Dianne E. Gray
Isaac, on the run from his oppressive stepfather, needs time to hammer out a plan for his future. Hannah needs space to mend the hurt of losing two brothers to the blizzard—space she can’t find in her family’s crowded soddie. Determination, a healthy dose of luck, and a handbill advertising a position for an “Apprentice in a Growing Business Concern” draw first one, then the other of these former schoolmates to the stately home of the unconventional Eliza Moore. Like the stumbled-upon haystack that sheltered Hannah and Isaac from the blizzard and saved their lives, Eliza’s house becomes a safe, if temporary, haven. One day Hannah and Isaac will need to face their lives again, out in the open. That day is coming all too soon.
Author Dianne E. Gray based this fictional story on a real event in history: the “School Children’s Blizzard,” a fierce storm that engulfed the plains states on January 12, 1888. Striking many regions during the school day, the death toll included many rural children. In imagining the aftermath of this tragedy, Gray conceived two memorable young people whose stories are bound together by the storm.
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