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Touching Snow

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  309 ratings  ·  64 reviews
"The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to kill someone."

Karina has plenty to worry about on the last day of seventh grade: finding three Ds and a C on her report card again, getting laughed at by everyone again, being sent to the principal -- again. She'd like this to change, but with her and her sisters dodging their stepfather's fists every da
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30 of 1,055)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Dianna Geers for

"The Daddy" is known for his violent temper in New York, just like he was before the family moved from Haiti. Karina is glad that he has to work so many hours as a taxi cab driver. Otherwise the beatings would happen more often. And the beatings were horrendous.

"The Daddy" went ballistic over things such as the children not eating all of their dinner. Karina and her siblings often hid under the table or locked themselves in the bathroom when "The Dad
touching snow is such a great book and it was well written by M.Sindy Felin, being her first novel. I will admit I first picked up the book because it was written by a haitian author =]. But the book has a lot of different themes such as keeping their culture as they live in America, stuggling to survive under their abusive stepfather's roof, and a mother who neglects this problem so they can afford to eat and pay the bills. The protagonist Karina suffers from epilepsy and also just trying to fi ...more
I'm a sucker for coming-of-age stories told in the first person. It seems like these would be the easiest novels to write, but I don't believe that for a second. If it seems so it's only because there is a very talented writer working extremely hard behind the scenes.

Such is the case with Touching Snow, a beautifully rendered story that takes a searing look at child abuse. The fact that the novel is told from the point of view of 14 year old Karina makes it that much more poignant and real. Kar
I was disappointed when I touched snow for the first time. The first flake that landed on my hand was not as pure as people say, but rather a tint of charred gray. The droplet of water which the snowflake melted into was gray as well. Rip off.

So many people around the world, like those back in my homeland, carry hopes of touching snow, but is snow as pure and serene as many described it to be? Perhaps it was once, and maybe because of that, the reputation of purity still survives.

The title of "
This book is a shocker. It's the story of a Haitan girl and the life she lives with her mother, brother, harmful stepfather, and many members of her extended family in America. This books clues you in on Haitan values and how certain things that aren't appreciated by american children are deeply appreciated by Haitan children. But suddenly the book does a 360 on you and it's no longer the story of a Haitan girl's assimilation in the American society, it's about something very American that I won ...more
Oct 24, 2009 Kay-chelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kids, Teens, Immigrant Parents
Recommended to Kay-chelle by: A teacher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin

Karina and her sisters are terribly physically abused by their step-father. Their mother stays with him for the financial security. Eventually he is taken away for child abuse after severely beating Karina’s older sister, but he ends up back with the family after Karina is forced to claim she was the one who beat up her sister. Although the children try not to provoke “the Daddy” (this was their way to meet the requirement of calling him daddy), he would always exp
(Best Books YA, controversial)

This was an interesting book with a unique main character. Karina is Haitian and is part of a large family. She and her sisters are regularly and viciously beaten by their stepfather for various, harmless misdeeds. The story begins with him almost beating the oldest girl to death because one of the kids forgot to flush the toilet. Karina’s mom and extended family threaten her so she won’t turn in the stepfather. She stays away from her house as much as possible, to
Felin's book is a gripping story of abuse and resilience and protecting what is most important. Karina is a wonderful main character, both spirited and redemptive, and "the Daddy" is a distantly drawn but satisfying villain. Touching Snow would make a nice companion piece to Sapphire's novel, Push. Felin does a similar job of realistically rendering the horror of living in an abusive home, and while her book, of course, is much more appropriate for younger readers, it is similarly touching and i ...more
In Touching Snow, thirteen year old Karina is worried about a few things; her grades (3 Ds, one C), being sent to the principal's office, being the most unpopular girl at her school and bracing herself for being beaten by her stepfather. Her stepfather is finally put in jail on child abuse charges. Problem solved right? Wrong. Karina's family and a few other adults want Karina to take the blame for the injuries her stepfather (called the Daddy) gave to her older sister, Enid. At the heart of thi ...more
Rokeya   begum
Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin, was a one of a kind book. I have never read anything like it. Its like slavery, but "the daddy" is their owner. Karina, the main character of the book, is an 8th grade girl. The fact that she does so poorly in school adds up to all her stresses at home. Karina and her two sisters, Delta and Enid, are responsible of taking care of the younger children, the little brothers and the twins. The Daddy beats up the children all the time if anything is not the way he wa ...more
This is a brave book that I imagine will be banned form many reading lists. It puts a magnifying glass onto domestic violence with a brutal portrayal. Not only are the descriptions of the beatings themselves graphic, but the psychological implementations are unearthed as well, with Karina’s fainting spells and Delta’s bedwetting problems. If that weren’t enough to raise the conservative parent’s eyebrow, the text also deals with a developing lesbian relationship, which has been generally taboo i ...more
I didn't hate it with a fiery passion like most of my other one stars, but I didn't like it.

Why, you ask? Because it was just a waste of time. The main character was very annoying, and the author didn't make her pain relatable in the least. It was just like, "Oh, he hit me hard. I fell and got hurt really bad. I was sad and scared." There were no emotions behind the words, it was just boring.
It seemed as if the character just couldn't give a crap. Plus, she was just freaky. Any character that l
Oct 29, 2014 Conner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: lgbt
I didn't care much at all for the first half of this book; I thought it was rather dysfunctional and not very gripping, but the second half was outstanding. The ending was rather vague, but still very satisfying, and it did a good job closing the generally gritty story on a happy note. This is the author's debut novel of course, and therefore we can't expect this to be amazing, although I see great promise in her. This is an author I will probably track, because her prose really is outstanding, ...more
Nov 05, 2007 Jess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of dark, realistic, depressing YA
While I can't fault the quality of writing, pacing, character development, or level of intensity (talk about an intense jumpstart!) of this book, it's just not my kind of thing. It's the type of story I would NEVER have picked up as a teen - gritty, realistic, depicting abuse. I couldn't even make it through Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming as a teen. I picked it up since it's a National Book Award finalist, got through the intro and the major abuse scene, and put it back down. I had my doubts about f ...more
Nov 27, 2007 Christina rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of A Child Called It, readers who want to learn more about the immigrant experience today
Shelves: realistic
A very powerful book about child abuse and immigrant families, with a kicker of a first line: "The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to kill someone." Karina lives with her Haitian immigrant mother, 2 sisters, young brother, and cousins in a cramped apartment. The other person in the family is the mean abusive stepfather she calls "The Daddy." He beats them on a daily basis, for not eating all their dinner (when their mother always makes too much food, because she's par ...more
I picked this up after hearing it was a Finalist for the National Book Award, and it was definitely worth the read. It is not for the faint-of-heart, but for anyone able to read about severe child abuse it's a great story.

If it weren't for how wonderful and supportive the siblings are in this story, I don't think it would have been anywhere near as good. The girls are all really strong people caught in what seems like a hopeless situation, and their interactions with one another and their friend
Inez V.
This isn't the best realistic fiction but it is a really strong book with a strong message. Katu is a girl from Haiti who is living there legally unlike her reaitives and Augustin. Augustin isn't family but he is suppose to be dead. He ran away from Haiti when his funeral was in motion. With a dysfunctional family Katu fakes that she had killed her stepfather. It keeps the bullies away from her but not the memories.
It is a book I would reread but I wouldn't recommend this so highly.
Jacqui Robbins
This book started with an amazing first line -- "The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to kill someone." -- and didn't let me go.

Karina is the seventh grade daughter of Haitian immigrants, and she's dealing with a lot. Her teacher wants to put her in special ed, the other kids bully her, and her stepfather doles out severe "beat-ups" for any mistake.

M. Sindy Felin gives a hard, realistic look at life under an abusive parent, from the way it affects everything even when
4.5 stars actually. This is a really great story that was written in a smart, inquisitive, often funny, and touching voice. It takes place in the mid eighties, but you can't really tell, so it comes off as timeless. Karina and her family live in New York. Her stepfather is extremely abusive to her and her siblings and over the course of a summer after he beats up her older sister so bad that he ends up in court, Karina discovers not only how to protect her loved ones but also more about who she ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Betsy Martinez
This is one of my favorite books I've read, I absolutely loved it. I liked how the author used a lot of details to describe the important parts of the book.

The book is about a girl named Karina. Karina and her family, are constantly getting hurt by her stepfather, The Daddy. The Daddy isn't their only problem in their life, they also struggle with money.

This book made me think about a lot of things in the real world.It made me notice how child abuse is such an important thing and very dangerous
this book is very touching to the heart. its about a young girl named karina. shes black and she faces many problems growing up black, poor and in a not good environment. she faces many problems everyday such as her step father who abuses her and her siblings everyday. because her mother is working all the time, shes never home to see this happen and so she doesnt kick the stepfather out. one day though, the oldest sibling is badly abused by the stepfather and news come to the family. in the end ...more
Danielle Redz


Everything about this novel impressed me, as it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

Characters were strong and well-developed. I loved Katu, Rachel, and all the siblings. And the kind of love/ friendship between Katu and Rachel was so well done- in the sense that their age was shown, there wasn’t dwelling on the love affair, but it also wasn’t ignored. It was also one hell of a plot twist.

The basic storyline and plot was interesti
Wow...I understand why this book was a finalist for the National Book Award. It’s jarring, true, and grabs at you. The Kliatt reviewer was right on the nose with comparing this to The Color Purple. Abuse is nasty, and Felin manages to portray the abused and victims in a light that isn’t done very often. Karina’s family is Haitian and suffering from the abuse of The Daddy. He’s cruel and their mother doesn’t stick up for them. In fact, she’s willing to allow him to come back home (again) if he pr ...more
May 11, 2009 Meredith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is very good but it also made me angry. Thee adults in. The. Novel are very frusrating. How the only put in the very miinmal to stop the abuse. Still it was a very good rwad.
Dec 15, 2014 Rory rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who can handle the first two chapters
Shelves: kids
I don't usually want to read books about abuse, and I especially dislike books where I feel abuse is just thrown in as a extra jolt of drama.

This is not one of those books. Its central story is a Haitian family's very believable struggle with chronic physical abuse. The narrator isn't perfect herself, but her motives and reactions ring true. And, geez, you're definitely rooting for her. It's a surprise when her sexual orientation becomes a plot thread, but that's handled so well, and fits right
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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M. Sindy Felin was born in Brooklyn, New York to Hatian immigrants and grew up in suburban Rockland County. She was the first person in her extended family to have been born in the United States, and the first girl to attend college--she graduated from Wesleyan University in 1994. Touching Snow is her first novel. Sindy lives just outside Washington, D.C.
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“In crisp, clean prose Amy Reed places the reader right into the heart and mind and life of a girl who makes the choice to be one of the beautiful ones. Reed gives a disturbing and concise snapshot of what it can be like today for teens struggling with self-identity and peer acceptance when in a heartbeat they follow the 'wrong road.” 4 likes
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