The National Book Award nominees were announced about a month ago and so I have been reading through the contenders for Young People’s Literature. So for this month I will tell what I thought of all of the National Book award nominations (for Young People’s Literature).
Today’s book is Touching Snow by M. Sandy Felin. This one starts out with quite a punch:
“The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to kill someone. Anyone will do. Accidental killings have the same effect as on-purpose murder.”
Quite the first sentence isn’t it? It grabbed me and didn’t let go until I was done with the book. I was really disturbed by the first 40 pages. I almost didn’t think I would be able to finish it. The story is about a young Haitian girl, Karina, who has to endure horrible abuse from her Step-father and mother. The scene that really got me described in vivid detail the beating her older sister received from her stepfather that left her almost dead. As you read this vignette you are there with Karina, experiencing this with her.
I couldn’t put this book down. it was a heartbreakingly good story. And it does have a happy ending. Great writing from a first time writer. Not my favorite of the nominations, but definitely a worthy contender.