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Discussion of "The Children's Blizzard"

First gathering for the "Wild Weather" Book Discussion series.
When Mar 23, 2011
from 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Where Genealogy Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone 563-875-8912
Attendees Adults
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Wild Weather: Book Discussion Series

Join us on alternating Wednesdays from March 23 thru May 18 @ 7:00 pm for this fascinating discussion series. The five-book series, developed and facilitated by scholar Allison McNeese, focuses on the experiences of people living through dangerous storms. At this first gathering we will be discussing The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin (on the 1888 storm)  From School Library Journal:  That 1888 January day on the northern plains was bright and warm–the first mild weather in several weeks–leading many children to attend school without coats, boots, hats, or mittens. A number of students were caught in the sudden storm that hit later that day. Laskin details this event–the worst blizzard anyone in those parts ever encountered. It not only took the lives of hundreds of settlers, but also formed a significant crack in the westward movement and helped to cause a movement out. The author introduces five pioneer families, beginning with why they left the old country. The personalization of these settlers breathes life into this history and holds readers spellbound. Laskin devotes several chapters to the meteorology of storms, especially this one, and the politics and history of the Army Signal Corps, which ran a fledgling weather service at the time. Readers are then led through the storm and its effects on the featured families as well as on many others. Some teachers kept students at school, burning desks to stay warm overnight; some tried to keep students in but were unsuccessful; and some led them out, not realizing how dangerous it was. A few children and adults who got lost somehow managed to survive covered by snow, then died when they got to their feet in the morning. Laskin explains why, and delves into other effects of prolonged exposure to cold. A gripping story, well told.–Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin (on the 1888 storm)  From School Library Journal:  That 1888 January day on the northern plains was bright and warm–the first mild weather in several weeks–leading many children to attend school without coats, boots, hats, or mittens. A number of students were caught in the sudden storm that hit later that day. Laskin details this event–the worst blizzard anyone in those parts ever encountered. It not only took the lives of hundreds of settlers, but also formed a significant crack in the westward movement and helped to cause a movement out. The author introduces five pioneer families, beginning with why they left the old country. The personalization of these settlers breathes life into this history and holds readers spellbound. Laskin devotes several chapters to the meteorology of storms, especially this one, and the politics and history of the Army Signal Corps, which ran a fledgling weather service at the time. Readers are then led through the storm and its effects on the featured families as well as on many others. Some teachers kept students at school, burning desks to stay warm overnight; some tried to keep students in but were unsuccessful; and some led them out, not realizing how dangerous it was. A few children and adults who got lost somehow managed to survive covered by snow, then died when they got to their feet in the morning. Laskin explains why, and delves into other effects of prolonged exposure to cold. A gripping story, well told.–Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA

 

New participants are welcome to join at any time.  Registration is requested to ensure enough copies of each book are available. For  more details, please call or stop in at the library. Funded by Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

New participants are welcome to join at any time.  Registration is requested to ensure enough copies of each book are available. For  more details, please call or stop in at the library. Funded by Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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