To Stay Alive

To Stay Alive

Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party

Book - 2016
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A young survivor of the tragic Donner Party of 1846 describes how her family and others became victims of freezing temperatures and starvation.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780763678111
Characteristics: 275 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Jun 06, 2018

I'm not a huge fan of books written in verse, but the events that are behind this book are so fascinating and sad that I had to give it a try. I'm really glad that I did.

ArapahoeStaff1 Feb 15, 2017

I loved this novel in verse! I went into this story only knowing the gruesome tale of the Donner party, not the actually history behind it, and the hardships the group faced. This was beautifully written, and the characters were so well-rounded. As a newfound fan of survival stories, I was very excited about this one!

Jan 27, 2017

The brutal reality of western migration in the 19th century United States is memorably depicted through Brown's poems in the voice of teenage Mary Ann Graves. Initially excited about the prospect of somewhere new, Mary Ann is one of the few members of her large family who supports her father's decision to join a wagon train to California. But as the months wear on, the harsh conditions take their toll. Brown's historical details make it clear that it wasn't as easy as simply following a trail west. The few guides who knew the best routes, across deserts and through mountain ranges, were critical to the survival of each wagon train, and losing the path could have dire consequences. The Donner Party's cannibalism is included, but is handled with subtlety. An excellent complement to middle and high school American history classes, and a good option for teens who love a survival story.


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Jan 27, 2017

chelseasc thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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