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Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of…

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Sally M Walker (Author)

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1671471,264 (4.18)69
Title:Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
Authors:Sally M Walker (Author)
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (2011), 160 pages
Collections:Non-Fiction, Your library

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Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 by Sally M. Walker (2011)



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My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Feb 16, 2018 |
This was well done. I had not heard about this disaster before Julia chose an article about it as a feature for her Clickbait! last year, which was the 100th anniversary of the explosion. She mentioned this book in her post, so I requested it from the library, and I'm glad I did. Walker writes for the middleschool crowd, I am guessing, but it does not lesson the impact of this story. In fact, it makes it the perfect introduction to the incident. She includes lots of maps, photos, and diagrams, making it easy to follow the action and to identify with the victims. What happened is that through a series of miscommunications and bad decision making, two ships collided in the Narrows section of the Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917. Because we were in the midst of WWI, one of the ships was loaded with munitions but not identified as such because that would be like painting a target on the side of it. The other ship was loaded with relief supplies. Because no one in the town knew about the dangerous cargo, the townspeople ran towards the ship wreck, not away from it. One fact that stuck with me is that "it was the largest manmade explosion that had ever occurred. It remained so until August 6, 1945, when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during WWII." Staggering. The explosion caused a shockwave and a tsunami, resulting in further death and devastation. As if that were not enough chaos, the very next day there was a blizzard.

Walker does an excellent job of filling in the blanks - she starts before the explosion, giving us a background of the town and its inhabitants, then leads us up to and through the events. It's an amazing story, and part of what got to me was that there were so many survivors left with lifetime mysteries about what happened to their loved ones. Homes were destroyed, bodies were burned too badly to be recognized and identified, many babies that survived but had been separated from their families were difficult to identify.

The depth of the devastation meant that survivors needing medical attention were sent wherever there was room for them, making it hard for loved ones to reunite with them. Heartbreaking. It's an amazing story, and Walker does a very good job of disseminating the available information into a thoughtful narrative. Highly recommended, but keep in mind that it was written for a younger audience. ( )
16 vote Crazymamie | Jan 2, 2018 |
When I saw this mentioned on LT it sounded really interesting and it was. Blizzard of Glass is a piece of history that I had never heard of and is not well known outside of the region in which it happened. Even though aid came from all over to help the victims, this disaster dropped out of the consciousness of most of North America as other disasters occurred. Ms. Walker presents an engrossing account of the place, the people, and the causes of the accident that led to a massive explosion that totally destroyed large areas of Halifax and Dartmouth. The aftermath is also fully covered and the text is supplemented with many photographs.. Definitely recommended for everyone.
1 vote hailelib | May 23, 2015 |
Sally Walker did an amazing job presenting this little know piece of Canadian history to the US. Check out my blog, Historically Speaking, for more of this review. http://nancycastaldo.blogspot.com/ ( )
  Nancy.Castaldo | Nov 3, 2014 |
Very interesting, quick read nonfiction book about a little known explosion in Halifax, Nova Scotia during WWI. Great pictures and the inclusion of following families throughout and after the destruction help to bring to life who devastating the explosion was to the city. ( )
1 vote smheatherly2 | Aug 31, 2013 |
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It's against our nature not to know about times past.
We need stories. We need stories the way we need bread or water.

-- David McCullough,
author and historian
For storytellers, young and old,
who cherish a tale and then share it with other
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< I >
A Story to tell
Halifax, the largest city of Nova Scotia, Canada, has a story to tell.
Like a scab healing over a cut, daily activities such as eating, working, going to school, and raising children wrapped themselves around sorrowful memories, quieting the pain so people could endure.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805089454, Hardcover)

On December 6, 1917 two ships collided in Halifax Harbour. One ship was loaded top to bottom with munitions and one held relief supplies, both intended for wartorn Europe. The resulting blast flattened two towns, Halifax and Dartmouth, and killed nearly 2,000 people. As if that wasn't devastating enough, a blizzard hit the next day, dumping more than a foot of snow on the area and paralyzing much-needed relief efforts.
Fascinating, edge-of-your-seat storytelling based on original source material conveys this harrowing account of tragedy and recovery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Recounts the story from World War I in which two towns were leveled and almost two thousand people killed following the collison of two warships in Halifax Harbour and a blizzard that dumped over a foot of snow in the area.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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