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The oceans stopped working before Willo was born, so the world of ice and snow is all he's ever known. He lives with his family deep in the wilderness, far from the government's controlling grasp. Willo's survival skills are put to the test when he arrives home one day to find his family gone. It could be the government; it could be scavengers—all Willo knows is he has to find refuge and his family. It is a journey that will take him into the city he's always avoided, with a ...
The oceans stopped working before Willo was born, so the world of ice and snow is all he's ever known. He lives with his family deep in the wilderness, far from the government's controlling grasp. Willo's survival skills are put to the test when he arrives home one day to find his family gone. It could be the government; it could be scavengers—all Willo knows is he has to find refuge and his family. It is a journey that will take him into the city he's always avoided, with a girl who needs his help more than he knows.
S.D. Crockett on narrative voice and an especially cold winter:
What was your inspiration for After the Snow?
Well, apart from the unbelievably cold winter during which I was writing—in an unheated house, chopping logs and digging my car out of the snow; I think much of the inspiration for the settings in After the Snow came from my various travels.
In my twenties I worked as a timber buyer in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, and that work led to travels in Eastern Europe and Armenia. As soon as I step off the plane in those places it smells like home.
It may sound strange to say, when After the Snow is set in Wales, but really the practical dilemmas in the book come directly from places I’ve been, people I’ve lived with, and the hardships I’ve seen endured with grace and capability. I was in Russia not long after the Soviet Union collapsed and I’ve seen society in freefall. Without realizing it at the time I think those experiences led me to dive into After the Snow with real passion.
What would western civilization look like with a few tumbles under its belt? What would happen if the things we took for granted disappeared? I wanted to write a gripping story about that scenario, but hardly felt that I was straying into fantasy in the detail.
What do you want readers to most remember about After the Snow?
We all have the capacity to survive, but in what manner? What do we turn to in those times of trouble? Those are the questions I would like people to contemplate after reading After the Snow.
How did Willo’s unique voice come to you?
Willo’s voice appeared in those crucial first few paragraphs. After that it just grew along with his world and the terrible situations that arise. I think his voice is in all of us. We don’t understand, we try to make good—maybe we find ourselves.
How did you stay warm while writing this novel?
I banked up the fire—and was warmed by hopes of spring.
A 2013 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist
“Willo tells this dark story in a heavy, coarse, broken, but often beautiful dialect: ‘People always looking to find the runt in you and needle it out if they can.’ It’s hard not to wonder at first whether Willo is perhaps a little slow or unbalanced. If so, he’s also gifted—not only in snaring wild game (‘Gonna want to show him something clever you done, like catching a big hare’), but also in his keen observation—and he is a deeply lovable character. Crockett has created a voice that gets inside you, a voice that, though limited in vocabulary and perspective, achieves remarkable emotional range. And Willo proves the perfect narrator for this harrowing tale about the dangerous new world of Crockett’s invention. . . . After the Snow is a coming-of-age novel, first and foremost—a brutal, tough and sometimes truly transcendent one.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Suspenseful and powerful.” —VOYA
“In this powerful first novel, global warming has killed the North Atlantic Current, sending the U.K. and much of the U.S. into a new ice age.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A sentimental tale of hardships, resilience and first-time experiences that illustrates a universal truism: Hope springs eternal in the young.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Marks Crockett as a writer to watch.” —Booklist
“What elevates Snow is the voice Crockett uses to tell the tale.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Excerpted from After the Snow by S. D. Crockett Copyright © 2012 by S. D. Crockett. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted September 15, 2012
Our school library got some new books, and as one of maybe 5 students that frequents the place, I was told about the new books. I picked this one out. The cover looked interesting and the story sounded interesting. I'm sure the story would be interesting, if I could've gotten past page 33. The writing style is terrible. It is told completely in slang. It took me an hour to read those 33 pages and understand what was going on. I plan on returning this book as soon as I get the chance and checking out something that isn't terrible. How many authors books don't get published, while this one did? A kindergartner with a good vocabulary could've written this book, since the author obviously doesn't understand how to use contractions or how to pluralize words. Don't waste your money on this book. If you must read it, borrow it from a library. It's definitely not worth the money.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 15, 2012
Willo is an unusual character. He is wild in his own way, raised in a
world where there is only one season-winter. He knows what he has to
know, but isn't particularly educated...resulting in the book's slightly
stilted dialogue. However, the author does a wonderful job with this odd
dialogue, the reader will be placed more firmly in the situation the
book portrays. The story starts when Willo returns home to find his
entire family gone. Willo decides that he might try his sister's
husband, a wily and untrustworthy man, first. He sets off and encounters
an immediate obstacle-two starving children. Willo has to decide if he
should save his own meager supplies or if he can help the two
children...he must also think about his family. Willo's character,
though unusual, was fun to read about. His descriptions of events and
scenes make the whole novel seem much more real to the reader. He has a
way of describing the environment that will paint that perfect picture
in the readers' mind. The other characters are not focused too much
upon. The young girl, one of the starving children, soon becomes a sort
of companion to Willo. She eases his loneliness and appears to be
dependent on him for the most part. The plot itself was fast-paced
and interesting. Endless winter? Most of us cannot imagine that sort of
environment, but the author manages to make it seem very possible. The
scenes will drag in some parts and fly by in others. Overall, this book
is worth at least one read-through and recommended to young adult/teen readers.
Posted March 5, 2012
After the Snow is the debut novel of author S.D. Crockett. Crockett brings us a dystopian set near a Welsh mountain during an ice age. Unending snow has shut down society and forced humans into settlements. This tale shares with us the journey of a fifteen year old boy, as he searches for his family. While the author captures the landscape with beautiful imagery, I found the lack of world building and the pace to be difficult. The tale is told from the perspective of fifteen year old Willo. Willo was born on the mountains and lives in a home of the grid with his father, siblings and a group of strangers who have formed a family unit. The story opens with Willo sitting in a cluster of trees and rocks above his home. We learn that his entire family has been taken. He is alone and fearful of returning to the house. He can still hear their screams. He takes solace and seeks comfort from his companion “dog”. The author through Willo gives us a brief history of what life was like on the mountain, of his father and his family. Here the author gives us clues as to what may have happen. We learn that everything is controlled by ANPEC. They guard the settlements, control food and electricity and arrest those without papers. Willo decides to travel to the home of his sister to get answers and find his father. His journey has him facing death, saving a young girl, named Mary and entering the settlements. As he travels, we learn more about his father and his role in an underground movement. We meet many different characters throughout the tale. Some help Willo and others use him. Crockett gives each character originality and depth. The dialect through the entire book is told in the voice of Willo. This language is entirely in slang and at first I thought the author’s intent was to paint him as uneducated, however we later learn he is simple. Willo’s companion “dog” is dead. Willo has cleaned the bones and sewn them, along with the dog hide onto his cap and coat. Picture this child walking around with the skull of a large dog on his head. All of Willo’s decisions in the first half of the book are made after consulting “dog”. The dog's voice is lyrical and spiritual as he guides Willo. Willo doesn’t trust easily and is leery of the people he meets. He connects with Mary, and even when he is away from her he makes plans to find her. Willo faces a lot of difficult situations and relies on his father’s teachings and the voice of “dog”. The tale moves at an uneven clip. It starts of strong, then in the middle it becomes stagnant and it is here that I almost quit the book. I seriously thought about making this my first DNF. I set the book down for the evening and resumed reading the next day. The third part of the book picks up and in my opinion was the strongest part of the tale. The world-building frustrated me. Crockett paints the ice age beautifully and I could picture the mountains and over run settlements but the lack of information kept me from truly connecting. I cannot tell you for sure the time period. There is a mention of WWI, so this may have occurred before WWII? I know it takes place somewhere in Europe. I know that people dream of escaping to China. We learn the settlements and cities are controlled by a militia under the control of ANPEC. There is a movement to escape this oppressive area and those in the movement study and follow a book by John Blovyn. As we learn more about Willo's Dad, the story loses some of its pla
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Posted April 23, 2012
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