Winter Thunder

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More About This Textbook


In a blinding blizzard a schoolbus overturns and a young teacher, her seven pupils, and the driver-a mere boy-are stranded in the open country, miles and miles from the nearest ranchhouse. Thus Mari Sandoz introduces a situation that will stretch the limits of human endurance.
The exposed little group is armed with no more than the lunches they started out with and only the clothing required for a normal winter's day. As a killer storm takes hold and the mercury plunges below zero they become desperate. How each character facesthe terrifying prospect of freezing to death is a story that has become a small classic. And because it is based upon fact-the author's niece experienced much the same ordeal in the paralyzing midwestern blizzard of January 1949-it has the ring of undisputed truth.

Winter Thunder has been named by the Reader's Digest as one of the ten best American short novels.

When a school bus overturns in a blinding blizzard, a young teacher and her pupils are stranded miles from anywhere for eight days.

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Editorial Reviews

"Compelling tale, based on fact."—Bookmark
New York Herald Tribune Book Review
"It is a most moving tale of courage and ingenuity, and we sigh with relief when the airplanes come and a doctor is the first to parachute down. Written with biting realism and deep human insight, it is a record of courage well worth preserving."—New York Herald Tribune Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803291614
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1986
  • Pages: 61
  • Sales rank: 522,953
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 0.13 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    If your looking for some treacherous adventure, grab your favorite afghan and help yourself to some really hot chocolate before you sit down to read Winter Thunder written by Mari Sandoz. Sanzdoz is very good at recreating the atmosphere and emotions of the Blizzard of 1949, when a blizzard roared into the state of Nebraska with heaps of snow, sleet and winds of 50 miles an hour. The plot in Winter Thunder displays a similar situation where a pretty young schoolteacher becomes lost in a storm with her eight pupils. The author is very detailed and descriptive with the various challenges and dangers they encounter wandering through the ranch country of the Great Plains. As you read this book you feel a great sense of respect, dignity, and courage for the main character as she attempts survival. Marie Sandoz is a scholarly and well-known writer that began in the 1930¿s and published many books up through the early 1970¿s. She studied at the University of Nebraska and taught in rural schools in Nebraska. Other well-known works are The Horsecatcher, and the widely acclaimed Old Jules, the story of her father. I enjoyed this book and read it at least twice to make sure I didn¿t miss anything. It was relatively short but packed with feelings of different personalities forced into an incredible situation. It really captured the human spirit and its will to exist. There are no pictures but the words offer a very graphic view of the condition of the characters...may I add this book is not for sensitive stomachs. If you need some excitement, give it a chance, I think you¿ll like this book as much as I did!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    It had it's little action but yet it really did not have that special touch of interest. It was to open on ideas and they do not explain some ideas like what the characters felt very clearly. The sickness that appeared on the pupil was very disturbing. They neeeded also add more days and obstacles to the class. Almost all my classmates fell asleep whilwe my teacher was reading it. The only thing that is good about the book is that it describes the hardships of being stranded during a blizzard.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2000

    A Great Book

    My 4th grade teacher read this to my class. Most kids don't like history but this book seemed to grab everyones attention with in the first chapter and had the whole class in tears half way in to the story. I have never read a book that is so emotional before. Now five years later my peers and I still enjoy reading the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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