Book Review: Treasures of the Snow

November 19, 2011 at 9:32 am | Posted in Books and Movies | Leave a comment

Ten or twelve years ago, a missionary family that often loaned us books to read to our daughter told us the one book they would read to their children, if they could have only one, was Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John.  Now we too would say that it is one of the best books we’ve read together as a family.  We are Narnia fans and would put many of those books near the top of the list, especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and our missionary friends were big Narnia fans as well, but I must agree that this one tops them all.  It’s no wonder it’s still in print 63 years after its first publication.  We’ve just finished our second time reading it aloud together.  We’ve also read two of the author’s other books, and though they were pretty good, this is by far the best of them.

Treasures of the Snow is a story written for preteens and early teenagers.  There is great character development in the narrative, and as we read, we really got into the characters’ lives and problems.  Though the resolution of the story is somewhat simplistic because of the intended audience, even the eventual heroes are not perfect people, as is often found in Christian books, especially children’s stories.  These people are real with life-like problems.  Even the adolescent characters, Annette and Lucien, struggle with laziness, fears, bitterness, hatred and revenge.  Readers of all ages will fall in love with Annette’s father, the soft spoken and hard working Monsieur Burnier; with Annette’s aging grandmother, who sees more and more with her mind though less and less with her eyes; and with the happy-go-lucky young Dani, whose accident becomes the focal point of a huge battle of bitterness and revenge.

Ultimately, that’s what the book is about, bitterness and revenge.  It is a tale that draws the readers in and captivates them for the duration of the story and the lessons it presents.  Even when one thinks all might be forgiven and the story is almost over, Mrs. St John has a surprise in store.  If you have preteens or early teenagers, read this book to them.  Even if you have older teenagers, try to convince them to turn off the phone and read or listen to this story.  You’ll be glad you did.

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