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ANNA’S BLIZZARD by Alison Hart


by Alison Hart

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-56145-349-8
Publisher: Peachtree

In 1888, people suffered one of the worst winters in U.S. history. New York City had its “Great Blizzard” and the high plains were struck by a sudden, life-threatening blizzard in January. Called the “Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” because it caused the deaths of many children who were trapped away from home, Hart tells how a group of Nebraska school children were saved thanks to the actions of 11-year-old Anna Vail. A poor student, she's more comfortable herding sheep and working around the homestead than holding a pencil or reading. She devises a plan to lead the children from the destroyed school, into the icy blinding whiteout and deepening snow. After the dangerous trip, they find a soddy in which to shelter. Perhaps Anna and some of the other characters are too good, and one, too prissy, but readers should identify with Anna and admire her spunk. In addition, readers will learn about the hardships of life on the treeless plains. “More about life on the Prairie in the 1880s” adds information. Could work as a read-aloud, too. (Historical fiction. 8-10)