Ms. Rosas's Reviews > Phantoms In The Snow

Phantoms In The Snow by Kathleen Benner Duble
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Jun 06, 2012

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bookshelves: 112-in-2012, historical-fiction, middle-school-5-8, young-adult, books-in-library
Read from May 27 to June 01, 2012

I tried to imagine myself as a 13 year old boy reading this book. I'm pretty sure if I was it would be a four or five star book. As an adult I had to give it three maybe two and half.

Noah is orphaned (small pox) in 1944 and is sent to live with his only living relative, his uncle. An uncle he didn't even know existed until Noah was on the train to meet him. Turns out Noah's uncle is part of a mostly unknown military outfit called the Phantoms. Phantoms are a skiing military unit in the mountains of Colorado. For Noah, from Texas and raised a pacifist, this a big change. He is forced to decide if he wants to go against everything he has ever known and train with the Phantoms or take his chances with an orphanage.

The Tenth Mountain Division was an actual outfit during World War II that fought in the mountains of Italy and helped turn the tides of the war there. Also interestingly enough from what I can tell (please someone confirm if you know) they are now stationed at Fort Drum. I had no idea and will be doing more research in the near future! This makes for an excellent selling point with boys in this area.

For the most part I enjoyed the book there were a few things that bothered me. First there was the end, I felt like the entire book was building to some great climax and when I got there it was over. Just like that. I had to read the last two or three pages three times before I figured out what happened. It was really disappointing. I wanted so much more from this book. I wanted to see how Noah reconciled his pacifist upbringing with the horrors of war he was now witnessing. I felt the same way about losing people. It's war, people die, but give me a chance to really mourn them.

Like I said it has the potential to be a big hit with young boy readers but for me it fell short emotionally. It was interesting learning about the training and learning to ski with guns and while shooting and being shot at. Noah is a likable character and so are the others in his outfit. They have some pretty crazy adventures which, according to the author, were pulled directly from actual events.

Verdict: My copy is already in the library. I book talked it and three boys fought over it. It hasn't come back yet with an "I don't like this. I can't read it."
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Reading Progress

05/30/2012 page 90
38.0%

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