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The snow fell three graves deep : voices from the Donner party / Allan Wolf.

Wolf, Allan, (author.).

Available copies

  • 3 of 3 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 3 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Moorhead Public Library Y WOL (Text) 33500013303490 New Available -
Moorhead Public Library Y WOL (Text) 33500013303508 New Available -
Thief River Falls Public Library ya WOL (Text) 35500006425928 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780763663247
  • ISBN: 0763663247
  • Physical Description: 399 pages : map ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2020.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
Summary, etc.:
This book recounts one of history's most harrowing - and chilling - tales of survival. In 1846, a group of emigrants bound for California face a choice: continue on their planned route or take a shortcut into the wilderness. Eighty-nine of them opt for the untested trail, a decision that plunges them into danger and desperation and, finally, the unthinkable. This is a retelling of the ill-fated journey of the Donner party across the Sierra Nevadas during the winter of 1846-1847. Narrated by multiple voices, including world-weary, taunting, and all-knowing Hunger itself, this novel-in-verse examines a notorious chapter in history from various perspectives, among them caravan leaders George Donner and James Reed, Donner's scholarly wife, two Miwok Indian guides, the Reed children, a sixteen-year-old orphan, and even a pair of oxen. Comprehensive back matter includes an author's note, select character biographies, statistics, a time line of events, and more. This haunting tale raises questions about moral ambiguity, hope and resilience, and hunger of all kinds.--adapted from description on

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2020 September #1
    *Starred Review* Wolf applies the same narrative treatment he expertly deployed in The Watch That Ends the Night (2011) to another infamous tragedy, that of the Donner Party. With a mixture of poetry and prose, the American settlers' westward journey is narrated by various members of the caravan, including children of the Reed family, Tamzene Donner ("The Scholar"), and, most chillingly, Hunger. Wolf's meticulous research—detailed in a hefty afterword—leeches into every word of his spare, evocative writing, which charts the journey's deterioration from hopeful to harrowing. Also among the tale's voices are two Native guides, who ensure that the deplorable treatment of Native Americans is not erased from the broader story of westward expansion. Though historical fiction, this book is truly slow-burn horror that sees relationships strained, loyalties fractured, minds shattered, and a body count that piles up like the snow relentlessly falling on the trapped travelers. While famous for resorting to cannibalism, the group's decision to eat its dead is agonizingly made and relayed without judgement. Wolf stokes empathy in the reader for these most unfortunate travelers, and those whose fascination is also sparked will want to dig into the book's back matter, which is packed with historical notes, biographies, stats, a time line, and resources on the Donner Party. Another bone-chilling, unshakable success by Wolf. Grades 8-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Allan Wolf is an acclaimed poet and storyteller. Along with his two other historical verse novels, The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic and New Found Land: Lewis and Clark&;s Voyage of Discovery, he is the author of The Blood-Hungry Spleen and Other Poems About Our Parts and the young adult novels Who Killed Christopher Goodman? and Zane's Trace. Allan Wolf lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Subject: Immigrants > Fiction.
Donner Party > History > 19th century > Fiction.
Overland journeys to the Pacific > Fiction.
Survival > Fiction.
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) > Fiction.
California > Fiction.
Immigrants > Juvenile fiction.
Donner Party > Juvenile fiction.
Donner Party > Travel > 1846-1847 > Juvenile fiction.
Donner Party > History > 19th century > Juvenile fiction.
Overland journeys to the Pacific > Juvenile fiction.
California > Juvenile fiction.
Survival > Juvenile fiction.
Novels in verse.
Survival > Fiction.
Donner Party
Novels in verse
Overland journeys to the Pacific
United States > Sierra Nevada
Genre: Young adult fiction.
Biographical fiction
Historical fiction
Juvenile works
Novels in verse
Young adult works
Historical fiction.
Biographical fiction.
Novels in verse.

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