Monday, February 08, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: Blizzard!


Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America. By Jim Murphy. 2000. Scholastic. 136 pages.

On Saturday, March 10, 1888, the weather from Maine on down to Maryland was clear and unusually warm.

Oh what a difference a day makes! Reading Blizzard! made me cold...and hungry...and thankful to be living in the modern world. Not that weather forecasters always get it right. Even now. But still. Jim Murphy's Blizzard! is about a great snowstorm--the great snowstorm of 1888. It's focus is mainly on the East Coast, mainly on New York City. Though the great storm was widespread--very widespread. Still, it seemed to hit bigger cities harder. Usually because these "modern" cities had grown more dependent on modern conveniences like daily deliveries.

What did I enjoy about this one? Many things. I found an interesting story, a well-crafted narrative that was engaging. It was rich in detail. (But not in a boring fact-heavy way.) I appreciated Murphy's research. He pulled together some interesting stories, and relied on many different primary materials. There was an immediacy to it that kept me turning pages. There were things that just amazed me. Of course there were parts of this one that were devastating. But. Bad things do happen. Especially in extreme situations like this one. I think the story that effected me most was the story of the Chapell family. It was personal stories like this one that made this one so compelling, so real.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

Beth F 8:24 AM  

This is a great little book. I was so surprised by all the changes that that this storm inspired: national weather service, underground transportation, buried wiring and more. My mini review is here if you're interested.

Jeane 10:58 AM  

I was just going to ask- what did the blizzard change for America? but Beth F answered it for me!

Suko 11:02 AM  

Becky, I felt cold just reading your review of this one!

I'm not sure of the dates, but apparently it was due to a blizzard that the NY subway was built. (I just noticed Beth's review. I will "check it out" as well.)

Jennifer M Nunes 12:32 PM  

I'm not usually much of a nonfiction reader, but this one sounds interesting.

I just started a book review site too!

Jennie 4:12 PM  

What a great one for today! We've just cleared out the 2 feet we got this weekend, but are looking at another 10-20 inches tomorrow!

Last year, I never had to shovel.

Sandra 9:29 PM  

This sounds fascinating, I've heard of this storm but never read much about it. Looks like Maryland is getting whacked pretty hard again right now. Thanks for telling us about this one.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP