When Charlie and Papa arrive in Lawrence for supplies, they find the bustling Kansas town threatened by border ruffians from proslave Missouri. Papa decides to remain behind with other free-soil settlers to defend the town, so Charlie must drive the wagon back to the family's isolated claim by himself.
At home a different sort of storm is brewing -- gray skies, bitter cold, and vicious winds warn that a prairie blizzard is coming. Charlie is always getting into trouble for daydreaming and forgetting his chores. Now he has to show he's grown-up enough to help Momma, his sisters, and his newborn baby brother survive in their tiny cabin in the snow.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-In this second book in the series, Charlie Keller and his family forge a new life on the Kansas Prairie in the 1850s. The nine-year-old accompanies his father to town to buy supplies and, while shopping, Papa hears about a "free-state" man who has been killed by a pro-slavery man. An abolitionist, Mr. Keller decides to stay in town and help out when he hears that trouble's brewing, leaving Charlie to return to their cabin with the supplies. En route, his dog runs away and he encounters threatening men on horseback; once home, he finds that his mother is about to give birth and he runs for help. During a blizzard, he trudges out to tend to the animals, using a rope as a guide. Finally, Papa returns. Black-and-white drawings capture the drama of the tale. An exciting and well-paced adventure story for beginning chapter-book readers. Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 2-4. Charlie and his family are beginning to grow used to their new life on the Kansas prairie, where they have moved to become part of the free-state movement. With increasing pro-slavery activities, tensions are rising. When Charlie's father is needed to defend the town, Charlie becomes the man of the house--just as winter is setting in and his mother is expecting a baby. Hopkinson does an admirable job of unraveling a complex moment in history for young readers; at the same time she tells an exciting story with an engaging young hero. Appended notes add historical context; there are also a recipe for apple fruitcake, the words to the song "Shenandoah," and an explanation distinguishing the fact from the fiction. Susan Dove Lempke
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.