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The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep

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In powerful, vivid verse, the master behind The Watch That Ends the Night 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 dan In powerful, vivid verse, the master behind The Watch That Ends the Night 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. From extraordinary poet and novelist Allan Wolf comes a riveting retelling of the ill-fated journey of the Donner party across the Sierra Nevadas during the winter of 1846-1847. Brilliantly 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. Unprecedented in its detail and sweep, this haunting epic raises stirring questions about moral ambiguity, hope and resilience, and hunger of all kinds.


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In powerful, vivid verse, the master behind The Watch That Ends the Night 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 dan In powerful, vivid verse, the master behind The Watch That Ends the Night 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. From extraordinary poet and novelist Allan Wolf comes a riveting retelling of the ill-fated journey of the Donner party across the Sierra Nevadas during the winter of 1846-1847. Brilliantly 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. Unprecedented in its detail and sweep, this haunting epic raises stirring questions about moral ambiguity, hope and resilience, and hunger of all kinds.

30 review for The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 What a unique way to tell the story of the Donner party. Hunger itself is a narrator and it's function is to explain and fill in the story. It is written in a prose style and we hear from many of those poor, unfortunate people in their own words. I found it surprisingly effective. Can't help but feel for these people, their options were so limited, and they did the best they could with the little they had. Hard to judge them negatively for wanting to keep themselves and their children alive. 3.5 What a unique way to tell the story of the Donner party. Hunger itself is a narrator and it's function is to explain and fill in the story. It is written in a prose style and we hear from many of those poor, unfortunate people in their own words. I found it surprisingly effective. Can't help but feel for these people, their options were so limited, and they did the best they could with the little they had. Hard to judge them negatively for wanting to keep themselves and their children alive. A very different take on this long ago tragedy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    "Hunger does not make choices. Only humans can do that. So do not blame me. Do not blame Hunger. I am merely here to tell the tale." I stumbled upon this unassuming book on netgalley, never having heard of it before. I read the description and was instantly intrigued by the description. A historical fiction told in verse recounting the perilous journey of the Donner Party. I had heard of the Donner Party in a few podcasts, and generally in passing- but had never really explored the intricacies of "Hunger does not make choices. Only humans can do that. So do not blame me. Do not blame Hunger. I am merely here to tell the tale." I stumbled upon this unassuming book on netgalley, never having heard of it before. I read the description and was instantly intrigued by the description. A historical fiction told in verse recounting the perilous journey of the Donner Party. I had heard of the Donner Party in a few podcasts, and generally in passing- but had never really explored the intricacies of it. If you are unaware, the Donner Party was a group of pioneers who after a series of ill-informed choices descend into chaos and eventually cannibalism after they get trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the midst of a cataclysmic snowstorm. I had mostly heard this story told in a horror, ghost story context, focusing heavily on the canablism- and so I assumed that was what this book would be. However, Allan Wolf told the Party's story with dignity and nuance, bring the members to life. "So do not judge them, lest you suffer a similar fate. Instead, let us celebrate that small, yet mighty spark of life. That half-full bucket waiting in the depths of the well. That last bean lingering at the bottom of the empty barrel. Do not judge them. Let them eat." The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep is told in a style Wolf calls narrative pointillism. We hear from many narrators, from children to two Miwok guides, to a pair of oxen to hunger. Each of them had a distinct voice and brought something new to the table. My personal favourites were hunger (reminiscent of the narrator death from the book thief), the native americans and tamzene donner. The majority of the perspectives are told in verse which added a unique twist. It was not simply prose separated by a few enters in between, but creatively done. It added to the story, rather than just being a selling point. "The body will starve in the absence of food. But the soul will starve in the absence of hope. " Despite having the ability to embellish due to its historical fiction label, The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep sticks as true to life as it can. It is clear the amount of research that went into the book, and if you are interested at the end there are almost 50 pages of information. I feel like I learnt so much without ever feeling like I was being force fed statistics and facts. While it may seem like to read this book would be an entirely gloomy and depressing experience- there were points of hope. I won't deny there are many sad and hopeless moments. But overcoming all of that was the remarkable strength of humanity. Yes, many died, but more survived. Of the 81 pioneers trapped in the mountains, more than half of them were children. 68.9% of them survived. Over half of the overall members made it. Overall, this was one of the most unique and interesting books I have read all year. I would recommend it if you think you are in the right mindset, and prepared to keep a various characters and places straight in your mind. I am now beyond excited to read Allan Wolf's backlist, particularly his Titanic recount.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    Woah - this book gave me freaking chills. I remember being fascinated with the horrific fate of the Donner Party when I was younger - but I hadn't given it much thought since. This remarkable telling of events is told in verse, journal entries, letters, and maps. The slow build up of terror guarantees that you won't be able to tear your eyes off the page. Told through multiple perspective: a German immigrant, an orphan boy, an 8 year old, a father, and two indigenous scouts help give this story Woah - this book gave me freaking chills. I remember being fascinated with the horrific fate of the Donner Party when I was younger - but I hadn't given it much thought since. This remarkable telling of events is told in verse, journal entries, letters, and maps. The slow build up of terror guarantees that you won't be able to tear your eyes off the page. Told through multiple perspective: a German immigrant, an orphan boy, an 8 year old, a father, and two indigenous scouts help give this story a well rounded view of the situation. For those that aren't aware - The Donner Party got trapped in the mountains not even 90 miles away from a fort by an extremely early winter. They slowly starved to death and succumbed to cannibalism - it was truly horrific. This book..... is one I will 100% read again and recommend to teens and adults - the notes and the statistics at the end are also wonderful additions. The author really shined a lot on an awful situation and refrained from placing the blame on anyone while still remaining objective. Marvelous storytelling!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    "In the end, Mr. and Mrs. Breen choose to do whatever they must to keep themselves and the children alive. They climb to the surface and harvest the meat. They descend back into the pit. They cook and they eat. But before the eat they still say grace. And while they eat. They weep." This is unlike anything I've ever read. This is a historical fiction YA novel about the journey of The Donner Party through the Sierra Mountains. Told in notes, poems, stories, and narrated by Hunger itself, this book "In the end, Mr. and Mrs. Breen choose to do whatever they must to keep themselves and the children alive. They climb to the surface and harvest the meat. They descend back into the pit. They cook and they eat. But before the eat they still say grace. And while they eat. They weep." This is unlike anything I've ever read. This is a historical fiction YA novel about the journey of The Donner Party through the Sierra Mountains. Told in notes, poems, stories, and narrated by Hunger itself, this book will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about what happened to those people. The back of the book also have detailed resources and notes about each of the family members and people on the excursion. My only critique is that sometimes it was difficult going and back and forth between each of the stories and poems- however, the writing was impeccable and clearly well researched. An interesting read for the winter...

  5. 5 out of 5

    desiree

    #book review Allan Wolf is semi-local author and has been very supportive of our library, coming into town to participate in our Teen Book Fest. I hadn't read his books prior to The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep, but he is regularly on our Battle of the Books Lists, so I expected a lot. He did not disappoint. Snow follows the story of the Donner Party in their trek across the Rockies, the desert, the Sierra Nevadas, and into California. It tells the tale through perspectives of several travelers: Pa #book review Allan Wolf is semi-local author and has been very supportive of our library, coming into town to participate in our Teen Book Fest. I hadn't read his books prior to The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep, but he is regularly on our Battle of the Books Lists, so I expected a lot. He did not disappoint. Snow follows the story of the Donner Party in their trek across the Rockies, the desert, the Sierra Nevadas, and into California. It tells the tale through perspectives of several travelers: Patty Reed, George Donner, even Hunger. Using Hunger as a narrator rationalized the actions of the Donner party. (It was very reminiscent of using Death as a narrator in The Book Thief.) It was an excellent way of explaining why they resorted to cannibalism. Speaking of cannibalism, I can see the question I'll get asked the most: is it gross? The answer is yes and no. There was no joy in what the survivors had to do to survive and the book makes this clear. Is it still gross? Yes. But Wolf tackled it with dignity and compassion. Every time I read a book in verse, it takes me a spell to get over the fact that it’s in verse. The same goes for The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep. In all honesty, I don’t know that narrating some of the characters in verse adds anything to the book but it doesn’t ruin it either. But I can't say enough good about this book. I enjoy historical fiction and I enjoyed this book. The notes at the end were thorough and gave good direction for further reading. There is so much more information out there, if you want to keep reading. I can't wait to see this book make the Battle of the Books list. Many thanks to Candlewick and Edelweiss for the ARC!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Another book about the tragic Donner party of 1846, right? Wrong. This is not just another retelling of the story most of us are acquainted with. This one is told in the manner of a diary, with each page a short entry by one of the key characters in this story, told in first person, which really delivers an emotional punch straight to the gut or the heart, depending on your point of view. From child to adult, we see the journey as it unfolds with every passing day through the eyes of those unfor Another book about the tragic Donner party of 1846, right? Wrong. This is not just another retelling of the story most of us are acquainted with. This one is told in the manner of a diary, with each page a short entry by one of the key characters in this story, told in first person, which really delivers an emotional punch straight to the gut or the heart, depending on your point of view. From child to adult, we see the journey as it unfolds with every passing day through the eyes of those unfortunate souls. The author has taken some liberties here to explain how one situation or another may or may not have taken place, though his research is extensive and his liberties are based on factual evidence. One of the more interesting aspects of this book is the diary entry of "Hunger." Hunger is actually narrating the story, sometimes in broad terms, and sometimes in disquieting detail. Hunger speaks as a detached onlooker as he describes the stages of starvation the human body experiences as it slowly but surely starts to shut down. He watches the decision-making, the humanity, the greed, desperation, courage, kindness, and cruelty and begs the reader not to judge. I've read many books on the Donner party but this one will stay with me for a while because of the very personal rendering of each character's point of view. I found this book to be very moving, unspeakably sad, and beautifully written and in the end, highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Annmarie Sheahan

    4.5/5 "You can be my Beatrice and show me the way through this many-leveled hell when you awake." Nothing gets me like a good Dante allusion. Now, onto my thoughts: Historical Fiction meets novel in verse meets multiple perspectives meets hunger as one of these perspectives...this was wild. And bleak. And just really really really well-done. One of the most quality and unique young adult historical fiction texts I have encountered in years. Highly recommend. Side-note: Pretty sure Allan Wolf wins 4.5/5 "You can be my Beatrice and show me the way through this many-leveled hell when you awake." Nothing gets me like a good Dante allusion. Now, onto my thoughts: Historical Fiction meets novel in verse meets multiple perspectives meets hunger as one of these perspectives...this was wild. And bleak. And just really really really well-done. One of the most quality and unique young adult historical fiction texts I have encountered in years. Highly recommend. Side-note: Pretty sure Allan Wolf wins for having the best definition of multiple perspectivity I have ever encountered. He refers to the framework of "The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep" as a form of "narrative pointillism", going on to discuss it as "creating a picture or a story one point at a time. Each point has its own unique perspective. And only by stepping back to consider all the points together will the picture or story become complete." Simple. Brilliant. Yes. Now I just want to teach a class entitled "Narrative Pointillism in YA Literature"...but I digress.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    This was put on my radar by a fellow librarian friend, who knows my interest in both YA and grotesque history. It's a nice idea, but I think if I were going to introduce the story of the Donner Party to a teen, this wouldn't be the ideal starting place. I don't mind multiple points of view, but also I don't love blank verse, and the narrow focus on just a few of the members doesn't get the heart of it. This book is obviously excellently researched and there is an extensive bibliography at the en This was put on my radar by a fellow librarian friend, who knows my interest in both YA and grotesque history. It's a nice idea, but I think if I were going to introduce the story of the Donner Party to a teen, this wouldn't be the ideal starting place. I don't mind multiple points of view, but also I don't love blank verse, and the narrow focus on just a few of the members doesn't get the heart of it. This book is obviously excellently researched and there is an extensive bibliography at the end, which recommends The Indifferent Stars Above, which I read and LOVED a couple years ago, and executes the psychology of the various members better, even though it's nonfiction. I literally never stop thinking about how mindbreaking it is to draw cannibalism lots or the statistics about who is most likely to die of starvation. Final word: if you already know about this history, I guess there's something to enjoy, but I wouldn't start here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erikka

    Yet another fantastic novel in verse with multiple POVs (narrative pointillism, as he calls it) from Allan Wolf. The most impressive thing about his works is the sheer volume of quality research. There are nearly fifty pages of documentation in the back, and I'm sure that doesn't even scratch the surface. We meet a representative of each major group of the Donner party, as well as some side characters and our narrator, Hunger. By the end of the book, you start to sympathize or even empathize wit Yet another fantastic novel in verse with multiple POVs (narrative pointillism, as he calls it) from Allan Wolf. The most impressive thing about his works is the sheer volume of quality research. There are nearly fifty pages of documentation in the back, and I'm sure that doesn't even scratch the surface. We meet a representative of each major group of the Donner party, as well as some side characters and our narrator, Hunger. By the end of the book, you start to sympathize or even empathize with these poor people, flaws and all. Most of the sympathy is because of Hunger, subtly reminding you that you could easily have been driven to the same acts of morally questionable dining. I also enjoyed the step by step narration of the rescue efforts, which were honestly fairly successful. Of the 89 people on the journey, 48 survived. That's not a low success rate and speaks a lot to human survival instincts and dedication to staying alive and keeping others alive. We only remember that they ate people, not that they saved people as well. I highly recommend this, and honestly, it's a great summer read. As I sit here melting in near 100 degree Ohio July heat, snow three graves deep is frankly a refreshing mental vacation. A really depressing one, but still. Finally, can we just take a second to appreciate the brilliance and too-early snuffed out light that was Tamzene Donner? She was my favorite perspective because she was so intelligent and well-educated at a time when that wasn't a priority for women/daughters. I rooted for her the whole book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    I don't know why I'm reading all these tragic historical narratives lately, but this book was so powerful and so informative. Just wow, the prose! The author notes in the back were legit too. I don't know why I'm reading all these tragic historical narratives lately, but this book was so powerful and so informative. Just wow, the prose! The author notes in the back were legit too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brenna Clark

    Most everyone knows the story of the Donner party-- from historians to thrill-seekers alike. I myself am the latter; having always been morbidly interested in the humans that were so hellbent on survival that they made the hardest decision of their lives... which of course, was whether or not to feast on the flesh of their friends, lovers, and fellow travelers. Having read many a fictional account of this dangerous journey, I am always excited to see what a fresh eye will make of the tale. What Most everyone knows the story of the Donner party-- from historians to thrill-seekers alike. I myself am the latter; having always been morbidly interested in the humans that were so hellbent on survival that they made the hardest decision of their lives... which of course, was whether or not to feast on the flesh of their friends, lovers, and fellow travelers. Having read many a fictional account of this dangerous journey, I am always excited to see what a fresh eye will make of the tale. What Wolf has brought to the table that I have never seen before is a stunning amount of empathy woven into the most beautiful verse that actually made me take pause and consider the plight of these families instead of just satiating my gory curiosity. It was a brilliant show of emotion, history, and a dive into the ever-present eye of Hunger. For those who may not be aware, the Donner party was made up of a hearty band of emigrants who were attempting to make it to California to settle untouched lands. They ended up using an untested route that was said to cut precious time off of their trek before winter hit, but through a series of mishaps and wrong turns, the group of farmers and their families soon found themselves stuck in the earliest snow any of them had ever seen. From there, things quickly became dire and dark. Companions were left behind, animals were sacrificed, and as the food started to run out and the pioneers themselves started to die from exposure and starvation-- their loss was treated as the survivors' gain. Man, woman, and child alike were carved into as if they were hogs led to the slaughter. It was because of this ultimate sacrifice that any of the remaining party made it out alive, as the rescue efforts to retrieve them were scantily outfitted and were only able to take a few members at a time. I am such a sucker for unique storytelling devices, and Wolf's triumph is littered with them. There are accounts from many prominent figures in the Donner party, all told in a form of poetry specific to them. My absolute favorites had to be Patty (the Angel), whose vignettes were all told through prayers, and the slowly deteriorating voices of Buck and Bright (Baptiste's prized oxen) who sang a back and forth dirge. The flow between characters was seamless, and you truly fell in love with these characters. Each loss was heavily felt, and as their names were added to the snowfall between chapters, the rising tension was as present as the undeniable hunger. Which, speaking of Hunger, I thought that it was a masterful move to use the feeling as a narrator of sorts. Who better to tell the story of these wayward wanderers than the presence that fuels us all? It is in every decision we make. Our hearts hunger for connection, our minds hunger for challenge, and our stomachs hunger for sustenance in an undeniable animalistic way that cannot be ignored. All in all, this saga of endurance and desperation that has trickled down through the centuries remains unchanged, but Wolf has breathed new life into it. Not only did he painstakingly use actual letters and accounts from the party's own members, but he also took the time to lay these works out for the reader at the end of the novel-- including some biographies of the surviving members to show how their lives progressed after the conclusion of the nightmare. It was such a personal thing to read, which I think the verse greatly lends itself to. There is a bevy of pain, loss, and longing within these pages that I couldn't help but identify with, and for the first time, I feel like I am truly seeing these adventurers for who they are, instead of the acts that they committed. The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep is a calculated plea for empathy, which is something I feel like we all need right now. I recommend this book with full faith that readers with all kinds of hunger will enjoy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep by Allan Wolf is a fascinating account of the Donner expedition as told in verse. Readers experience the story primarily through the eyes of members of the party - everyone from party leaders to their children - but also through other unique perspectives, such as a pair of oxen. The most notable narrator is Hunger, a personified representation of the constant and ever-increasing pressure of the party's gradual starvation and increased desperation. Although so many The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep by Allan Wolf is a fascinating account of the Donner expedition as told in verse. Readers experience the story primarily through the eyes of members of the party - everyone from party leaders to their children - but also through other unique perspectives, such as a pair of oxen. The most notable narrator is Hunger, a personified representation of the constant and ever-increasing pressure of the party's gradual starvation and increased desperation. Although so many various narrators can be difficult to trace, Wolf helps this by giving each primary character a title, such as The Princess or The Scholar, which helps keep everyone as organized as possible. In addition to the vast number of characters to remember, there are constant mentions of various locations and paths which can be challenging. As I read an ARC, many features of the finished copy aren't yet available. While the ARC indicated plans to add a map, I feel this work would benefit from several maps showing a progression throughout the journey. It's difficult enough tracking a mental picture of the trek across the country, much less when considering where various groups of people are in relation to others. There were many references to various campsites or one group pulling ahead away from the others. Perhaps it's just me, but visualizing the paths and the locations of each character was often challenging. Experiencing this story as a novel in verse was a really unique experience. The format of the poems was very different than expected. I especially enjoyed the poems that included repeated chanting verses or characters speaking the same lines but relating to different circumstances. These always felt very effective as storytelling tools. The visual poetry in the snow poems was striking and always felt like a little gutpunch regardless of whether the page was full of snowflakes or featured a single lonely flake. Definitely a cool technique to connect readers emotionally. Three Graves is obviously well-researched. Readers can tell this from the writing itself, but I also appreciate the thorough notes and citations provided by Wolf. He credits his sources, but also explains in detail the areas where he had to fill gaps of details lost to time or make an educated guess. He is very transparent about what aspects of the story were entirely fabricated, which I respect and of which there are very few. The end notes include additional features, such as select character bios describing what happened to them after the events of the story, stat sheets outlining various statistics from the journey, and much more. I found this read incredibly fascinating. I tore through the pages, eager to find out what would happen next. I quickly found myself emotionally invested in certain characters and their plight. All of that said, I'll warn that this read isn't for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Deaths and vividly described injuries abound and unsavory proteins are harvested and eaten in the name of survival. The entire book is a study in what true desperation does to the human mind and spirit. The horrifying reality of what these people lived through was borderline overwhelming at times. I'm grateful to have experienced this read and learned more about the Donner-Reed party, but I can't say the journey through this book was easy. Overall verdict: Quick, approachable nonfiction on a fascinating topic. Solid pace. Intriguing characters. Emotionally stressful and often more-than-a-little gross, but never gratuitously so. Would recommend for mature(ish) readers who enjoy history, adventures, survival stories, and general wilderness lit. Special thanks to Edelweiss+ and Candlewick Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This one was a 4.5 for me, and I ended up enjoying it just as much as I did the author's earlier The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic and New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery. Clearly gifted with words and insight into the motivations of humans, Allan Wolf relies on a technique that he calls "narrative pointillism" to tell the story of the Donner Party and its journey across the Sierra Nevada range during the winter of 1846-1847. The book opens with a want ad, This one was a 4.5 for me, and I ended up enjoying it just as much as I did the author's earlier The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic and New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery. Clearly gifted with words and insight into the motivations of humans, Allan Wolf relies on a technique that he calls "narrative pointillism" to tell the story of the Donner Party and its journey across the Sierra Nevada range during the winter of 1846-1847. The book opens with a want ad, which is followed by musings from Hunger, and then follows the travelers beginning in May when they are on the Oregon Trail. The original party splits into two bands with one following the traditional trail to California, and the other trying a little-tested shortcut. The decision to follow Hastings Cutoff is a mistake since the wagons struggle to pass along the way, and the travelers must cut trees in order to build a road. This adds considerable time to their trip, and the Donner Party is unable to get across the mountains before snow falls. They have no choice but to hunker down for the winter and hope for the best. Although they have some supplies, those steadily dwindle, and efforts to send out calls for help and rescue are thwarted by the weather and difficulty in travel. James Reed, who has been banished from the group due to an incident in which he killed a man, finally does make his way back to where the others are waiting. The reliance of so many voices, including various adults and children, and pages that are sprinkled only with the words "snow" repeatedly and the names of those who have died puts readers right into the heart of those camps as they grow hungrier and more desperate. Ultimately, many of the adults make the choice to slake their ravenous hunger by eating human flesh, the remains of their comrades. The author goes to great lengths not to judge those who made that choice, even suggesting that it's impossible to know what each of us would do in such a situation, especially if we thought that doing so was our only chance at surviving. I felt just as desperate as those men, women, and children, and as I looked at the map that was included in the front matter, I couldn't help but think about how they were so near and yet so far from their goal--a little under 100 miles--and yet so utterly helpless. Here is masterful, compelling storytelling that might leave some readers feel a bit squeamish but adds immeasurably to what is shared in history books. Today's travelers are not likely to experience anything like what the Donner party suffered, a fact for which I'm grateful, but as they pass by this region, after reading this book, they are sure to be grateful for modern conveniences and to wonder if they themselves would have survived that westward journey. I appreciated the fact that some of what has been included was based on primary sources and some arose from the author's imagination. The sections narrated by Hunger are especially effective as Hunger relates various types of hunger and even describes what happens to the body when it is starving. While most of us might think we've been hungry at times, most likely we have never experienced hunger like this, and our own hunger can easily be satisfied by opening the refrigerator or taking a quick trip to the convenience store or fast food restaurants. This book is a great addition to any collection devoted to the westward expansion movement even while it acknowledges the idea of Manifest Destiny and affords only brief mention to Native American tribes along the way.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Skip Green

    I sometimes feel like I want to be able to give books two different ratings: one for how I personally feel about the book as a critical reader, and another for what I think about the book as young adult literature. I'm a little divided on this one. For young adult reading, I have no problem giving this book five stars. It is informative, gripping, well-researched, and doesn't resort to using the shock value of cannibalism to pander to readers. As a junior high language arts teacher, I would love I sometimes feel like I want to be able to give books two different ratings: one for how I personally feel about the book as a critical reader, and another for what I think about the book as young adult literature. I'm a little divided on this one. For young adult reading, I have no problem giving this book five stars. It is informative, gripping, well-researched, and doesn't resort to using the shock value of cannibalism to pander to readers. As a junior high language arts teacher, I would love to get this book into my students' hands so we can talk about the many narrative decisions Allan Wolf had to make in writing such a powerful piece of historical fiction. As a critical reader, however, there are a few things that would maybe keep me from unreservedly giving this book five stars. I have a problem with some of the poetry in the book. In particular, I dislike the passages written as kind of a call-and-response between characters, or when two characters' thoughts are being recorded in a back-and-forth format on the page in verse, often culminating in the characters saying or thinking the last line in unison. It comes off a little too like a Broadway musical. I kept thinking "Limited engagement! Donner Disaster: The Musical! Featuring the hit song "I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing!" I also feel like there is a little bit of an effort to moralize by imposing 21st century ethical views onto 19th century characters. Wolf says, in the Notes following the narrative, that he avoids this, but I think it creeps through in a few places, nonetheless. If it weren't for my critical review being tempered by perspective as a teacher, I'd probably give this book four stars instead of five. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I've read a couple of non-fiction books dealing with the Donners, The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny, by Michael Wallis, and Men to Match My Mountains: The Opening of the Far West 1840-1900, by Irving Stone, and I feel like The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep does a fantastic job balancing the various demands of dealing with such a heavy subject in a way that would be compelling to young adults without stooping to sensationalism. I'm excited to get a copy for my classroom and pitch it to my students.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Tournas

    This well researched book of historical fiction gives voices to the real and imagined emigrants of the tragic Donner Party Expedition of 1846-47. Using first person poetic verse and first person expository narrative by one of the voices, Hunger, makes the telling very personal. Beginning with a copy of the original advertisement in the Springfield, Illinois Sangamo Journal, and Hunger’s prologue which starts “None of this is my fault” readers know they are going to experience events which beggar This well researched book of historical fiction gives voices to the real and imagined emigrants of the tragic Donner Party Expedition of 1846-47. Using first person poetic verse and first person expository narrative by one of the voices, Hunger, makes the telling very personal. Beginning with a copy of the original advertisement in the Springfield, Illinois Sangamo Journal, and Hunger’s prologue which starts “None of this is my fault” readers know they are going to experience events which beggar belief and morality. Each short chapter heading gives the name of one of the nine characters given voice, along with the location along the trail, which one can follow thanks to an excellent map at the beginning. Each of the six parts of the book announces the span of months in which the the chapters take place. The author give children, teen and adult travelers voices, and explains at the end how much information he was able to glean about each character to give them authenticity and how much he made up. One really gets a sense of the different characters and how they deal with the harrowing circumstances of an unvetted trail through wilderness and desert, with hunger constantly on their heels. The occasional concrete poem consisting of the word “snow” and the names of the many people who perish during that part of the book are especially haunting. The character of Hunger provides information along the way, and a really interesting perspective on the morality of the cannibalism that kept half of the travelers from dying before they reached California. I don’t know why I decided to read this during a snowstorm. I felt haunted and sickened by the story, but in a way that indicates that the author really knew what he was doing as he wrote these people into life. A huge amount of back matter continues to inform the reader about the writing style, about the historical characters, about the intersection with Native peoples along the route, mortality statistics, a timeline, family groupings, information about the documents excerpted, glossaries of terms, and sources. So, even though this book may not be acceptable for a research paper, it provides a huge amount of documentation for a student to explore.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shanon

    While the storyline was not as strong as other historical fiction novels in verse, I think the well-researched history makes up for any lack of deep characterization or poetic writing. The writing style may have felt closer to non-fiction than fiction at times (specifically when Hunger acts more as expository narrator to move along plot rather than the omniscient personification it strived to be), but considering this author had to balance 80+ characters into a narrative based on true events, I While the storyline was not as strong as other historical fiction novels in verse, I think the well-researched history makes up for any lack of deep characterization or poetic writing. The writing style may have felt closer to non-fiction than fiction at times (specifically when Hunger acts more as expository narrator to move along plot rather than the omniscient personification it strived to be), but considering this author had to balance 80+ characters into a narrative based on true events, I think some graces can be given when the plot dragged itself through the desert or got stuck in the mud (the first 190 pages). The second half of the book (yes-we're talking the cannibal drama) will surely keep readers on the edge of their feet to see who makes it out alive and uneaten while creating an unsettling tone as the weather outside turns to winter. For those who struggle to read full length novels at a high school level, this book is broken up into page by page poems or prose, making it easy to read in small portions or having a small group of readers each take a different character to read out loud. For teenage readers who grew up reading I Survived, this text is a natural progression into YA lit, filled with maps and almost 50 pages of historical notes at the end, which truly makes the reader appreciate the efforts Allan Wolf has gone to represent history as fairly and truthfully as humanly possible in his narrative. All in all, for readers both young and adult alike--this book is guaranteed to teach you something, and for that, it is worth a read. Will be looking into reading Wolf's other YA books now as well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sally Kruger

    I heard about this book at the virtual NCTE/ALAN 2020 conference and was lucky to get a copy in my box of books. Thank you Candlewick Press! To be honest the title was what captured my attention. When I learn it was about the Donner Party, I was even more intrigued. The book is a fictional account of the treacherous journey from Nebraska to California. Based on facts that were recorded and uncovered over time, the book tells of the emigrants' journey through multiple voices of members of the grou I heard about this book at the virtual NCTE/ALAN 2020 conference and was lucky to get a copy in my box of books. Thank you Candlewick Press! To be honest the title was what captured my attention. When I learn it was about the Donner Party, I was even more intrigued. The book is a fictional account of the treacherous journey from Nebraska to California. Based on facts that were recorded and uncovered over time, the book tells of the emigrants' journey through multiple voices of members of the groups that made up the party. Another interesting part to the tale is the narrator of the journey - Hunger. Hunger's portion of the story is told in prose in a voice that is matter-of-fact with no excuses for the part it plays in the deaths of many due to the environment and other circumstances related to the more than year long, perilous adventure. The voices of the Donner Party members is told through verse which leaves the reader with a lasting impression of the harsh, deadly conditions many didn't survive. The haunting cover art illustrates the people huddling around a fire in the life-threatening cold and snow. Imagine 18 feet of snow, little to no food, inadequate clothing, and poor shelter for months on end. Author Allan Wolf captures the fear, the pain, and the lack of hope felt by these brave folk as they struggled to trudge their way to what they were promised would be a better life. Miraculously some did survive due to the bravery of their fellow travelers and their pure will to see the journey to its end. THE SNOW FELL THREE GRAVES DEEP is definitely the YA historical fiction title of the year as far as this reader is concerned.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Traci

    So if someone had told me at the beginning of 2020 that one of the most intriguing books I'd read this year was a novel in verse about the Donner Party, I would have laughed and moved on with my life without a second thought. But... one of the most intriguing books I've read this year is a novel in verse about the Donner Party. If you don't know what the Donner Party is... it's Manifest Destiny gone wrong. It's the American Dream become a nightmare. It's a real-life horror story about a group of So if someone had told me at the beginning of 2020 that one of the most intriguing books I'd read this year was a novel in verse about the Donner Party, I would have laughed and moved on with my life without a second thought. But... one of the most intriguing books I've read this year is a novel in verse about the Donner Party. If you don't know what the Donner Party is... it's Manifest Destiny gone wrong. It's the American Dream become a nightmare. It's a real-life horror story about a group of pioneers who got trapped by a snowstorm and resorted to cannibalism. It's horrific, terrifying, disgusting, fascinating, and to some extent... still a mystery. No one knows for sure what exactly happened, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding certain members of the expedition. The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep is written with revolving points of view from several members of the ill-fated expedition. Tamzene Donner is an especially unique perspective. Virginia Reed is another. You get the perspective of Hunger, the least poetic parts of the novel but still haunting. You don't spend too long dwelling on each person's narrative, but you still start to feel for them, and it's still... very intense. This is atmospheric and creepy and so, so well done. I knew what was going to happen, but I couldn’t stop reading until the very last word. I especially loved the historical notes at the end. Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    The tragic story of the Donner Party is disturbing and yet grotesquely captivating in much the same way as a train wreck. In this new take on the events surrounding this ill-fated party of travelers and their futile 1846 attempt to journey to California before the chills of winter, poet and storyteller Allan Wolf puts a new twist on tale by writing in verse. Among the many voices heard in this work are party leader James Reed, his two daughters Virginia and Patty, Tamzene Donner, German immigran The tragic story of the Donner Party is disturbing and yet grotesquely captivating in much the same way as a train wreck. In this new take on the events surrounding this ill-fated party of travelers and their futile 1846 attempt to journey to California before the chills of winter, poet and storyteller Allan Wolf puts a new twist on tale by writing in verse. Among the many voices heard in this work are party leader James Reed, his two daughters Virginia and Patty, Tamzene Donner, German immigrant Ludwig Keseberg, Native American scouts Luis and Salvador and orphan Baptiste Trudeau (and his two oxen); as well as several intangible entities such as The Hastings Cutoff, snow and, most hauntingly, Hunger. I've commented on other works about how reading about historical tragedies in hindsight can be anxiety-inducing, with the reader fervently and yet illogically hoping that somehow the ending will be different. In the case of the Donner Party, there were a number of poor decisions on the part of the leaders, compounded by a series of misfortunes that simply came down to bad luck. I came to this book having already read two other works about the Donner Party, and therefore already had a level of familiarity which made it a bit easier to keep the characters straight. This is a fascinating read. I also highly recommend another of Wolf's historical novels in verse, The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic. I received this ARC via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    This novel in verse is the latest retelling of the Donner Party and their fate in the Sierra Nevadas during the winter of 1846-1847. Poet Allan Wolf gives voice to members of the ill-fated party in his book: James Reed and George Donner, leaders of the doomed caravan; Baptiste Trudeau, a 16-year-old orphan taken under George and Tamzene Donner's wing; Salvador and Luis, two Miwok Indian guides; Ludwig Keseberg, a haunted man; Patty and Virginia Reed, two of James Reed's children, and more are al This novel in verse is the latest retelling of the Donner Party and their fate in the Sierra Nevadas during the winter of 1846-1847. Poet Allan Wolf gives voice to members of the ill-fated party in his book: James Reed and George Donner, leaders of the doomed caravan; Baptiste Trudeau, a 16-year-old orphan taken under George and Tamzene Donner's wing; Salvador and Luis, two Miwok Indian guides; Ludwig Keseberg, a haunted man; Patty and Virginia Reed, two of James Reed's children, and more are all here, telling their stories in haunted verse. Hunger narrates the story, giving readers familiar with Markus Zusak's The Book Thief a familiar touch. Hunger is dispassionate and yet evokes emotion in the narration. Beginning as the party begins experiencing misfortune, the voices grow more desperate and the verse, more haunting, as the snow falls; the party's desperation is palpable. Moments dedicated to the snowfall include names of the fallen sprinkled in with the repeated word, "snow". Comprehensive back matter includes an author's note, biographies, statistics, a timeline of events, and resources for more reading and research. It's an incredibly detailed work of historical fiction and nonfiction all at once.  The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep has starred reviews from Booklist and BookPage.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Absolutely amazing. Allan Wolf is one of the best kept secrets in the YA lit industry. He wrote the incredible The Watch That Ends the Night ten years ago, and I still tell everyone I know to read it. I wasn't sure this one could live up to that unforgettable retelling of the Titanic story, but it does. I was immediately interested first because Allan Wolf wrote the book and also because it's about the Donner party's ill-fated excursion in 1846. Just as he did with Watch, Wolff has meticulously r Absolutely amazing. Allan Wolf is one of the best kept secrets in the YA lit industry. He wrote the incredible The Watch That Ends the Night ten years ago, and I still tell everyone I know to read it. I wasn't sure this one could live up to that unforgettable retelling of the Titanic story, but it does. I was immediately interested first because Allan Wolf wrote the book and also because it's about the Donner party's ill-fated excursion in 1846. Just as he did with Watch, Wolff has meticulously researched this topic and told the story through alternating perspectives of various true characters with beautiful writing and escalating suspense. The style of the writing in verse adds to the tension, and the story is narrated in second person POV by Hunger. Loved it! Again, as with Watch, he includes pages of factual information at the end about the people, the timeline, the numbers, additional reading, etc. (I would also like to mention that Allan Wolf graciously Facetimed with my class a few years ago after students read The Watch That Ends the Night. He is not only talented, but funny and nice as well!) I read this from 10:00 this morning and finished at 5:30 with one break in between. I could not step away. I will be talking about this book for a long time and reading more about the Donner party now that I've been introduced to the story with this brilliant novel.

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

    I hated learning about history in school (had a parent who forced it down my throat). And I hate reading history books (said parent forced me to read dry, dusty tomes and then write book reports on them). I only mention this so you'd understand the mentality I had starting this book. The book selected a pretty gruesome event in American history, which is part of its macabre appeal. In 1846, a group of pioneers known as the Donner-Reed party consisting of 81 members, over half of which were child I hated learning about history in school (had a parent who forced it down my throat). And I hate reading history books (said parent forced me to read dry, dusty tomes and then write book reports on them). I only mention this so you'd understand the mentality I had starting this book. The book selected a pretty gruesome event in American history, which is part of its macabre appeal. In 1846, a group of pioneers known as the Donner-Reed party consisting of 81 members, over half of which were children under 18 years of age, set out for California, got trapped by a snow storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and turned to cannibalism when their supplies ran out. Only 45 survived. Hunger as a narrator is great device. As a character, Hunger reminds us that it can not make choices, only humans can make choices. Which really just ups the creep factor of the story. The prose writing style was lyrical and visually interesting. It served as a beautiful balance to the gruesome subject matter. For example, there's a part where the words just starts to fade, as the character allows their thoughts to slip away from reality. I really enjoyed this book. Based on actual historic events, this story is well researched, and not at all boring!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    What I liked: I liked having the different perspectives constantly changing every page or so. I also liked that there were bit of the story told by Hunger (I got Book Thief Vibes). I found myself looking forward to reading certain character's perspective. I liked the central themes of hunger throughout the book, it tied everything together. The author clearly did his research on this area of history and it was nice to learn about something that isn't talked too much about in school. What I didn' What I liked: I liked having the different perspectives constantly changing every page or so. I also liked that there were bit of the story told by Hunger (I got Book Thief Vibes). I found myself looking forward to reading certain character's perspective. I liked the central themes of hunger throughout the book, it tied everything together. The author clearly did his research on this area of history and it was nice to learn about something that isn't talked too much about in school. What I didn't Like: I do have to say I didn't like the first half of this book, I didn't have any interest in the characters. This was mostly due to the constantly changing perspective. I wish in the beginning that there were longer than half a page for each person so you can really get to know them and their personality. I didn't get a hang of the characters until about the second half of the book. This book does really show the true horrors of the journey of getting to California and it was a little hard to read at times, I think I would have enjoyed reading this more when the world isn't so negative.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Having taught the Donner expedition as part of my US history curriculum, I was interested to read The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep (an excellent title). I've never read any historical fiction about the doomed emigrant train and was curious how this would be handled for a YA audience. This would be the perfect addition to a history classroom. Author Allen Wolf deftly weaves a narrative that includes several members of the Donner party, including indigenous slaves Luis and Salvador, as a novel in ve Having taught the Donner expedition as part of my US history curriculum, I was interested to read The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep (an excellent title). I've never read any historical fiction about the doomed emigrant train and was curious how this would be handled for a YA audience. This would be the perfect addition to a history classroom. Author Allen Wolf deftly weaves a narrative that includes several members of the Donner party, including indigenous slaves Luis and Salvador, as a novel in verse. For such heavy subject matter (most people who know the Donner party associate it with cannibalism), this is a great choice: it allows the reader to tread lightly, without compromising or trivializing the suffering. There is an excellent appendix following the text that gives the reader an opportunity to learn more about the expedition. Character biographies, a wonderful bibliography, as well as timelines and other stats about the Donner Party round the book out nicely. I highly recommend this, especially to the history crowd. Special thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for giving me a copy of this text in exchange for a review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris G.

    In Three Graves Deep, many members of the Donnor Party, who descended into chaos and cannibalism after a catastrophic choice of route leaves their wagon train trapped in the mountains during a winter of epic early snow, tell the story of their suffering. Wolf's mastery of the writer's craft creates distinct voices for many of the major characters and his trademark, an inanimate narrator, in this case hunger. I have eagerly read Wolf’s multiple narrator accounts of the Lewis and Clark expedition In Three Graves Deep, many members of the Donnor Party, who descended into chaos and cannibalism after a catastrophic choice of route leaves their wagon train trapped in the mountains during a winter of epic early snow, tell the story of their suffering. Wolf's mastery of the writer's craft creates distinct voices for many of the major characters and his trademark, an inanimate narrator, in this case hunger. I have eagerly read Wolf’s multiple narrator accounts of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the sinking of the Titanic using a technique he calls narrative pointillism, which he describes as creating a story one point at a time. Though lengthy and often complex, this strategy is intensely readable since each short chapter eggs the reader on to devour the next one. Especially notable is the back matter, which addresses the tribal people whose land the party passes through. Notes and bibliography are thorough and intriguing. Reading this on a warm summer afternoon left me lingering with the voice of Patty Reed, and slightly chilled. E-Arc provides by Edelweiss.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cy

    very well-researched, and i love the idea of "narrative pointillism." i was expecting it to be more....poetic?? for the most part, it doesn't read like poetry, just very short chapters, each from a certain character's pov. that's not a critique really, i guess i just wanted something else from this book. related--i absolutely loved the idea of "hunger" being a character, but i feel like nothing exciting was really done with that concept. i wanted to hear the voice of hunger, but it turned out hu very well-researched, and i love the idea of "narrative pointillism." i was expecting it to be more....poetic?? for the most part, it doesn't read like poetry, just very short chapters, each from a certain character's pov. that's not a critique really, i guess i just wanted something else from this book. related--i absolutely loved the idea of "hunger" being a character, but i feel like nothing exciting was really done with that concept. i wanted to hear the voice of hunger, but it turned out hunger was mostly just a third-person omniscient narrator. you could take away the word "hunger" at the top of the page and it would just read like any other history book. i felt like that was a missed opportunity to do something really cool and artsy. but anyway, this book really excels at what it sets out to do, which is tell the story of the donner party completely and from all angles. as a history nerd, i was very impressed with the extensive notes section--maybe more impressed by that than by the actual story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    The story of the Donner party is one of the most well-known stories from American history. If you know anything specific about westward expansion, you've at least heard of the Donner party. I've read this story many times myself, as straightforward nonfiction, in a video game, as a graphic novel, and now as a verse novel. And actually, this turned out to be a pretty good way to go about it. Sure, there's a lot going on, and a lot of people to get straight. Wolf accomplishes this partly by focusi The story of the Donner party is one of the most well-known stories from American history. If you know anything specific about westward expansion, you've at least heard of the Donner party. I've read this story many times myself, as straightforward nonfiction, in a video game, as a graphic novel, and now as a verse novel. And actually, this turned out to be a pretty good way to go about it. Sure, there's a lot going on, and a lot of people to get straight. Wolf accomplishes this partly by focusing only on a few of the people in the group and by including Hunger as a narrator. I'm not sure how this would read to somebody who had never been exposed to any of this history, but I had no problem following along. I also appreciated the extensive notes at the end of the narrative, detailing Wolf's sources, why he made the storytelling decisions he did, and brief biographies of some of the survivors.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Modern Miss Granger

    Thank you so much to Candlewick Press for the Advanced Readers Copy. I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the Donner Party. This wasn’t something I remember learning in school so it was nice to find out about this piece of history. Here’s what I liked: The different POV’s were really excellent. They flowed well and I found myself looking forward to certain characters passages. The sections that were narrated by Hunger were so well written and interesting. I marked a lot of lines th Thank you so much to Candlewick Press for the Advanced Readers Copy. I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the Donner Party. This wasn’t something I remember learning in school so it was nice to find out about this piece of history. Here’s what I liked: The different POV’s were really excellent. They flowed well and I found myself looking forward to certain characters passages. The sections that were narrated by Hunger were so well written and interesting. I marked a lot of lines that I wanted to write down. It was such a unique style of writing that I don’t normally read and I really appreciated how the book was laid out. Here’s what I didn’t like: It was a hard subject to read about during the heavy in the world (which in no way is the authors fault) so I may have to reread this at some point to see it in a different light.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rea

    I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. An interesting, well researched fictionalisation of the Donner Party tragedy. I jumped at the chance to get something from the Early Reviewers program about the Donner Party, but wasn't sure what to expect when I saw it was written in verse. Thankfully it was engrossing from start to end, and I think that even though it jumped from character to character pretty quickly the author did a good job of making the characters relatable I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. An interesting, well researched fictionalisation of the Donner Party tragedy. I jumped at the chance to get something from the Early Reviewers program about the Donner Party, but wasn't sure what to expect when I saw it was written in verse. Thankfully it was engrossing from start to end, and I think that even though it jumped from character to character pretty quickly the author did a good job of making the characters relatable and sympathetic (well, some of them). There's also a great collection of notes at the end giving even more information about the Donner Party, and I have to admit I kinda 'spoiled' the book for myself continually flipping to the back to check the fates of some of the characters and read up on the history.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    This book was very interestingly written and very well handled. I feel like many people don’t know the true story about the Donner Party and really only know it as a cultural reference to cannibalism, but Wolf handled this tragic story with the care and complexity it deserved. He painted each person in a light that really shows the desperation they each had to simply survive. I appreciated his treatment of the Native American people, too, since their lands were being traipsed upon by travelers a This book was very interestingly written and very well handled. I feel like many people don’t know the true story about the Donner Party and really only know it as a cultural reference to cannibalism, but Wolf handled this tragic story with the care and complexity it deserved. He painted each person in a light that really shows the desperation they each had to simply survive. I appreciated his treatment of the Native American people, too, since their lands were being traipsed upon by travelers and overtaken by colonizers, yet they still tried to help. Wolf’s inclusion of many pages of source materials is a testament to his research and the careful planning he took in writing this book. A harrowing account of a tragic event in American history. I would highly recommend this historical fiction text.

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