I thought of half a dozen ways to start this review, but in the end I have to admit I’ve let societal beliefs and stereotypes affect me when it comes to dialect and accents. We’ve all seen the characters on tv, the rednecks and hillbillies, with their distinct way of talking portrayed as the uneducated. As a northerner living in the south I’ve tried to remind myself regularly that the two do not always go hand-in-hand. Nor, that having less than a college education makes you some how less of a person. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I slip.
Last month I read a short blurb for After the Snow by S.D. Crockett and I thought, this is a book I must read. When a friend (and fellow blogger) sent me her ARC for my birthday I was thrilled and eager to begin reading. But, as my brain began to interpret the first few paragraphs I paused. What was I reading?
As young students we are taught to appreciate dialect in dialogue, but this was dialect on an entirely different level. After the Snow is the story of a 15 year old boy’s journey to find his family in a world devastated by long winters. It’s written from his perspective, in his broken English. Even the phrase, broken English, implies there is something wrong with the way he speaks, but it’s not an uncommon phrase. I was determined not to let stereotypes stop me from enjoying this book and connecting with the characters. My determination paid off.
After the Snow is an incredible story. The more I read, the more I was more entranced by how Willo viewed the world and his perseverance to survive. I don’t like giving away endings, so I’m going to end this review with the blurb from Goodreads. What I will say is, read this book, and don’t judge it by the reviews you read on Goodreads (which average 3 stars).
Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone.
But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone — he doesn’t have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl — but Willo just can’t do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?
After the Snow by S.D. Crockett is on Sale Today!