Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Maddy Rollag struggles with prairie life on her aunt and uncle’s farm in Dakota Territory, but on January 12, 1888, when a blizzard threatens to trap Maddy and her classmates inside their damaged schoolhouse, she finds the courage and strength to lead them to safety. Includes historical note, glossary, and discussion questions.
Release Date: 1st August 2022
Genres: Middle Grade, Historical, Weather, Friendship
Thank you so much to Capstone/ Stone Arch Books and Netgalley for ebook to read and review
Review: This was incredible, what a very scary thing to have to go through and then to be so strong and brave and solve the problems no one else could solve. Just wow, this story was incredible. It was scary, filled with bravery and also so very sad.
Maddy had recently moved to the Dakota Territory from the Minnesota city and has no skills for her new life on the prairie. What started as a clear and perfect morning soon quickly turned into an icy snow storm of hell and no one knows what is the right thing to do.
I honestly loved everything about the book, I am always drawn to prairie stories I love them, this one was so unique and told a very dark, scary side of that with this deadly ice storm blowing through. The details this book went into was incredible and it felt like I was there, it suddenly got so ice cold for me whilst reading and I cannot even imagine how it was for the characters in this story.
Maddy is the only one that can do anything after the storm hits, trapping them in the cold school house. She found so much courage, using her mind to figure out anything she can do to help and then having to make the scariest and hardest decision that they must brave it out in the open prairie to get to safety. It was amazing what she was able to do, how she was able to help them all even through her own fears, but also this story came with some very sad parts too.
This books illustrations were outstanding and so beautiful I loved that we got them every so often within the story. We also got extra facts at the end which I always love, they are always a perfect addition to any book and especially historical ones.
This book would be a perfect addition to anyone learning about, or teaching about prairies days it shows a side that isn’t often considered the roughest of weather and the struggles that they went through, the mass loss of life these storms could bring. It shows how harsh they could be to live on and the realities of these immigrants dreams not being quite as the expected.
It’s such a fascinating and deep story I loved this book and I loved the characters and their bravery through this scary ice storm.
About Author: Julie Gilbert has been writing and publishing since the fourth grade, when she stapled together a series of graphic novels about her cat. Julie is the author of the Dark Waters series from Stone Arch Books, as well as several titles in the Girls Survive series. She also has written Cemetery Songs, a novel for young adults. Julie’s novels consider themes of identity and belonging, often with a healthy dose of fantasy and magic. She lives with her family in Minnesota.
About Illustrator: Wendy Tan is a Chinese-Malaysian illustrator based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Over the past few years, she has contributed to numerous animation productions and advertisements. Now Wendy’s passion for storytelling has led her down a new path: children’s book illustration. When she’s not drawing, Wendy likes to spend time playing with her mixed-breed rescue dog, Lucky.