The Schoolchildren's Blizzard

From the Series On My Own History

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 4
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

When nine-year-old Sarah and her little sister, Annie, set out on their way to school on January 12, 1888, they have no idea what their day will hold. The weather’s so warm they go outside to play. Suddenly, the wind turns cold and begins to roar—it’s a blizzard! The wind is so strong it rips the school’s roof off. What will they do? The freezing snow is already up to their knees and without a roof they’ll freeze. Their teacher, Miss Freeman, ties them all together with a long rope and they head out into the blinding storm. Will they make it to safety in time?

Format Your Price Add
Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% off list price on hardcovers and ebooks when you buy direct! Digital purchases will be accessed on Lerner Digital Bookshelf. An account will be created for you after purchase.
Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Social Studies
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction
Copyright 2004
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Brand On My Own Books
Imprint First Avenue Editions ™, Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2004-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 2.7
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF025200, JNF051160, JNF050000
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 6 x 8.5
Lexile 540
Guided Reading Level L
ATOS Reading Level 3.0
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 77028
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Reviewed, and Teaching Guides

Illustrator: Shelly O. Haas

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

On My Own History

With striking, full-page illustrations, real and fictionalized characters, and stories featuring events that really happened, these books capture readers’ interest and imagination. View available downloads →


  • CBC Children's Choices, Winner, 2004
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2004



“The realistic interplay between Sarah and Annie will draw young readers into this simple, vivid story of natural catastrophe and native courage. . . this tale from the On My Own History series makes an exciting, accessible addition to the easy-reading shelves and a prime candidate for primary-grade assignments of fiction based on natural disasters.”

School Library Journal

“This fast-paced, high-interest tale set in Nebraska is based on the true story of Minnie Freeman, a teacher who led her students to safety through the deadly blizzard of January 12, 1888. Well-painted, realistic watercolors depict their struggle to find a safe haven and blend well with the exciting text. A good choice for newly independent readers, this story can be used in conjunction with the study of 19th-century prairie life.”
School Library Journal

The Horn Book Guide

“On My Own History series. A fluent text retells the story of Nebraska heroine Minnie Freeman, who led the students of her one-room schoolhouse to safety during the deadly snowstorm of January 12, 1888. An excellent companion to Carla Stevens and Margot Tomes’s Anna, Grandpa, and the Big Storm as well as a read-it-yourself step toward Wilder’s more harrowing The Long Winter.”
The Horn Book Guide