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The Children's Blizzard: A Novel por Melanie…
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The Children's Blizzard: A Novel (original 2021; edição 2021)

por Melanie Benjamin (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
14422146,780 (4.02)3
Membro:Micheller7
Título:The Children's Blizzard: A Novel
Autores:Melanie Benjamin (Autor)
Informação:Delacorte Press (2021), 368 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The Children's Blizzard por Melanie Benjamin (2021)

Adicionado recentemente porArina42, goodreads, eileentoread
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It's a warm spring-like day on January 12, 1888, in the Dakota Territory. There has been a log, cold spell and today was welcomed by most school children wearing lighter clothes. Little was known about weather forecasting but a brutal storm was headed their way.

Two very young teachers, Raina (16) and her sister, Gerda (18) Olsen, have to make important decisions about the children when the storm hits during the afternoon. They are teaching in different areas of the Dakota Territory but all will experience hardships with pain and fear.

This novel is dark and sometimes troubling. Melanie Benjamin does a great job of portraying the innocence of the children, the relationships between the teachers and the children, the side stories involving households, parents, and various personalities. It all seemed so real to me and I didn't want to put the book down. I never lost my interest and can't wait to read another novel by this author. ( )
  pegmcdaniel | Apr 16, 2021 |
The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin tells a fictionalized account of a deadly storm that hit the plains states in 1888. Within the context of this storm, this book paints a picture of a time and a place. Ultimately, the book is also the story of women and the men in their lives. Given the wide net the book casts, there are a lot of characters and stories and a bit too much going on.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2021/04/the-childrens-blizzard.html

Reviewed for NetGalley. ( )
  njmom3 | Apr 4, 2021 |
Seeing that it's about lots of children dying in an epic blizzard, I shouldn't say this was a fun page turner, but it really was. It was compelling historical fiction with some good characters. I knew a bit about this topic, a blizzard in 1888 that popped up unexpectedly on the Nebraska plains, right as schools were letting out. The teachers, usually 15 or 16 year old girls, had to make hard decisions about how best to help their students survive.

The day of the blizzard was the first warm day after a below zero cold snap so everyone was out. People went to towns to stock up on supplies and children went to school dressed for weather in the 30s. In the afternoon, this blizzard popped up with no warning and hundreds of people died in the storm. Teachers often couldn't just wait out the storm in their school houses, because they were shacks with no insulation and not enough fuel. When school houses were damaged or collapsed, teachers had to try to get the students to safety. Some of these teachers made good decisions and some did not. This book focuses on two sisters teaching in different areas of the midwest and their success and mistakes.

Benjamin does a great job creating memorable characters and both describing the storm and its aftermath. She also focuses on the fact that many of these farmers on the plains were immigrants and explores the immigrant experience.

I really liked this. It's a fast read, not great literature, but a great story.

Original publication date: 2021
Author’s nationality: American
Original language: English
Length: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: library kindle
Why I read this: topic caught my eye ( )
  japaul22 | Apr 3, 2021 |
This is not the first historical fiction that I've read about the children's blizzard of 1888, a truly tragic event that caught many by surprise and left a scar on the prairie, and the homesteaders that were left to deal with the aftermath. I was intrigued to read Melanie Benjamin's take on this historic event, and sadly I put down the book a little disappointed.

The Children's Blizzard is a story that is beyond heartbreaking, is every parents worst nightmare, and that foreboding feeling really stuck with me the entire time I was reading. Then you add in the strange side characters that added a creepy off color, and I was left with mixed feelings about the entire novel, especially with how things played out with the sisters, Raina and Gerda.

The novel as a whole felt disjointed, like the puzzle pieces fit, but had to be forced to do so. I struggled throughout to connect to many of the characters, with the exception of sweet Anette, who instantly grasped my heart, and who honestly was the reason I kept reading even when parts of the book dragged on.

The Children's Blizzard is set up in two parts: the blizzard and the aftermath. Part one had me glued to the pages, especially the harrowing details of the children fighting this insane weather event, those precious babies only wanting to get home.

The side stories were what really had this novel off-kilter in my opinion, with characters that had true predator and psychotic tendencies, that made me cringe to my core. I felt like there was too much focus on the fictional homesteaders than on the blizzard itself, each character only based on those that experienced this horrific event, and not on a real person who actually lived it. Selfishness abounds in this story and I really didn't feel like there was enough focus, or respect, for those that were lost in this tragic event. It seems to me that Ms. Benjamin focused too much on the fiction, and not enough on the facts, which is a shame because I think this would've elevated the novel as a whole.

While I was reading The Children's Blizzard my home state of Texas had a record-breaking blizzard come through, and it really put this story into perspective, especially when our power was out for three days, and we had no water. As I read, I was thankful that we live in a time where we can be warned about the weather and can prepare. These poor people had no warning whatsoever and my heart really goes out to the victims of this true and terrifying story.

As far as the novel, I had really high hopes but feel very torn about my feelings and opinions. Not all of the reading was bad, as I stated above, but as a whole it was just okay. There are moments that brought tears to my eyes, and other parts that felt like they weren't cohesive with the rest of the story, and only put there to further sensationalize the narrative. But honestly, the details of the blizzard are horrific enough on their own, and the novel would've been better off without them.

*I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Dell Publishing through NetGalley. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest, and my own. ( )
  cflores0420 | Apr 1, 2021 |
On January 12, 1888, the schoolchildren and families of the Dakota Territory were treated to an unusually mild winter day. Excited to leave their houses, the children reported to school in light coats. After lunchtime, a sudden blizzard struck across the Territory. With little fuel and ramshackle buildings, young, inexperienced school teachers had to decide what to do.

This was a well written and engaging story. Based on true stories and eye-witness accounts, this was a heartbreaking piece of history that needed to be told. Overall, well worth reading. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Apr 1, 2021 |
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