Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The School Children's Blizzard

The School Children's Blizzard

Donald B. Lemke
Illustrator:  Dave Hoover , Charles Barnett III , Richard Dominguez 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Capstone Press, 1997   ISBN: 978-1429601573

In 1888 Frank and Addie Knieriem lived in a cabin on homestead land in Dakota Territory. On January 12th it was surprisingly mild outside and the children's mother decided that they should go to school. What they did not know what that a storm was brewing to their west. U.S. Signal Corps officers in St. Paul Minnesota knew about the storm but they had no way of warning the pioneer farming families whose homes lay in the storms path.

Sure enough the storm hit Addie and Frank's school with a vengeance and after a time it became clear that it was not going to let up for a while. After their fuel ran out their teacher, Miss Hunt, decided to take her students to a nearby farmhouse. She did not expect the storm outside to be as ferocious as it was however.

Based on period accounts, this excellent Graphic Library title will entertain and enlighten young readers who have never heard of the School Children's Blizzard. Readers will get a sense of how powerless the pioneer families were when the storm hit. As they read they will come to appreciate how lucky they are to live an age where there are T.V.s, radios, and other forms of communication that allow members of the public to prepare for storms and other natural phenomena.

With a well written text and an engaging graphic novel format, this title truly brings history to life.