"The Taste of Snow"
By Stephen Masse
There were so many great and unique elements of this book! I am a sucker for YA books and this one was wonderful. As I was reading it I quickly felt like part of the family and was interested in the girls next move. When Nicole and Ashley were picking out a Christmas Tree they were talking to Saint Nicholas, Santa to the kids in the USA, and Krampus. I was thinking who in the world is Krampus and why have I never heard of him? Well it turns out I am slightly glad because if my parents knew about this when I was a kid I am 100% sure I would have been in deep trouble. Krampus is basically the one who could tell if the children were bad - he wore a devilish outfit with horns on his head and chains hanging around him. To me Krampus was the Devil! Good - Saint Nicholas, Bad - Krampus. Anyway, Stephen Masse does a wonderful job of adding detail to paint the magnificent picture in my mind of the plot, setting, and the characters. As I read I always "See it in my mind" and tell my students the same thing. If you personally make a movie with the book then it will stick with you forever.
Another element I loved about this book is how many connections the author, Stephen V. Masse, made with stories that were told by the father/grandfather and how it related to the girls lives. Masse seems like a natural storyteller, within the book and with the book itself. There were many times I wanted to Google things to see if it was real because they sounded wonderful! Spoiler - The story of the American soldier, the priest, and the German Army. Another connection that I loved, especially as a teacher, was the chapter pictures. The picture always led to what was in the chapter and could be great when used for prediction!
I wish the book would have
Table of Contents with the chapter names - When I teach with a book such as this, I usually have the students look at the table of contents and estimate how much time they will need to dedicate to finish the book - with the class or on their own. For Special Education students it is a relief to see how much they finished and to keep track of it by his/herself.
Overall this would be a WONDERFUL book to use in a classroom, give as a gift, or to read by yourself/as a family! It includes many elements that are needed to create a proper story - amazing character development, Masse paints the picture of what is happening with great attention to detail, and finally the fish hook! A fish hook to me is the mystery that keeps us reading and wanting to know what will happen.
What is this about?
When winter arrives in the Austrian Alps, eleven-year-old Nicole Kinders is given a candy cane by the mysterious shopkeeper, Boznik, who tells her that the candy cane is magic. After her first taste, it seems the whole world becomes more colorful, more delicious, and more dangerous. A quarrel between students on the tram home from school leads Nicole to intervene, beginning a frightening series of events that threaten Nicole. She finds herself losing the joy of holiday preparations, and realizes that the vexing secret she keeps is influencing every part of her life. She finds no help from the magic candy cane, and decides she must return it to the shopkeeper.
Stephen V. Masse was born in Boston. He wrote his first practice novel at age 13, handwritten into a composition book. His children s books are Shadow Stealer (Dillon Press, 1988) and Short Circus (Good Harbor Press, 2010). In addition, Masse wrote A Jolly Good Fellow, winner of the Silver Medal in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards, as well as Honorable Mention in the 2008 New England Book Festival for best books of the holiday season.
Check out the author's website for more pictures and information! Did you know the story came from a story he made up in real life? You have a great imagination Stephen!
a Rafflecopter giveaway