Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Brown, Skila. To Stay Alive.

Brown, Skila.            To Stay Alive.  Candlewick Press  2016    275p    $17.99  ISBN 978-0-7636-7811-1  hs  Historical fiction   E-BN
To Stay Alive is a moving first-person narrative told from the point of view of 19-year-old Mary Ann Greaves, a young survivor of the tragic Donner Expedition of 1846. Mary Ann and her family of eight siblings and two parents are hopeful about the new life waiting for them in California.  Though the journey west by wagon train is long and demanding, the young woman’s hopes for romance, opportunity, and freedom buoy her up.  Then winter arrives in the Sierra Nevada.  Their group is off to a late start, and the Graves family, traveling in tandem with the Donner and Reed parties, endures one of the most heart-breaking and harrowing journeys in American history.  Brown explores the themes of family, sacrifice and perseverance through beautifully crafted verse.

Summary: Told through verse, this novel is a first-person narrative of the tragic Donner Party of 1846 as experienced by a young survivor.      

Donner Party-Fiction, Stories in verse-Fiction                                                          —Hilary Welliver

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