Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Snow in Summer: Fairest of them all by Jane Yolen

Snow in Summer is only a young child when her mother dies after giving birth to her baby brother, and she can only watch as her father falls into despair at the loss of his beloved wife.  With the help of her Cousin Nancy, Snow in Summer makes it through the next few years, a time when her father is distant and spends time each evening at her mothers grave.  Everyone in town thinks he will get over it eventually and marry Cousin Nancy, but the person he marries instead is a woman that Cousin Nancy calls a witch.

Snow in Summer tries to fit in with her new stepmother, but something is not right, and no matter what she does she can't seem to make the woman love her.  Used to having people around her who love her and call her simply Summer, it is a shock to have a woman who seems to want things she can't give and who insists on calling her Snow.  As the years pass the relationship remains strained, but with the help of her Cousin Nancy Summer is able to find some relief, but then her stepmother comes decides she has waited long enough and decides to put another plan into action - one that can only have fatal consequences for Summer.

Snow in Summer is a reworking of the classic fairytale Snow White - bringing the story into a more modern era and changing the relationship slightly to make it a little more creepy and, for lack of better term, realistic.  Jane Yolen is a prolific author and writes a wide range of novels for children that are bursting with drama, suspense, and pure magic.  Snow in Summer takes a traditional story and gives it new life, and while you can guess some of the things that happen because there is the echo of the original story, there are also some twists and touches that are completely Jane Yolen.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will appeal to a wide range of readers - from confident younger readers who want a good read, through to 'tweens and younger teens who are looking for an enjoyable read that is not too challenging or wordy.  The best part is that when they (or you) have finished reading this book there are dozens more Jane Yolen's to read, and many more retellings of classic tales too.

If you enjoy this book then try:
  • Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
  • A true princess by Diane Zahler
  • Princess of the midnight ball by Jessica Day George
  • Dragons blood by Jane Yolen
  • The wizards map by Jane Yolen
  • Ella enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
  • Golden by Cameron Dokey
  • Northwood by Brian Falkner
  • The Rose Bride by Nancy Holder
  • Snow by Tracy Lynn
  • The golden door by Emily Rodda

Reviewed by Brilla

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