02 August 2010

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin

It was a milder than usual morning on the 12th of January 1888. North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska...the people are happy for a break from the winter weather. They begin to go about their day with little care.

Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20. The weather to come later that day brought utter disaster. The storm that is the subject of this book is the same storm written about by Laura Ingalls Wilder, in her books.

This book gets a bit heavy with weather terminology in a couple of chapters. But the author also weaves MANY stories of various immigrants lives throughout the book...don't try to keep them straight, just keep reading. Actually, the second time I read this book I read it aloud to two of our children, ages 11 and 10 at the time. Skip the weather terminology if you must, don't let it stop you from hearing the events of the blizzard and how it affected the people it struck. This is a piece of unpredictable, fascinating, American history.


  1. This on my my TBR shelf--it looks fascinating. Thanks for mentioning that you read it aloud to your 10 & 11 year-olds, I'll keep that in mind!

  2. Melody, remember that you can skip over the heavy meteorological stuff. The kids were patient as I would reach a portion that was laden with terminology and (to them) unnecessary detail, as I glanced ahead to determine where to begin reading alound again. I felt it had great context for them as we'd read the entire Little House series and Wilder's telling of that dreadful blizzard had stayed with them.


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