Reviews for Blizzard of Glass : The Halifax Explosion of 1917

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 November

Gr 4-7--This excellent recounting of the horrific and unprecedented explosion on December 8, 1917 in Halifax harbor is an historical tragedy that will be unfamiliar to most listeners. Two ships--one packed with munitions for the troops fighting in Europe during World War I, and the other on a mission to collect medical supplies--crashed into each other in the narrow Canadian waterway, setting off an explosion that decimated the area for miles around and killed nearly 2,000 people. Sally M. Walker makes this account (Holt, 2011) even more affecting by introducing listeners to a number of children and adults who were going about their normal day on the morning of the explosion. She follows each of them through the nightmarish explosion, devastating shock wave, and subsequent fires. And to make matter worse, on the day after the disaster, there was a blizzard that dropped nearly a foot of snow. Paul Michael paces his narration well, varying his intonations and voicing the appropriate accents. The horror of the true story is made even more real by his matter-of-fact recitation. Make sure to have the book available so listeners can see photos of the harbor, the ships, and other features that the audio version alone can't sufficiently convey.-B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, Santa Barbara, CA

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