In a blinding blizzard a schoolbus overturns and a young teacher, her seven pupils, and the driver-a mere boy-are stranded in the open country, miles and miles from the nearest ranchhouse. Thus Mari Sandoz introduces a situation that will stretch the limits of human endurance. The exposed little group is armed with no more than the lunches they started out with and only the clothing required for a normal winter’s day. As a killer storm takes hold and the mercury plunges below zero they become desperate. How each character facesthe terrifying prospect of freezing to death is a story that has become a small classic. And because it is based upon fact-the author’s niece experienced much the same ordeal in the paralyzing midwestern blizzard of January 1949-it has the ring of undisputed truth. Winter Thunder has been named by the Reader’s Digest as one of the ten best American short novels.