Book Review by Aarene Storms: Snow in Summer

Monday, March 18, 2013

Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen 
As a young child with hair black as ebony, skin fair as snow and lips red as blood, Summer leads a fairy tale life: her mother is beautiful, her father is the king of the garden, and all is well. But when her mother dies in childbirth, Summer learns about living the middle part of a fairy tale, the part of the story where the wicked stepmother moves in and the young girl runs away to the forest to find safety with a bunch of little men.

Set in Appalachia in the 1930's, Jane Yolen recasts not just the "Sleeping Beauty" story but several other classic Grimm tales as well, with a fresh voice and an intriguing cast. No cussing (the word "witch" is noted as a side-step for another word involving mama dogs) and no sex (although Hunter clearly intends to have his wicked way with Summer before carving out her heart), and only a bit of blood...but there are several very poisonous snakes to watch for.

Recommended for ages 10 to adult.
The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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