When the Snow Fell
By Henning Mankell
(Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Paperback, 9780440240440, 256pp.)
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
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As it has in the past, the first snow of the year signifies to Joel Gustafson his very own New Year's Eve. So when the snow begins to fall on a cold November day, Joel gets busy making resolutions--three to be exact. Resolution #1: Live to be at least a hundred. He realizes that this will require toughening himself up by testing his physical limits. Resolution #2: Set his eyes on the sea for the first time. To do this, Joel knows he needs to help sort out his father Samuel's problems and get him back to the life he left behind--being a sailor at sea. Resolution #3: See a naked lady. At almost fourteen, Joel feels he needs to see the world--including females--in an entirely different light.
As the winter days pass, life becomes ever more complicated, but Joel is determined to keep his resolutions--for his father, for himself, and for their future.
When the Snow Fell follows Joel's journey as he realizes along the way that it will require determination, strength, and valor in order to truly become a young man.
Henning Mankell is the prizewinning and internationally acclaimed author of novels for both adults and young people. His adult novels dominate bestseller lists across Europe. Born in a village in northern Sweden, Mankell divides his time between Sweden and Africa, where he works with AIDS-related charities. He is also director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo, Mozambique. Mankell's companion novels about Joel and his father are A Bridge to the Stars, Shadows in the Twilight, and Journey to the End of the World.
Starred Review, Booklist, October 1, 2009:
"So honest about emotions, especially in a story filled with action"