Friday, May 27, 2016

Poetry Friday: To Stay Alive

I mentioned in Wednesday's post (about my next-in-the-graphic-novel-series TBR pile) that I love Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, and this one in particular. From my Goodreads review: "The Donner Party story is filled with idiots who make stupid decisions for all the reasons stupid decisions get made: pride, greed, stubbornness...Here's some history we FOR SURE don't want to repeat!!"

by Nathan Hale
Harry N. Abrams, 2014

by Skila Brown
Candlewick, October 2016

Even though I knew the train-wreck of a story line, I was excited to read this novel in verse about the Donners, and excited for another book from Skila Brown, author of Caminar. The story is told from the point of view of 19 year-old survivor Mary Ann Graves. Each poem has its own unique structure, which gives the book a satisfying breadth and depth, and which contributes to the pacing of the story. Because of the first person point of view and the emotional quality of the poems, this is a most human telling of this story -- yes, they were stupid; yes, mistakes were made. But in the end, they were humans who did what they needed to do to survive.

Julie has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at The Drift Record.


  1. Thanks for letting me know about this book, Mary. Verse novels are my thing, so I will be looking this one up.

  2. Putting TO STAY ALIVE on my list for the summer! And ordering the HAZARDOUS TALES series for our library.

  3. To Stay Alive sounds riveting. Will look for it. Thanks.

  4. I didn't know about this new book, and enjoyed Caminar very much. The Donner Party story is often in the news here, with silly celebrations. I'll be glad to read a more serious approach to the story. Thanks, Mary Lee.

  5. Both of those look like high-interest books! Thanks, Mary Lee.

  6. We have some of the Hazardous Tales series titles. The Donner Party title should be equally interesting to those readers who enjoy the series' premise.

  7. Anonymous5:03 AM

    To Stay Alive sounds like a must-read! Thanks for letting us know about it.

  8. Both books sound like I need to add them to my TBR pile. Thanks for the recommendations, Mary Lee. =)


Comment moderation is turned on.