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Winter Thunder and The Christmas of the Phonograph Records, Mari Sandoz

Winter Thunder is a gripping survival story based on an actual event. A school bus filled with children overturns in a blizzard. Lecia Terry, the young teacher, leads her frightened students through the blinding snow and protects them as the storm rages for days.
In The Christmas of the Phonograph Records, Sandoz tells the story of her own family and the emotional effect the purchase of a phonograph once had in their lives and the lives of their neighbors. The narrator recalls that even with worn-out shoes for her brother and herself and the family's unpaid mortgage, the records and the music on those records were not an extravagance but a necessity.

Related Readings

"April Rain Song"—poem by Langston Hughes

"Dust of Snow"—poem by Robert Frost

"Snowflake Bentley"—nonfiction by Ruth Wallace-Brodeur

"They Still Make Country Schoolteachers"—memoir by Toni Kim French

"A New Window Display"—short story by Nicholasa Mohr

"A Hanukkah Eve in Warsaw"—short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Study Guide (PDF)


McGraw-Hill / Glencoe