What would you do to survive? Most modern Americans never have to answer that question. In 1846, the members of the Donner Party did it. For months, they walked across the Great Plains. They spent the hottest months of the year using chains and ropes to pull their wagons over mountains. In a hurry to get to California and following bad advice, they forged into unknown territory, hoping to find a quicker route than others had taken. When the winter snows came early to the Sierra Nevada, they were trapped. They were exhausted, with no food and no shelter. One by one, they began to die of starvation and disease. With no rescue in sight, all but one family did the unthinkable—they ate the flesh of their dead companions in order to survive. Read the harrowing tale of the early pioneers’ survival and persistence.
Tales of survival are as old as humanity! In Survival: True Stories, readers discover accounts of survival that required innovation, a thirst for adventure, and even a bit of brutality. Whether it’s Shackleton on the frozen landscape of Antarctica or William Bligh and his loyal followers adrift in the Pacific after mutiny on the Bounty, survival is a fascinating topic for readers ages 9 to 12!
Survival is the second book in the Murder & Mayhem series, which features true tales that whet kids’ appetites for history by engaging them in genres with proven track records—mystery and adventure. History is made of near misses, unexplained disappearances, unsolved mysteries, and bizarre events that are almost too weird to be true—almost! The Mystery & Mayhem series delves into the past to provide kids with a jumping-off point into a lifelong habit of appreciating history.
Each of the true tales told in Survival are paired with interesting facts about the setting, the industry, and the time period. A glossary and index provide the opportunity to practice using essential academic tools. These nonfiction narratives use clear, concise language with compelling plots that both avid and reluctant readers will be drawn to.
During her three years as matron of the Female Prison at Sing Sing, 1844-1848, Eliza Burhans Farnham (1815-1864) tried to institute reforms based on phrenology. Discharged from the post, she soon learned that her lawyer-husband had died in California, leaving her with affairs to settle there. Farnham set about organizing a pioneer party of single, educated women to join her in the voyage round the Horn. California, in-doors and out (1856) opens with a description of her harrowing voyage round the Horn in 1849. In 1850 Farnham and her children moved to El Rancho La Libertad, the Santa Cruz farm left to her by her husband. She describes her experiences as a farmer, the position of women in California, mining life, the history of the Donner Expedition based on interviews with survivors, and the 1856 San Francisco Vigilance Committee.
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