Children's Literature - Armin A. BrottRemember the storms that buried the East Coast in snow during the Winter of 1995? Well, bad as they were, the Blizzard of 1888 was worse. People were afraid to leave their homes; 80-mile per hour winds tore the roofs off houses; thousands of birds froze to death, and power and phone lines broke. But 12-year-old Milton Daub was looking for an adventure. So he and his father made a pair snowshoes and Milton went out in the snow to shop. An elderly neighbor saw Milton returning from the store and asked to buy some of Milton's milk. Within minutes, Milton was bringing supplies-including lifesaving prescriptions-to his snowbound neighbors. Based on a true story, this is an exciting, suspenseful adventure as well as an educational glimpse into life in the 19th century.
School Library JournalGr 1-3-During the blizzard of 1888, Milton, 12, has an adventurous day on the homemade snowshoes he and his father create that morning. Some cold weather experts might cast aspersions on the facility with which the shoes were made and the ease with which young Milton navigates his Bronx neighborhood in winds up to 80 miles per hour. Nonetheless, the boy is truly a hero for running errands and helping his neighbors. Perhaps some stretching is allowed to make a light easy-to-read story for children. Nancy Levinson's Snowshoe Thompson (HarperCollins, 1992) is a similar tale with similar defects, but it is not touted as an actual recreation of events. A marginal purchase.-Carol A. Edwards, Minneapolis Public Library
Kirkus ReviewsNotes running before and after this true story inform beginning readers of the facts about the Blizzard of 1888, a three- day storm that ravaged the northeastern US. Milton Daub, 12, leaves his home in the South Bronx to buy milk, wearing the snowshoes he and his father have patched together from odds and ends around the house, with a picture from a geography book as a guide. As neighbors in need shout requests for groceries and medications to Milton from their snow-banked, second-story windows, the boy's mission grows. At day's end, he is not only able to turn his unasked-for profits over to his mother but has also saved a life. Wetterer (Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express) and her co-author craft a satisfying volume in the On My Own series, building suspense as the snowshoes disintegrate; Young's illustrations wonderfully evoke old New York City and the storm of a century.
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