The Snows

by Sharelle Byars Moranville

Sharelle Byars Moranville looks at the pivotal age of sixteen in the lives of four... read more

Sharelle Byars Moranville looks at the pivotal age of sixteen in the lives of four main characters in a novel that spans seventy-five years of enormous social change in our country and four generations of an American family. Jim Snow is sixteen in 1931; with the Depression turning lives upside down, Jim is not only trying to hold on but maintain a sense of stability for his family, especially his little sister, Cathy. Cathy’s sixteenth year arrives in 1942, when World War II weighs heavily on the lives of everyone on the home front. Cathy is too young to tell her family she’s fallen in love with Paul, but their secret plans to marry after his return change when she discovers she is pregnant. In 1969, Jill loves to have fun with her friends. Her worried father, Jim, can’t get over the recklessness of Jill’s generation, and an accident scares him enough to send her to stay with her half-sister, Mary Suzanne, who is teaching at Kent State. Mona is Jill’s sixteen-year-old-daughter in 2006. Her jetsetting mother travels to hotspots all over the world for stories, but Chicago is the place Mona calls home, until a trip to Iowa for her great aunt Cathy’s funeral gives her a new sense of belonging as she makes connections to a place where generations of family history unfold, and to people, from cousins her own age to her grandfather, Jim, that unlock a deeper place in her heart. Moranville’s captivating storytelling is steeped in the details of each era, creating a vivid sense of each time and place, and a warm sense of the people who inhabit them. (Ages 12–16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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