats. Just as school is being dismissed an unexpected blizzard caused the temperature to plummet and made visibility near impossible. The teachers had to make the tough decision to dismiss their students or shelter in place. For sisters Raina and Gerda Olsen, both teachers, their fatal de ...more