Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Blizzard by Betty Ren Wright, illustrated by Ronald Himler


Lake Station, Indiana
February 2, 2011

It's a LOT warmer, and still lots of fun!

Lexile     500          Pages     30          Ages      5 - 8
 AR Quiz No. 68987 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 3.4 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP, VP

It's December and Billy's birthday has rolled around.  Billy is disappointed because usually his aunt and uncle, and his cousins come to celebrate with him but with a blizzard in the forecast they can't make it this year.  He's jealous of his sister Mae, whose birthday is in July - the cousins can always come and celebrate with her.  But circumstances hold a special surprise for Billy . . . .

Billy and Mae head for school, Billy dragging his feet and feeling sorry for himself.  Once there, lessons go on as usual in the one-room school.  At lunch the children go outside and build a snowman in the school yard - the snow isn't too bad yet.  But soon after the lunch break Billy's friend, Jim, pokes him and points out the window . . . . it's snowing so hard you can't even see their snowman anymore!  Then Mr. Carter comes to the school to tell them that the road is closed and they will have to stay the night at the school.  The teacher, Miss Bailey, says, "Oh, but we can't stay here, we don't have food or blankets. Mae and Billy, do you think your folks would mind some guests for the night?  Your home is the only one close enough to walk to."  Mae tells her, "No, ma'am."  So the whole school heads for Billy's house.

Once there everyone pitches in to help with the chores.  While Billy's mother cooks dinner, the children have a big snowball fight and have a ball playing in the rapidly building snow.  Everyone gets their fill at dinner and then they all gather 'round the piano for a good, old-fashioned sing-a-long.  Finally, Billy's mother says, "Dessert's ready.  I get to choose the last song."  She goes into the kitchen and comes out with a big cake, candles blazing, and everyone sings a rousing "Happy Birthday" to Billy.

After dessert Billy's mom and dad pull out all the sheets and blankets they can find and everyone settles down wherever they can find a spot to get some sleep.  Billy's dad asks him, "Wishing you were a July baby, I suppose?"  Billy gives a big grin and says, "December's okay with me," and falls asleep, having had a birthday party he'd never forget.

The Blizzard, with its one-room schoolhouse and group sing-a-long is reminiscent of simpler times that I think we all long for now and then. A time before television, video games and computers, when people interacted more with one another.  It also reminds us that when disaster strikes, we all need to pull together and help each other, something I was lucky enough to experience when we had the blizzard in February.  A BIG "Thank you!" to my great neighbors!  I enjoyed this story very much and think I will have to purchase a copy for my collection!

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

Come to the Lake County Public Library for a copy of The Blizzard or click here and use your library card number and PIN to reserve a copy for quick pick-up at the circulation desk at your favorite branch.

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