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Download The Great Death Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Great Death (Unabridged), by John Smelcer
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (123 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Smelcer Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Listening Library Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Great Death arrived with the man from downriver, the one who came with the light-colored strangers and had little red spots covering his body. Thirteen-year-old Millie and her younger sister, Maura, are fascinated by the guests, but soon sickness takes over their village. As they watch the people they know and love die, the sisters remain unaffected and begin to realize that they will have to find a new home.

Alone in the cold Alaskan winter of 1917, struggling to overcome the obstacles nature throws their way, the girls discover that their true strength lies in their love for each other.

John Smelcer's spare and beautiful prose shapes the sisters story with tenderness and skill, presenting a powerful tale of determination, survival, and family.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ramarie | 2/12/2014

    " a survival story of two Native American sisters, who travel downriver after their entire village falls victim to the "great death" (smallpox). I felt like the characterization of the two girls was a little weak and that it stretched the imagination to believe that the sisters would survive some of the events along the way...but I was rooting for them all the same. I enjoyed this author's other YA novel, The Trap, much more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Elzbeth | 2/2/2014

    " Very depressing book. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE(except the main characters) dies. The new born babies die, the parents die, random strangers die, the dogs die: everyone! the book is written in kind of an odd way. Almost like the author is trying to write a survival manual("she didn't know why the gun wasn't working. If she'd gone hunting with her father, she would have learned to clean off the grease to unjam the gun)Not bad altogether though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Koster, L. | 2/2/2014

    " This is a small (166 page) story with a big impact. The description of the bucolic life of the two sisters (13 and 8 years old) in their native village in Alaska is charming, but this life-style is soon to come to a violent end. It is the Winter of 1917 and the two of them will be the only survivors of their village after smallpox is introduced by the Europeans who have visited. The plague is decimating the Native population across the land, and the two girls must set out all alone to find out if there are any others still alive. Their trials are many and their survival in the harsh Winter environment seems impossible. The story is tight and taut and keeps one reading to the very end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by JoAnn B. | 1/24/2014

    " Two sisters are the only people in this native Alskan village who do not die from a sickness brought by the first white men to ever visit. With winter coming on, they realize that they cannot stay there by themselves and so travel by canoe and on foot to reach a town that they have only heard about. This is a good survival story and could be paired with Ice Drift by Theodore Taylor. The native Alaskan way of life around 1900 is well portrayed both in the opening chapters describing the village and in the skills that the two girls use to survive. I wish, though, that there had been an authors's note giving us more information about this culture and its near demise from diseases brought by outsiders. A slim book, the action keeps you moving a long, although it is a little short on character development. We are also given no clue as to why only these two girls out of the entire village (and other villages nearby) were the only two people not to contract this disease. "

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