Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Prairie Adventure of Sarah and Annie, Blizzard Survivors (History's Kid Hero

The Prairie Adventure of Sarah and Annie, Blizzard Survivors (History's Kid Hero

Marty Rhodes Figley
Illustrator:  Ted Hammond , Richard Pimentel Carbajal 
Historical Fiction Graphic Novel
For ages 7 to 9
Lerner, 2011   ISBN: 978-0761378082

Life on the prairie was not easy for the pioneers who chose to call it home. Since trees were scarce, the early settlers had to build their homes out of sod. Working the land was hard, and the prairies were infamous for their extremes of weather.

On January 12, 1888 the morning was so unseasonably warm that Sarah, her little sister Annie, and their classmates had their lunch outside in the sun. They were happily playing tag when Annie noticed that a big cloud was racing towards them. The children quickly ran into the schoolhouse, and soon the little sod building was being buffeted by a ferocious blizzard.

It was not long before the door was blown in by the wind, but the boys managed to nail it shut. Then the roof started to give way. Snow drifted in, and the children’s teacher, Miss Freeman, decided that they could not stay in the school any longer. They were going to have to walk to her house, which was half a mile away. Though the house was close by, getting there was going to be a huge challenge for the young teacher and her charges.

This story is based on the story of the schoolchildren’s blizzard, which hit the central United States in 1888. The blizzard caused the deaths of many children who tried to get home from school. Miss Freeman was a real person who managed to get all her students to safety, and who was lauded for her courage.

In this Graphic Universe title an introduction and afterword helps readers to better understand what it was like to live on the prairies in the late 1800’s. The account is presented in a graphic novel format, which makes it very accessible to children who are drawn to comic book style stories.