One of the best book series written for kids ages 7-10 has got to be “I Survived” by Lauren Tarshis. There are now 18 books, each one choosing an actual historic event, and telling what happening from the viewpoint of a fictitious young person. The winter of 1888 was particularly brutal on the midwest section of the United States, long and filled with blizzards.
The worst blizzard occurred in mid-January. There was an unexpected warm day with temperatures above freezing, so the children were all sent to school. Part-way through the day a cold front with high winds moved in, causing the temperature to go from the mid-30s to minus-20 degrees Fahrenheit in about an hour. Other areas of the midwest, like Nebraska, were even colder, 40-50 degrees below zero. In the attempt to get home or to a place of shelter, 235 people died, many of them children. The author likely chose the Dakota territory for the setting so that she could include the history of the government offering people free land there if they were able to homestead it for five years.
Some people may say that books like this are too “scary” for children. Well, in many parts of the world, children face far more difficult situations. Here in the United States, we are often quite insulated from disasters and their consequences. It’s far better to realize that natural disasters happen everywhere on earth, prompting kids and adults alike to understand the situation and how to survive in such a time. This would be an excellent book for families to read together aloud.
Since each book in the series is about a totally different disaster, you can read just one book in the series, or read books in any order you want. If you and the young reader in your life have never read an “I Survived” book, I encourage you to pick one from your local school library, public library, or bookstore.