Donner Dinner Party

Donner Dinner Party

Graphic Novel - 2013
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The Donner Party expedition is one of the most notorious stories in all of American history. It's also a fascinating snapshot of the westward expansion of the United States, and the families and individuals who sacrificed so much to build new lives in a largely unknown landscape. From the preparation for the journey to each disastrous leg of the trip, this book shows the specific bad decisions that led to the party's predicament in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The graphic novel focuses on the struggles of the Reed family to tell the true story of the catastrophic journey.
Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, c2013.
ISBN: 9781419708565
Call Number: 979.403 HALE
Kids Graphic Novels
Characteristics: 123 p. : chiefly col. ill., col. maps ; 20 cm.
Subjects: Reed, James Frazier, 1800-1874 -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Donner Party -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Pioneers -- California -- History -- 19th century -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Pioneers -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Pioneers -- California -- Biography -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Overland journeys to the Pacific -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.) -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) -- History -- 19th century -- Juvenile literature -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Graphic novels, Juvenile.
Comic books, strips, etc.
Nonfiction comics.


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Oct 05, 2020

violet_bear_1739 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 16

Dec 13, 2018

RaptorMouse thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jul 20, 2018

S0cc3rb0y thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 15

Feb 14, 2018

green_spider_254 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 20 and 10

Dec 22, 2017

violet_cat_10665 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 7

Jul 22, 2016

red_hyena_30 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jun 05, 2015

red_monkey_1539 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Mar 08, 2014

orange_buzzard_64 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Nov 02, 2019

Okay, so this was really grim. Although I do not at all "really like" the tale that is told in this NHHT, I do acknowledge it was thoroughly researched and presented in a very organized and readable manner. The storytellers (Hale, Hangman and the British officer) do add a bit of levity throughout. There is an adult nonfiction book on my TBR list from the perspective of survivor Sarah Graves. Will be interesting to compare that book to this one.

Dec 27, 2018

Not as good as the others.

Dec 13, 2018

Who knew strife, starvation, and cannibalism could be so much fun? Narrated by a man on the gallows, so begins the tale of the Donner Party, a group of almost 90 men, women, and children who made the fateful decision to try a shortcut on the Oregon Trail that was supposedly easier and would cut months off their journey. As it so happens, it was neither shorter nor easier, leaving them stranded in the mountains over winter with no real shelter, no food, and no hope for survival. Well, almost no food. It really depended on who drew the short straw. A fascinating perspective on 19th century American History in an enjoyable graphic novel format, a must-read for teens of all ages. Once finished, they can answer the most interesting question of them all: who from the Donner Party was the only one to die from overeating?

Jun 08, 2017

Surprising tasteful book, pun intended.

Apr 15, 2014

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this. I picked this book up, the third in a series, due to reviews. Of course I knew about the Donner party and the cannibalism but not much more than that. I discovered quite a lot about this group that was one of many wagon trains traveling across the country at the time. It was an entertaining and informative read. The author/illustrator didn't show too much of the cannibalism but was still realistic about what occurred. The included humor helped take away from some of the more dire parts too.

Living in Oregon, students here learn a lot about the Oregon Trail. The Donner Dinner Party would no doubt enthrall some of those students and show that history doesn't have to be boring.

JCLChrisK Feb 17, 2014

Like, I'm sure, most people, I vaguely remember learning about the Donner Party in my U.S. history classes. What I remember: pioneers, mountains, snow, cannibalism. No details or people, which I didn't think were all that important or compelling. So I was surprised to find that such an engaging, entertaining story could be told about the tragedy. In typical Hazardous Tales style, Nathan Hale has found a way to balance historical facts, melodramatic personalities, broad humor, grim realities, and exceptional artwork into a fascinating tale. There are numerous warnings about the gruesome content well in advance to soften the shock of encountering it, and it is shared without detail or embellishment. The rest of the content, on the other hand, is embellished with unexpected details that make the book all the more exciting. Even though I knew the general outcome the book was heading toward, I found myself caught up in the suspense of wanting to know just how it would happen. This is history at its best, and I expect young readers will find themselves enthralled and captivated.

Mark_Daly Nov 16, 2013

The humor in the early pages seems inappropriate, given the somber nature of the subject. But the tale of the doomed pioneers unfolds like a true-crime story, with all of the fateful decisions and missed opportunities carefully depicted. It's a gripping story, and Hale does a masterful job of packing in all sorts of telling details in the story and art. Recommended.


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Nov 20, 2018

Hangman: "Yes! That's what happened to Billy!"

JCLChrisK Feb 17, 2014

Hangman: "This is the worst story of all time! This can't possibly get any worse!
Nathan Hale: "Brace yourself. It gets much, much worse. In fact, reader, the next part of this tale is not for the faint of heart. Horrible things are going to happen. If you are easily upset, you may want to skip ahead to page 113."
Hangman: "Do it! Do it! Skip to page 113! For the love of fuzzy puppies! I can't bear to see any more cute li'l animals eaten!"
Nathan Hale: "Oh, they won't be eating animals."
Hangman: "They won't!? What a relief!"
Provost: "What DO they eat?"
Nathan Hale: "You are about to find out. Or you can skip ahead to 113."


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