Posts Categorized: Donner Party

Happy Halloween!

I brought home the best swag from the Books by the Banks festival last weekend. Are you ready for this?



Apparently there was a pumpkin painting contest at the library for teen artists. And it’s no surprise that this one was the winner! I believe the artist’s name … Read More

Skyping with an author

I always intend to blog more about my school visits. I never remember to take photos myself, but often times the coordinator will send me some pictures after the fact and I’m always grateful. And then I don’t do anything with them!

Today I’m changing that. Earlier this month I … Read More

The Missing Money

Franklin Graves sold his Illinois cabin and land before setting off west with his family in 1846. He was paid in a collection of coins from various countries. (This was common then; the United States was still a young country and not a lot of minted money to go around.) … Read More

Patrick Breen


Not a lot in the way of controversy is often said about Patrick Breen. His claim to fame is that he maintained the only diary we have of the Donner Party’s time at the lake. I’ve never heard anyone really categorize him as a villain or a hero. But … Read More

James Reed

Next up in our Heroes & Villains series: James Reed.



More often than not, Reed is painted as a villain. There are some justifiable reasons for this. I’m going to list some of them below. But as you’ll see—I think he’s another complicated character. We just can’t put … Read More

William Eddy

When we stayed at Donner Lake, we rented a cabin, just off Eddy Avenue.

I had to groan.

The next day at the state park, I got to geek out a little with a really kind volunteer named Greg about the gun they have on display.

This is supposedly the … Read More

Release Day!

Today a book is born.


Reviewers are saying kind things about it.

“With her refreshingly varied form and ever-earnest tone, Brown weaves a compelling story of suffering, sacrifice, and survival.” — Booklist

“Across four seasons, Brown uses words and form effectively to evoke the hopeful idealism, love, joy, and life-or-death

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