After the Snow
By S. D. Crockett
In this standout post-apocalyptic adventure, 15-year-old Willo learns to find hope in a hard, barren world.
Now that the polar ice caps have melted, "the sea stop working [and the snow] fall and fall and fall and don't stop," life is hard for Willo and his family. But they are better off than most. They are "stragglers" living in the mountains, hunting and trapping, and making their way with as little outside help as possible. It's better than being "stealers," who take what they desire. Willo's family steers clear of the city, where the government and the gangs vie for control. But when government trucks take away Willo's family, he is left to fend for himself. He knows he can make it on his own, but shouldn't he search for his family? Avenge their betrayal? When he finds a girl called Mary, starving and abandoned, all his instincts say to run. Still, Willo tries to help her, and they are both picked up and trucked into the city. Separated from Mary, Willo feels helpless and unprepared. None of his skills seems to be of any use here.
Willo's first-person narrative reflects both his lack of formal education and also his keen survival skills, and his lyrical voice pulls readers into his world. He hears a dog spirit that guides him, and along the way, he learns some important secrets about his father and his own place in the world. S.D. Crockett's debut novel marks her as a writer to watch. --Lynn Becker, host of Book Talk, the monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI. First appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers 4/16/12, reprinted with permission.Discover: A powerful picture of life in a new ice age, in which Willo is put to the test, but finds his own way.