By Michael Northrup
Given the snow theme in the library for January, and the recent record-breaking blizzards in the northeast part of the U.S., this seems to be a timely novel. Set in New England, seven students and one teacher find themselves trapped in their rural high school in what turns out to be the worst blizzard in New England’s history. It would seem that all should be well with them since they are safe inside their school building. However, no one could anticipate that the forces of nature would be so severe that what initially seemed to be an inconvenience would turn into a struggle for survival. Although this “man v. nature” conflict seems ideal to read in winter, it is an interesting read no matter what the season.
After the Snow
By S.D. Crockett
In keeping with the snow theme of January, one of the featured books for this month is After the Snow. This is a dystopian novel depicting a future society affected by a catastrophic climate condition that causes the majority of the year to be winter. The impact of this climate change has caused governmental and economic chaos. In trying to keep citizens under control, the government has become more regimented and corrupt. Those who live on the fringe of the government controlled cities either steal for a living or try to scrape out a living from hunting and trapping. In many ways life is primitive. The narrator of the novel, Willo, is a 15 year old boy living on the outskirts of a government controlled area. When he arrives home one day to find his family gone, Willo goes in search of them. His search leads him on a journey of survival across the frozen countryside and into the government controlled cities. Although this book is labeled a dystopian novel, it deals more with the main character trying to survive his environment rather than trying to change it.
I love working in the middle school library because each day I get to work with wonderful students. In addition, I have access to lots of interesting books. It is always fun to help students connect to books they like, and to talk about what they are reading.