Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale

Book: Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale
Genre: MG Graphic Novel
For: The Readathon (and supporting local authors!)
From: Bought at the library author extravaganza 

Short Synopsis: Told with wonderfully fun pictures, this is the "hazardous tale" of the tragedy of the Donner Party who traveled to California in 1846. This particular tale is told through the eyes of Nathan Hale the Revolutionary soldier who was executed by the British. However, in this book, just before they hang him, he tells them this story and his both the British guy and the executioner are enthralled.

My Response: I've read many other books about this story and loved this one every bit as much as those others! It covered all the details and all the gruesome facts in a nice "fun" and entertaining way. There were many moments of comic relief and many moments of thought provoking pondering. The maps and pictures and explanations are wonderful.

Bottom Line: I loved it! Awesome story and a great presentation.

Let's Talk About: Have you ever read anything about this story? Do you know what really happened? Do you know all the reasons why it happened? If not, you really should read this book. It's fascinating! Also, do you ever find a subject or a story that you just can't get enough of? This is one for me for sure.

Other Reviews:

His pictures are beautifully rendered and appealing, even when they show horrible experiences. At the book's end, he devotes two pages to show all of the members involved in this trip and what their fates were From KidsReads

Stock this book in your bookshelves, teachers and parents, and watch kids scramble to learn about history. From Mom Read It

The biggest assets of the book are the inclusion of humor as well as the sheer amount of research that Nathan Hale included; cited sources are listed in the bibliography. From School Library Journal

I'm not sure what Hale's next tale will be, but reading Donner Dinner Party made me hungry (no pun intended) to read about Lewis & Clark and I hope the story of these two explorers is told by Hale & the gang some day soon! From Books 4 Your Kids


  1. This looks like a fun read! It's always nice to find a good MG graphic novel.

  2. I liked this one, but it wasn't my favorite Hazardous Tale. I love the executioner! He is funny.

    1. Kami: Did you review this one? I tried to find it but was unsuccessful. I'll have to read the others now!

  3. I don't know how, but this actually sounds like a fun read. Gruesome title, though!

    1. Susan: Gruesome, YET awesome title! Kids won't get it unless they know what happens though... so I guess the title is mostly for us grown ups. :)

  4. This does sound interesting. Yes, I know about the Donner party and the horrible tragedy, so I'm going to check my library to see if it has this. Thanks for a review of an interesting and humorous way to talk about a real-life event. I hope I can find it! Their story is like a worst nightmare scenario, isn't it?

  5. I haven't heard of this story before! Nathan Hale is so talented. I'll see if my library has this.

  6. Hahaha, I can't believe the title of this book. Terrible, but hilarious. I know the popular version of the story, but I'm sure I don't know all the real details!



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