Fifteen-year-old Henry Holloway isn't immoral, he's just hungry. His mother died when he was nine, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Andy and his friends, all amiable small-time crooks. When Uncle Andy is sent to prison, Henry takes up residence in an abandoned tree house in order to escape the notice of Social Services. His mission? To survive on his own while preserving his cherished independence. Fortunately, Henry possesses all the skills it takes to be a successful house burglar.
Henry is an unusually resourceful and considerate burglaroften tidying up the places he robsuntil he's caught. The terms of his probation? He must live with the Wingates, a strange family in a small town called Snowflake Falls.
Henry is just getting used to his temporary family when the newly liberated Uncle Andy and his criminal friends draw him into a plan to rob the citizens of Snowflake Falls. Will Henry be loyal to his uncle or will he break with the past and do the right thing?
John Lekich is a Vancouver-based author and freelance writer whose work has appeared in Reader's Digest, the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter. A former West Coast arts correspondent for The Globe and Mail, he is the recipient of ten regional and national magazine awards.
Read an Excerpt
Ever since I was a kid, being even a little bit hungry has given me bad dreams. The past couple of nights I've dreamed that a police car was taking me away in handcuffs. Both times I've woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. This is so upsetting that I have to calm myself down by closing my eyes and visualizing the inner workings of various locks. This is a talent I learned during my advance training at the Walter Gurski School of Lock Picking. I find it very soothing during times of stress.
The Prisoner of Snowflake Falls 3.5 out of 5based on
24girl on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
Henry Holloway's mother passed away when he was nine and Henry's uncle Andy became his guardian. For the past six years Andy and his buddies have been giving Henry a crash course in burglary and other nefarious deeds. When the law finally caught up with Andy, Henry was left living with Andy's girlfriend Cindy. But soon enough Cindy runs off to Vegas and Henry makes his home an abandoned tree house sneaking food and essentials from homes of his "customers". Things are tough when you're a burglar who feels guilty about stealing from the houses you break into and Henry makes up for some of his bad deeds by cleaning up the mess he makes and then some. After almost being caught by someone being home unexpectedly, Henry makes a narrow escape and breaks into yet another house to clean and patch himself up. But this time he dozes off and is actually caught. Now he's been sent to live with the Wingates in Snowflake Falls and he just might be worse off, not rehabilitated.The Prisoner of Snowflake Falls was more of a children's book than a YA read but it was a super cute story that had Henry redeeming himself in the end. I enjoyed his antics in the beginning of the story and thought the relationship with his uncle Andy was truly well done. I recommend this one for kids 11-15.
TZacek on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
Budding thief Henry Halloway, thanks to an uncle in prison and a series of unfortunate events, is living on his own in a treehouse. The problem? The owner of the treehouse doesn't know he has taken up residence. She also doesn't know that he has been liberating her of food items and spare change from her sofa cushions. He makes little hits on all the houses in the area, so it's no surprise when he is caught, wearing his victim's bathrobe and taking a nap. Unlucky Henry is sent to the town of Snowflake Falls to start his rehabilitation. The pros: I found the story to be an engaging, quick read with nice character development and a good bit of humor. The story was interesting and the voice of a 15 year old precocious boy read as genuine. It's easy to like Henry, despite his shady past and the back story with his mother and uncle helps to flesh him out and feel like a real person. I thought the Wingate family was hilarious and Henry's developing relationship rang true. In general, I would recommend this book to any reluctant reader.The cons: What didn't ring true for me was the portrayal of Henry's "thief family." His uncle and his cronies were very two-dimensional and fell really flat. These are criminals, and while I don't have a problem with portraying them as a sort of good bad guy, I did have a problem with their speech. Not a contraction in sight. Their sentences are full of "I have not done such and such," or "Let us go and do this." Literally. Every time they speak. Not even an average person speaks like that all the time. You feel like they are all at high tea and raised in the finest finishing schools. These men were in prison for goodness sake! Let's take the shine off of them a bit, hmm? The other thing that bombed for me was the ending. I felt like the author could have done SO much more here and it really was a let-down for me. I don't want to give away spoilers but the ending was a rush-job, wrapped up in about 7 pages and you sort of wanted to go, "Wait.. wait... really? That's... sorta sucky." I wish more time was taken with things because I felt the ending could have been a really powerful redemptive thing. Not saying that everything needs to be all happy and neat. But this was just a C- ending for me.
sleahey on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
With a quirky flavor reminiscent of Daniel Pinkwater, this first person narrative is from the point of view of Henry, an inveterate bteenage thief. An orphan, Henry has been living with his beloved burglar uncle, but when Uncle Andy is incarcerated Henry tries to live on his own in a tree house. After he is caught in turn, he is sent to live with an unusual family in Snowflake Falls, where his situation presents many unexpected challenges. As might be expected, this arrangement gives Henry a new view of things as he develops friendships and a new kind of family.The first section of the book sets the stage for the Snowflake Falls story, and it could have been streamlined considerably. The second half of the book definitely moved along at a more rapid and interesting pace.
asomers on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
First let me say, don't judge this book by its cover. I think the cover is awful! Mr. Lekich does a wonderful job of fleshing out his main character Henry. We get to know his back story, and his relationship with his uncle. But the story begins to break down after he gets to Snowflake Falls. I almost wish there were two stories. One about his life leading up to his stay in the tree house and then a sequel that brings us to Snowflake Falls. That way the author would have more time to develop the intriguing characters from Snowflake Falls in more detail. I finished the book wanting to know more about Harley's background. How did he get so rich? I want to know if Oscar starts to talk more. I want to know if Theodora suspected her husband's background and what made her decide to marry him... I'm left with far too many questions, which means the ending was not very satisfying. I know there's the old saying "Leave'em wanting more" but in this case there was too much left unsaid. That being said the author did succeed in making me care about the characters. The story was fast paced and would definitely appeal to both boys and girls.
elizardkwik on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, the story of a young man who is basically raising himself by "borrowing/liberating" items from other people's houses. At the beginning of the book, Henry is living in a tree house while his uncle (and guardian) is serving a sentence in jail. Henry is not your typical thief, though. Because he feels guilty about what he is doing, he often leaves his target's houses a little neater than he finds them, or ends up not taking anything, or sometimes even leaves something behind. Henry is a good kid, despite his unconventional living arrangements. So when he is finally caught and sent to Snowflake Falls as part of his rehabilitation, he actually fits in pretty well with the host family and community - despite his first impressions. The characters and descriptions in this book are very enjoyable and amusing. It was fast paced and even the frequent flashbacks did not cause too much confusion. Even though Henry is 15, there is nothing inappropriate about this book, which makes it a good fit for ages 11 and up.
Jadesbooks on LibraryThing
More than 1 year ago
This books was fun. From the first pages, I wanted to keep reading to see how everything turns out for Henry Holloway. Henry is a confessed theif, he used to steal small things to afford to bring culture into his life, and later he stole only to survive and to stay out of foster care. Unlike most theifs, he has a lot of compassion for those around him and is not always able to follow through with his devious plans. This compassion is what leads him to getting caught and sent to a reform program in Snowflake Falls to the Wingate family. Here is where we see the true potential that Harry has at being in a real family, with relationships with people that care and depend on him. It was a great journey, and I loved all the little twists and turns.
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