Snow Lane

by Josephine Angelini

Ten-year-old Annie Bianchi is the youngest of 9 kids in a Catholic family in mid–1980s... read more

Ten-year-old Annie Bianchi is the youngest of 9 kids in a Catholic family in mid–1980s Massachusetts. Exceptionally bright and creative, Annie’s in a class for gifted students despite struggling with dyslexia. Although Annie doesn’t always follow the nuances of social interactions, she looks for the good in people and has a wonderful friend at school in her lab partner, Jordan. At home, she doesn’t think of her family as poor, or even unusual, although Annie knows her teenage sister Fay’s physical abuse and cruelty, usually directed at her sister Nora, is wrong, just as she knows her mother is often overwhelmed. A narrative grounded in Annie’s perspective, told in her engaging, ingenuous voice, offers a masterful slow reveal of the larger truths hinted at in small details and occasional dramatic moments that are part of Annie’s daily life. It’s not that Annie’s an unreliable narrator; it’s that she only begins to fully comprehend that things at home are not typical when she gets a glimpse of her family through the perspective of outsiders after Nora runs away. Everything and everyone are more complicated, and more poignant, than at first revealed in this moving, captivating work about family, and resilience, and survival, and the love, in spite of everything, that is never in doubt. (Ages 10–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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