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children's 12 and up
When the Snow Fell
 
 
Author
Henning Mankell.
Publisher Delacorte  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9780385734974
Pages/Publication Date 247/2007
Daedalus Item Code 20574
This item is not available.
Description
As it has in years past, the first snow signifies to Joel Gustafson his very own New Year's Eve. So in Henning Mankell's third story about Joel and his dad, for readers 12 to 14, when the snow begins to fall on a cold November day, Joel gets busy making resolutions. Number 1: Live to be at least a hundred. He realizes that this will require toughening himself up by testing his physical limits. Number 2: Set his eyes on the sea for the first time, which probably means helping his father Samuel get back to the sailing life he left behind. Number 3: See a naked woman. At almost 14, Joel feels he needs to see the world—including females—in an entirely different light.

"While this is a companion to A Bridge to the Stars and Shadows in the Twilight, it is not necessary to have read those novels to understand the action and characters in this story. Joel, 14, is certain of two things: life gets more complicated over time, and winter always arrives unexpectedly. With the New Year approaching, he visits a graveyard to make three resolutions: to live to be 100 years old, to see the sea for the first time, and to see a naked woman. Enduring a winter night outside, trying to find a way to move away from his slowly decaying town, and seeking out the new shopkeeper's assistant are only a few incidents that follow. An awkward encounter with a classmate brings intense embarrassment, which is followed quickly by Joel's heralded heroic actions in an unrelated event. At times as spare and chilly as the Swedish winter, this book is an affecting portrayal of a young man's maturation and the difficulties of a troubled father-son relationship. Although the story is set in 1950s rural Sweden, readers will relate to Joel's mixed feelings about his father, his budding sexuality, and the fluidity of the humiliation and admiration that are bestowed upon Joel by his peers."—School Library Journal

 
 
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