One Book South Dakota Author Tour





What Is the One Book Author Tour?

The annual One Book South Dakota Author Tour provides South Dakotans opportunities to attend an event in their area featuring the One Book SD author. Tours, which have featured national bestselling authors like Kent Nerburn and J. Ryan Stradal, are targeted to areas around the state to accommodate readers and encourage attendance.






Tour Kicked Off July 27

In the 2021 One Book South Dakota selection, The Children's Blizzardauthor Melanie Benjamin offers a fictionalized take on the notorious storm that swept through Dakota Territory in January 1888. This summer and fall, she will discuss her novel and swap severe weather stories with readers across the state.

Several organizations are hosting Benjamin on her virtual One Book South Dakota Author Tour for The Children's Blizzard. During each event, she will discuss her work and answer reader questions in a conversation with an assigned moderator and local participants.

The novel, based on oral histories, is a gripping tale of survival amidst and after the storm. On January 12, 1888, a mild day in Dakota Territory turned into a deadly blizzard. Because students had gone to school without their heavy coats, many young schoolteachers were faced with a life and death decision: allow the children to start for home and risk freezing to death, or keep them in the schoolhouse and risk being trapped without sufficient fuel?

Benjamin tells the fictional stories of sisters Raina and Gerda Olsen, schoolteachers in southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska who make very different decisions on that fateful day. In the process, she also touches on issues ranging from historical weather forecasting to homestead boosterism by railroads and newspapers.

To culminate her year as One Book South Dakota Author, Benjamin will deliver a keynote address at the 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood, Oct. 1-3.

The Children's Blizzard discussions and author visits fulfill the South Dakota Humanities Council's mission to "celebrate literature, promote civil conversation, and tell the stories that define our state."

Watch and for details.



2021 One Book South Dakota author Megan Phelps-Roper takes photos with fans and signs copies of her book,

2021 One Book South Dakota author Melanie Benjamin is conducting a virtual tour in support of The Children's Blizzard. 



Tuesday, July 27

Saturday, July 31

Tuesday, Aug.3

Thursday, Aug. 5

  • Rapid City, 12 p.m. MT

For session access information, contact the local coordinator.