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Blizzard's Wake

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  538 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Kate Sterling has lost four years of her life to grief and anger. Zeke Dexter has lost four years of his life as well -- in jail for the accident that killed Kate's mother. Just out of prison, Zeke wants to put the past behind him, but a freak blizzard makes him a prisoner once again -- he of Kate, and Kate of him.
Kate fears she will never be able to overcome the anger t
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Simon Pulse (first published October 1st 2002)
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Rating details
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Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-ir
I can imagine (am I one?) lots of kids picking this up because it sounds so exciting-- teenaged girl getting stuck in a blizzard with the killer of her mother -- but then being really disappointed because the two don't even meet until the last third(ish) of the book. It feels a bit slow going but probably only because of this false promise made by the cover of the book. In fact, if you don't expect too much thrill, the story has something nice about the nature of forgiveness (simplified to some ...more
Ashley (TheNerdyBookmark)
Sep 01, 2016 added it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes binding errors!
Shelves: reviewed
Sooo I cannot rate this book....... because I did not finish it. But not because I chose to not finish it but because I was forced to.

If you follow my Instagram, you may have seen on my storyline that the page jumped from 59 to 121, then with about maybe 50 or so pages in between that, it starts back over at pg 121.

This is by far the biggest error I've ever found in a book.

Luckily, I was reading this to see if I wanted to keep it around or not, and well, the 56 pages I was able to read weren't t
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wish that I had shared this book with Dad, to see if the cultural and historical details ring true. A terrible blizzard struck North Dakota in 1941, one of those freak storms that were all too common. Alternating chapters follow the Sterling family: Doc, Kate & Jesse; and Zeke Dexter, the drunk driver responsible for the death of Mrs. Sterling and who has just been released from prison. Kate is still struggling with her grief, guilt, and resentment over the loss of her mother, and like mos ...more
Mady Patterson
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this is a very good book. Now it did take awhile to get to the story-line but that's okay. The ending almost made me cry along with one of the characters. I recommend this book if you need help forgiving or are into dramas because that is kind of what goes along with it. Also at the beginning I did not realize that each chapter it would switch between the viewpoints of Jesse, Kate, and the Zeke but I caught on not to far after I stared reading it.
Delia Halverson
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book because it was about a family who was stuck in a snowed in house with the guy who killed their mother/wife. I would recommend this book if you like reading to find out what happens because this book will leave you on edge. This book is kind of a mix of realistic fiction and historical because it was taken place during the war and these things could actually happen but we have no idea if it actually did.
Richie Partington
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
05 November 2003 BLIZZARD'S WAKE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, October 2002, ISBN 0-689-85220-7

"Inside the forlorn station a man in a wrinkled shirt studied Zeke from behind the counter. Zeke knew that even if Dwayne's phone were working, he wouldn't try calling him at eleven forty-five at night.
" 'What time do you close?' he asked the ticket agent.
" 'Long as the buses keep comin', I'm open,' the man in the wrinkled shirt said.
" 'Any objection to me waiting out the n
Annie Thode
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I sort of enjoyed this book. Blizzards Wake is a historical fiction book, I dont really read historical fiction so it was very new to me. I didn't hate it though and I would definitely recommend this book because it is informative and has a great story line. I really liked the part when Kate finally forgave Zeke because it just brought a lot of closure to the book.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was good, It was really dramatic too. I really liked the characters and the story in general I rarely read realist fiction books and that's why i graded it a 3 because i don't really have much to compare it to. My favorite character was Zeke because i feel he was a strong character and it was good.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the book Blizzards wake because it was interesting to find out what was going to happen next. I also liked the characters because the spoke there minds about each other. I would like to know what would happen to everyone and wish there was a second book.
Jamie Jordan
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Murdertown, North Dakota Jamie Jordan, 1st Period

Kate Sterling is a timid, brown-haired, blue-eyed 14 year old girl trying to live a normal life in Grand Forks, North Dakota. But since her mother’s murder in a brutal hit-and-run perpetrated by Ezekiel (Zeke) Dexter, that goal is becoming more and more farfetched every day. Zeke Dexter, a 29 year old man with brown eyes and spiky, jet black hair, is released from the North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck when a blizzard hits on March 14th,
Ferris Wheel
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book isn't only fiction, but has points where it could be considered historical fiction as well, as it is in the 1900's. Its based from the view of Kate, a 15 year-old girl who loathes her mother's killer: Zeke. It's been three years, her brother and father have moved on, but she's stuck in a constant struggle of a sense of emotionless pain. She's numb to feelings, she can't forgive Zeke, nor does she ever want to. She believes that the only way she can move on and be normal again is for Ze ...more
Stephanie Pieck
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: braille
The author of the beloved "Shiloh" trilogy has a gift for choosing details. in "Blizzard's Wake," she vividly captures 1941 North Dakota in the small town of Grand Forks. Told alternately from the viewpoints of 15-year-old Kate, her 11-year-old brother Jesse, their father, Dr. Sterling, and Zeke Dexter, the young man who has spent the last three-and-a-half years in the state penitentiary for killing Mrs. Sterling in a drunken car crash.
Zeke is on early release for good behavior and is headed fro
Daija Jefferson
Have you ever lived a life full of anger and tried to do plenty of the things to make your life better. If so, your not alone.The genre of this book is realistic fiction.In my opinion this book i really enjoyed because I know for a fact that Kate isn't the only one that has lost her life to grief and anger. I really liked this book because I feel that I've been in her position before because Kate has been threw so much stuff in her life like her mother that had died in a car accident, and me I l ...more
Books Kids Like
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
No one in the Red River Valley of North Dakota knew that a blizzard was on its way the afternoon of March 15, 1941. A revised forecast didn’t reach the newspapers until the evening edition, so many people were caught out shopping and enjoying other weekend activities.
Zeke Dexter, just released from prison the day before, travels by bus from Bismarck to Grand Forks. The afternoon of the fifteenth, Zeke hitches a ride from Grand Forks to the road a few miles from his house near Mekinock. A light s
This is probably the best book about forgiveness that is accessible to younger readers that I've ever read. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor does an excellent job of giving legitimacy and showing the depth of Kate's feelings, as she is led from anger, resentment, guilt, and anger into the beginnings of forgiveness, acceptance, and peace. What I particularly liked is that she is never judged for her feelings, but the people that love her and her own experiences help lead her into healing. Very beautiful. ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: winter
This is a work of historical fiction taken place over the course of the killer blizzard of 1941. Two of the main characters are Kate Sterling and her brother Jesse, both of whose mother was hit and killed on impact by a drunk driver 4 years before. Kate is still in mourning, still experiencing hatred of the drunk driver Zeke Dexter, despite trying to convince herself she's above revenge. She isn't. SHe is still impacted by it every day, the goodbyes she was never able to say, the projects left u ...more
Mercedes Rodriguez
In this book blizzards wake,Phyllis theme that he emphasizes through this novel is forgiveness,adventure and natural disaster.What Phyllis is trying to say is that even after someone had committed a crime,people haven't forgot about the person, especially the family members.The world view this author has created in my mind is that one shall be given a second chance to live ones life in a place where their face is known only because of ones foolishness actions which is bad.Like for example, Zeke ...more
There was about two main characters that this book focuses around. Mostly it is about Kate and her copping with her mother's death by being hit by a drunkard. That drunkard is actually the second one that it talks about as the story opens who is Zeke. Zeke Floyd Dexter, sentenced for prision and got an early released. Trying to start fresh. Kate who just can't move on.

I really liked how the her dad knew what to do to keep them survived and how there was the "bridge" that Kate wanted to finish fo
Connie T.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kate is a 15 year old, unable to move on after her mother's death in a car accident three and a half years ago. Zeke is the young man responsible for that death. Now, after spending the intervening years in prison, Zeke is making his way home. Concurrently the freak, but true, Blizzard of 1941 is about to arrive. Naylor brings these three elements together in a taut story of grief, forgiveness, determination, and healing.

Given the synopsis of the book, I thought I knew how things would play out
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I thought this book was good. I am gonna say it's good because it was just one of those books that was very slow paced and was just taking a while to get to the "action". This book has a very good meaning to it. Kate Sterling is a girl who lost her mother because a guy named Zeke had killed her. He had just got out of prison that day when a terrible, terrible blizzard had struck in North Dakota. When he gets trapped in the snow a very nice man decides to help in. He basically tears his car apart ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Blizzard's Wake is a disappointment, especially when compared to Naylor's other works. There's just something... very dull about this book. The setup for the conflict is easily most of the book and wholly unnecessary, very much reading like a sad attempt to hit word count. The rest of Blizzard's Wake doesn't compensate for this early drag, the following conflict unfolding in a manner predictable even to young readers.

There are important lessons in Blizzard's Wake--that a horrible mistake does no
Oct 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone anywhere
Shelves: 9th-grade
This book is about this girl named Zeke Dexter when she was younger years and what happened. She really can get the idea of her head that she acually killed her mom. Even though how ever many times she tries not to think about it, the idea would not leave her head.As i went deeper in to the book Zeke's friend Kate helped her with her problem. Also the thought keeps haunting and coming back to her. She always gets hurt and the person/thing would not rest until shes(Zeke) is dead too. But after so ...more
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting story about a girl who learns to forgive. It's set about the time of world ward 2, but what I came to realize was that though it takes place a few decades ago, I wasn't made completly aware of the time period. Sure, I knew when it was, but what I mean is that the story was relatable and real. It didn't focus too heavily on the time. It focused mostly on the girl. The man that had killed her mother while drunk driving, has been released from prison, and got caught in a snow ...more
Lynn O
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
historical fiction, realistic fiction. The story, while set around an event that happened as WWII was gathering speed in Europe, isn't really about the event (a huge blizzard) as much as it is about the main character and her response to a face to face confrontation with the man who killed her mother in a drunk driving accident. I didn't think I'd enjoy this as much as I did, but then Phyllis Reynolds Naylor really is quite a storyteller. It was well-researched, so there weren't any anachronisms ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good book! I will also add the summary on the back of the book! I think everyone should read this book.

Kate Sterling has lost four years of her life to grief and anger. Zeke Dexter has lost four years of his life as well- in jail for the accident that killed Kate's mother. Just out of prison, Zeke wants to put the past behind him, but a freak blizzard makes him a prisoner once again-he of Kate, and Kate of him.
Kate fears she will never be able to overcome the anger that has cons
Ameera W
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly Well Written
I really felt the emotional pain the characters went through. Poor Kate, struggling to accept what was said during her last conversation with her mother. That was a heartbreaking part. Zeke, coming home to find his house abandoned, burnt to the ground. I will try to exclude spoilers, but let me tell you: this book is truly incredible. Appropriate for any age, although I read it when I was 11 or so.
I've never been a huge Phyllis Reynolds Naylor fan, but this book is one of
Sandra Strange
Kate, nearing 16, is consumed with hatred for Zeke Dexter, the young drunk driver who killed her mother. He is released from prison and makes his way back to their home town in time to be caught in the (actual) midwestern blizzard of March 1941. In the background of prewar deprivations and threats and the historical storm, Kate must work out her hatred through salvation in duty, compassion and forgiveness. The action is a little far fetched, relying too much on coincidence, but features a really ...more
Lorianne Frisbie
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I think it was a great book. I loved how she pulled it all together at the end. It is a story that makes you re-think some of your suppositions. How would I feel if this happened to me? It is a growing up story and coming to terms with things beyond your control. Forgiveness and the biggest part a shedding of a glimmer of light on how to do so yourself. Especially when young and life seems so unfair. Great perspective and life lesson. Don't really understand how others said they couldn't get int ...more
Jun 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Preteen and up
Recommended to Elaine by: Read it for a book club
Review from 2004

Phyllis Naylor has a way of writing that makes you just want to keep reading. That, to me, is a good writer. My favorite characters were prabably Jesse and Zeke. I felt sorry for Zeke and I thought it was cool the way he helped build the bridge. You never get to know Zeke's reaction when he gets the letter. At first I was disappointed, but now I can makeup my own! The bridge sounds really cool!
Dec 19, 2017 added it
the book blizzards wake is a historical fiction book. blizzards make was a very good book that was about a boy named zeke that was drinking and killed a lovely lade that belonged to a family of a husband and two children. after zeke gets out of jail there is a snow storm and he gets caught in it with the family. and slowly regrets what he did. what the other is trying to get to you in dint make decisions that you will regret because in the story zeke regrets the collision he caused.
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Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born in Anderson, Indiana, US on January 4, 1933.

Her family were strongly religious with conservative, midwestern values and most of her childhood was spent moving a lot due to her father's occupation as a salesman.

Though she grew up during the Depression and her family did not have a lot of money, Naylor stated that she never felt poor because her family owned good boo
More about Phyllis Reynolds Naylor