I loved the book. I too knew nothing about this event before reading the story. I read it while going through our first storm and negative temperatures of the season. It helped to reiterate the conditions that were happening in the book. Also made me think about how fortunate we are to have weather predicting abilities so we can prepare for sudden changes in weather.
Another aspect I found interesting was the family relationships in the story. It reinforced to me how they change and as a parent how much our words and actions mentally affect our children.