The Great Death

by John E. Smelcer

'new gen' - Great Fiction for Young Adults

LoveReading View on The Great Death

This is an extraordinary story of courage, commitment and survival of two young sisters in the harsh snowy Alaskan wilderness as they try to save themselves and in doing so, save each other.  Beautifully written, this novel is inspired by the true story of the effect that European settlers had on Alaska, bringing with them as they did all manner of diseases, which the Natives had no immunity from.  In some instances whole villages died out and to some, generations later, the period is still referred to as the Great Death.  As the youngsters load up a raft to take them away from the death in their village their epic journey begins to find a new home.

The author’s first novel The Trap is one of the most haunting novels we’ve read and was hugely well-received on first publication.

The Great Death Synopsis

The visitors from downriver had strange pale skin and blue eyes, but they left a deadly sickness of red spots and fever. Thirteen-year-old Millie and her younger sister Maura were the only survivors. As the first snowflakes fell the dogs were turning wild, and it was clear that the two girls must leave to find a new home. They loaded up a raft to take them away, and so began an epic journey through the harsh snowy landscape. This is an extraordinary story of courage, commitment and survival.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781842709191
Publication date: 08/10/2009
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781842709191
Publication date: 8th October 2009
Author: John E. Smelcer
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 176 pages
Genres: NewGen - YA Fiction,
Categories: Adventure stories (Children's / Teenage), Historical fiction (Children's / Teenage), Personal & social issues: racism & multiculturalism (Children's / Teenage),

About John E. Smelcer

John E. Smelcer was born in 1963, and is of Ahtna Athabaskan Indian descent. Currently the Executive Director of the Ahtna Tribe's Heritage Foundation, he has held visiting professorships at universities around the world. He earned a doctorate in comparative literature in 1993 and a masters degree in literature and humanities in 1991. He is faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.His work appears in numerous international anthologies by the likes of Random House, Dover, and American Indian Press. In 1994 he edited Durable Breath: Contemporary Native American Poetry (Salmon Run & American Indian Press). His poems have appeared in such periodicals as The Atlantic ...

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