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THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE DONNER PARTY By: Marion Calabro November 10, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     This is the perfect example of a kids’ nonfiction account that tells all the story that needs to be told, yet in a concise and easy to read fashion. The Lycan Librarian has read quite a few books about this haunting, historical tale of an 1846 wagon train trying to get to California from Springfield, Illinois, and thinks this is one of the best. It offers photos, maps, real diary entries,a timeline chart, a list of those who survive, and a chronological list of deaths for those who did not. Information can be found at a glance, but one will certainly want to dig deep within the book to read every detail. The book is well-researched and offers a great deal of information about clothing, household items, food or lack of it, and daily life on the trail and during the winter ordeal.

     What this reader finds more shocking than the cannibalism that keeps this story in the forefront of all the pioneer tales are the overtired animals and the elderly man who were simply abandoned along the way. But I won’t say too much in case some of you have never before read about this trek. And if you haven’t, this is the ideal book to pick up. Being nonfiction, it doesn’t have the fictional narrative that leaves one wondering exactly what is and is not true, yet it is written as an adventure story, not as a dry narrative of facts and events following facts and events. Calabro did a magnificent job researching and writing this book.



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