by Jim Murphy


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With his powerful and intriguing narrative style, Newbery Honor Book author Jim Murphy tells the harrowing story of the Blizzard of 1888. Available for the first time in paperback.

Snow began falling over New York City on March 12, 1888. All around town, people struggled along slippery streets and sidewalks — some seeking the warmth of their homes, some to get to work or to care for the less fortunate, and some to experience what they assumed would be the last little snowfall of one of the warmest winters on record. What no one realized was that in a very few hours, the wind and snow would bury the city in nearly 21 inches of snow and bring it to a ferocious standstill.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780590673105
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jim Murphy is the celebrated author of more than thirty-five books for young readers, most notably TRUCE: THE DAY THE SOLDIERS STOPPED FIGHTING and THE GREAT FIRE, a Newbery Honor Winner. His carefully researched, engaging, and elegantly written nonfiction has garnered the most prestigious awards in the field. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons.

Table of Contents

1The Unholy One1
2Just a Baby10
3The Land Is an Ocean of Snow25
4This Is All So Overwhelming41
5I Went Magnificently Along57
6Ruled by Wind and Snow and Ruin71
7What Will My Poor Children Do?84
8It Is Only a Snowstorm103
Notes on Sources and Related Reading Material125

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Blizzard 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
cacv78 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Murphy, Jim. (2000) Bilzzard! New York: Scholastic Press.This book details the events of the great blizzard that occurred on March 12, 1888 through out the eastern coast of the United States. It has details from the beginning of the blizzard and first hand accounts from people that experienced it. It is very detailed facts and has many photographs and maps from that time of different parts of cities that were affected. It was written by Jim Murphy who is well known for having written an award winning book on the great fire of San Francisco. This book would be geared towards an upper elementary school student.
nzfj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Library Thing Part E Specialized BookMurphy, Jim. Blizzard!: the Storm That Changed America. New York: Scholastic, 2001. Print.Jim Murphy¿s Blizzard the Storm that Changed America, was written in 2000 and still remains a fascinating account for elementary and middle school students. High school students and adults would enjoy his suspenseful mystery book style and profit from this well researched account of the March 11-13th 1888 snow blizzard that ravaged the east coast and devastated New York City. The city as the entire east coast was taken unaware an ill prepared to keep communication and transportation continuous. Telegraph and electrical lines were all above ground and one pole may have had 200 lines connected to it and this multiplied by the thousands of poles throughout the city, truly added to the crisis. The heavy, harsh whipping winds and ice knocked down lines and poles mercilessly. The immense snow drifts and freezing winds disabled trains on tracks and ferries were shattered by waves. Horses pulling wagons were frozen or unable to plow through huge tons of snow that quickly fell all over the city and its streets. Murphy¿s account allows us to see how the city finally mobilized itself to clear streets and allow transportation into and through the city. Luckily the city had a large population of new Italian immigrants available to shovel snow. 17,000 were hired at .25 an hour to begin clearing streets. As Murphy tells us in his concluding chapter, these men would be permanently hired and become the first city workers to clean streets, pick up garbage, and remove snow. This led to other cities throughout the nation following suit and recognizing a cities responsibilities to its citizens and creating permanent city crews and departments. The reader is taken to various other scenes and given details about city life in 1888 such as no garbage or littering laws existed. Tenement low income housing was dilapidated buildings that were erected for stables when George Washington was in office. Four families to an area or floor with only one sink with running water, was available, and outhouses were set up in the back of the tenement building for tenants. Flying debris from garbage, broken glass, store signs, coal, and horse manure became deadly weapons as the wind tore through the city at 50 to 70 miles per hour for almost 3 days and temperatures fell to 8 degrees Fahrenheit within a matter of hours. Jim Murphy¿s factual accounts taken from newspapers, New York Historical Society, the Society of Blizzard Men and Ladies of 1888, and several non fiction novels that were written about New York and the blizzard are all woven with his expert author¿s license, recreating the crisis, tragedy and ramifications after the storm. Interesting facts that a 21st reader would find curious and help the reader to closely identify with the 1888 setting are: school age children sent on errands, older children left to babysit, students walking to and from school, women¿s clothing items, P.T. Barnum¿s 86 acts that his circus performed at Madison Square Garden during the storm, the living conditions of the homeless and the needed .3 cents to sleep on a chair or in the corner in a crowded flophouse, a cheap but popular dish .5 cents pig snouts and cabbage served at the many pubs. The city had a plethora of pubs that were always full and offered some protection during the blizzard.This title definitely has accuracy and authenticity. The author devotes 8 pages at the end of the book that gives notes on sources and provides related reading material. The style is full of vivid language and creates definite reader involvement through his suspenseful stories that conclude in the following chapters. Organization is clearly and logically presented. He has a table of contents and a complete index. Illustrations are from historical drawings and photographs. They are both generously dispersed throughout the title and they greatly clari
rosalita on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a nonfiction account of the blizzard of March 1888, which affected pretty much the entire East Coast from North Carolina to Maine. Murphy chooses several individuals in a variety of locations (but most in New York City) to illustrate the ways in which the storm affected people's lives. I enjoyed the book, although I would have liked a bit more development of the "storm that changed America" bit. It's there, but sort of tucked in at the end like an afterthought.
ojchase on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very informative, quick read. It was fun to read cover to cover and kept you interested.
adb3301 More than 1 year ago
Blizzard! The Storm That Changed America by Jim Murphy recounts the events leading up to, during and after the historic blizzard of 1888 that violently hit the east coast. This informational chapter book is appropriate for young and old readers. Murphy gives insight as to how people lived to give a better understanding of the impact this historic storm had. He also recounts personal stories of survivors and people that lost their life. He explains how this storm changed the way storms are viewed and handled. Many lessons were learned from this event. It created improvements from anti-littering laws to the subway systems just to name a few. You don't have to like history to appreciate this book. Adb3301
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In March of 1888 there was a devastating blizzard that struck north eastern end of the U.S. Jim Murphy describes the destruction and isolation during the three day long blizzard with first-hand accounts. Murphy brings to life with this book the effects of the storm and hardships people had to overcome. Not only does Murphy depict the adversary that people had to conquer because of the storm but he also conveys the time and age of the U.S. and our ignorance of weather. Murphy also lays the setting with portrayals of the homeless and the difference between how the storm affected the city people and people in the rural areas. The blizzard of 1888 was the reason some ordinances city that we have today were put into place. In "Blizzard" there is an account where horses and people were getting tangled and electrocuted by down and dangling power lines. Now, it is law that all power lines in a city or downtown area must be placed underground, not only to save lives but to keep communications going in case of another destructive storm. "Blizzard" also allows the reader to see how price gouging caused some people to go into starvation and endure freezing temperatures due to the price of food and coal's continuous rise. Murphy is allowed these first-hand accounts with the help from letters of survivors of the blizzard of 1888, as well as newspaper articles, and memoirs from business owners, and very upper-class citizens.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The author really sets the stage from the start and keeps the pace thru the entire book I really felt as if I got a true glimpse of what life was like in 1888 when this great blizzard hit the east coast.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!! When I first saw it, I said to myself, 'Yeah. Sure. This is just going to be one of those boring Non-Fiction books again.' When I read it, I was like, WOW! I just couldn't put it down!