Thursday, March 20, 2014

Book Review: Survivor: The Donner Party by: Scott P. Werther

 This is a scholastic published book 2002, High Interest Books division.  It gives the basic story and facts with regards to the Donner party.  Among this is the concise information that 47 of the party survived and 44 perished.  It also gives some of the ideas as to why they were late.  They took the Hastings cut-off which had never been tried.  They got caught in the Wasatch Mountains having to chop there way through, and took a month to go from Fort Bridger to the Salt Lake.  They still had the Salt Flats, and Nevada to travel before they would reach the Sierra Mountains.  They had divided into two groups, and the first almost made it over the summit.  However they had to turn back, and camped near Donner Lake.  The other group was slowed more because of a broken axel and were camped near Adler Creek. 
This book talk of eating human flesh to stay alive. But it did not mention that two of the forlorn party were Native American, and likely murdered for their flesh.  It also talked of the rescuers, but did not say that for a time Dan Rhoads and his family had traveled with the Donner Party, but determined to follow the traditional route rather than the cut-off; and made it to California before the storms.
I really didn't  like the introduction to this book.  "You are in a storm."  It seemed stupid to me.  However the first chapter started getting better.  There were a few factual errors I think as well.

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