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Snow in Summer: The Tale of an American Snow White

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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,644 Ratings  ·  281 Reviews
With her black hair, red lips, and lily-white skin, Summer is as beautiful as her father's garden. And her life in the mountains of West Virginia seems like a fairy tale; her parents sing and dance with her, Cousin Nancy dotes on her, and she is about to get a new baby brother. But when the baby dies soon after he's born, taking Summer's mama with him, Summer's fairy-tale ...more
Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Published November 10th 2011 by Penguin Group, LLC
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Full review, first posted on www.FantasyLiterature.com:

Snow in Summer is Jane Yolen’s 2011 middle grade/young adult retelling of Snow White, set in the Appalachian hills of West Virginia in the 1940s. The main character is Snow in Summer, a girl named by her mother after the white Cerastium flowers that carpet their front yard.

description

Her mother dies in childbirth when Summer is seven years old, and her father completely withdraws in his grief, neglecting Summer, who gets along with the help of her mot
...more
Jessica
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, strange, and deliciously creepy version of Snow White. Set in the mountains of West Virginia during the mid-Twentieth Century, Yolen doesn't have to get bogged down with creating a whole new fantasy world, instead she assumes you understand the setting, and uses spare language to tell you the story in her own way. I couldn't put this down!
Lucy March

Okay, not to be rude, but if Jane Yolen is the "Hans Christian Andersen of America," then I'm Emily freaking Bronte.

What is WITH the lousy Snow White books lately? Have people suddenly decided to put forth NO effort in adapting this tale?

Sadly, this one really should have been good, because its premise was actually sort of brilliant. A 1930s Snow White living in the mountains with a stepmother who attends a snake handling church and has a fixation with poisons? SIGN ME UP! It's kind of like Th
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Ranting Dragon
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: janea
http://www.rantingdragon.com/snow-in-...


Jane Yolen’s latest novel, Snow in Summer, is a wonderful addition to her series of reinvented fairy tales. Like her earlier Briar Rose, this is a dark retelling of a Grimm fairy tale—in this case, Snow White instead of Sleeping Beauty. It follows a girl named Snow in Summer, who tells the tale of her childhood in retrospect as she grows up in the mountains of West Virginia. It was published in November of 2011 by Philomel.

To clear a few things up
Over and
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Hylary Locsin
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on my blog: http://libraryladyhylary.blogspot.com ! Check it out for more reviews!

Snow-in-Summer Morton’s life changed forever at age seven when her mother died in childbirth, leaving her alone and her father, Lemuel, with a broken heart. Cousin Nancy, the widow of Summer’s father’s favorite cousin who was recently killed in World War II, helps to care for Summer after her father slips into a deep, dark grief unable to cope with the death of his beloved wife. One day, four year
...more
Briana
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Snow in Summer sounds as if it has an interesting premise. As a retelling of “Snow White” in West Virginia, it leads readers to expect a unique, more contemporary twist on the fairytale, perhaps like Suzanne Weyn’s retellings of “The Frog Prince” (Water Song) and “Rumpelstiltskin” (The Crimson Thread). Unfortunately, Snow in Summer is rather dull and barely draws on its setting at all.

If not for the summary, it might be difficult to tell that the book is in fact set in West Virginia. Summer migh
...more
Chanae
A very different re-telling of Snow White. One of the weird things about it is Summer (the Snow White character) loves to read fairy tales - one of which is Snow White.... so it's a little odd that the main character, who has read the story of snow white doesn't recognize that same story unfolding again with her.

It was an okay book but it was mostly just something for me to read - I was kind of bored with it. Luckily it was an easy light read.

Questions not answered:
What "power" does the caul h
...more
Nancy
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
A light weight Snow White retelling that is set in the 1940's WV Appalachian mountains. Snow in Summer's mother dies in childbirth when Summer is a child, and her father mourns heavily. A few years later he is enchanted by a mysterious woman who knows magic and secretly wants to kill him so she can sell his property to the railroad barons. At first she wants to take Summer as her apprentice, but when she isn't so easily molded, she decides to have her killed too. While the story had a good start ...more
JennLynn
Mar 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I know Jane Yolen is a masterful storyteller, and I suppose the book is well enough written, but I just didn't enjoy it at all. (And I generally like fairy tale retellings; I love the "Once Upon a Time" series and Robin McKinley's "Beauty" is one of my favourite books ever.) This story, however, is a strange mashup of Snow White and the gritty, daily life of post WWII rural Virginia that doesn't really work. Worst of all, it is just plain grim. There is little in the way of redemptive qualities, ...more
Kate Forsyth
Jane Yolen is a wonderful American children’s author known for her interest in fairy tales and folklore. I have read and enjoyed many of her books, in particular The Devil’s Arithmetic and Briar Rose. Snow in Summer is a reworking of the Snow White fairy tale, set in the hillbilly mountains of West Virginia during the Great Depression. The story is both familiar and unfamiliar, as the best fairy tale retellings are. It is not her finest work, but a must-read for anyone interested in the imaginat ...more
Mulhat
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mulhat
Snow in Summer by Jane Yollen is one of my favorite book. This book is a about a beautiful girl "Snow" who lives with her father she was about to get a new baby brother but the baby die soon after he's born, taking snows mother with him. Soon after Snows mother died, his dad decided to marry another woman. Unfortunately the woman was a witch she was using magic powers and magic mirrors in order to kill snows dad.
Jamie (ReadsInTrees) Dacyczyn
Woohoo! A young adult fairy tale retelling that wasn't dripping with irritating tropes and insta-love! So, I quite liked this one. It's a retelling of Snow White, set in post-Depression/WWII West Virginia, definitely an interesting setting for this tale. Although there were some magical elements (I'd categorize this book as medical realism), this gritty retelling was focused more on the relationship between Summer and her stepmama. The part with the seven dwarves almost felt tacked on to the end ...more
TheBookSmugglers
I’ve always wanted to read a Jane Yolen novel (I KNOW) so when I came across Snow in Summer, a retelling of Snow White, I thought it would be a perfect place to start.

The story is set in a small town in West Virginia in the 40s and it follows the story of Snow in Summer, a child who is 7 years old when her mother dies. After her death, Summer’s father, Lemuel, is grief-stricken: he barely acknowledges Summer’s existence and spends most of his nights at his wife’s graveside, fading away little by
...more
Lolly's Library
As Mark Twain was to the birth of American folklore, so Jane Yolen is to the next generation of Americana. Yolen is able to take classic Old World folk tales, clothe them in distinctly American cultures, mores, and histories, and present a story which gives a nod to its European roots while remaining uniquely American.

Snow in Summer is no different. At its heart, you will find the traditional Snow White fairy tale: evil stepmother/wicked witch, potions and poisons, magic mirror, the hunter, even
...more
Miranda
Okay first...the cover is amazing. It's what made me decide to read the book in the first place (that and knowledge of Jane Yolen's writing) and know, looking at it after finishing the book...there are so many little pieces from the story tied in.

Snow in Summer is a beautiful little girl, but, as often happens to such little girls, tragdey has struck. Her mama, in the process of giving birth to her new baby brother, has died, along with the baby. Summer is sad, obviously, but her sorrow is noth
...more
Todd Strader
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I excused myself because I was only twelve. Because I worried about Papa. Because I wanted a real mama. Because I was, somehow, all alone. But those were only excuses. I acquiesced, plain and simple.

No-- I promised myself. If I am truly becoming a woman by this pain, I should act like one.” -- Snow In Summer, Jane Yolen

Snow in Summer has lost her mother. She has lost her father first to grief and now to a witch. Now “stepmother” bides her time so that when Snow In Summer loses her childhood she
...more
Michelle
Sep 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from the children's section of the library the other day because I love fairy tale retellings, and the cover is nice. However, it was one of those where the whole way through I kept waiting for it to get better and felt like I'd wasted my time when I was done. It was just too dark for me. The stepmother was creepy--really EVIL and we had to hear too much about it (I think it'd be disturbing for kids). The "___ Remembers" chapters were fine for characters who were still alive at ...more
Kara

A new approach to the Snow White tale sets in mid-20th century West Virginia. On the one hand it is heavily grounded in the reality of the time, showcasing boys who didn’t come back from “some beach in France”, lingering effects of the Great Depression, substance living, dirt roads, sketchy social services, plant lore, folk singing, snake handling, and grief and love. On the other hand, there is some serous Magic with a capital M involving potions, plants, a caul, a magic mirror, and draining pe
...more
Lolene
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like great retellings of fairy tales, don't miss this one. (The spell-checker hates the word, "retellings." Too bad.)

Jane Yolen is a crazy-talented writer. This book is the traditional tale of Snow White with a big twist...it takes place in rural Appalachia in the 1940's. If you read my reviews at ALL, you know that I hate writing summaries as much as my challenged students do...so if it's a synopsis you want, click on the book!

Yolen's characterizations woven into the unique setting are a
...more
Amee
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I wish I could give this book one more star. I love Jane Yolen's novel The Devil's Arithmetic, so when I saw this one I had to read it. An author I enjoy, plus a fairy tale retelling. Win-win, right?

However, there were aspects that I disliked. First was the foreshadowing at the end of every single chapter. I got it the first time. You can't trust the stepmother, bad things are going to happen, etc. I felt like it was dragged out beyond belief as well. Two-thirds of the novel is set-up. I though
...more
Sissy Lu {Book Savvy Reviews}
So, it's not that I didn't like the story... because the idea was quite interesting and the writing wasn't terrible. It was that it had a bit too many instances that didn't sit well with me. For instance... there are things that are clearly from "Snow White" and Summer knows this, yet it doesn't make her take pause as she looks at her "evil" stepmother... or the fact there is a talking mirror. A TALKING MIRROR, that doesn't bother you? You grew up in West Virginia, I'm pretty sure that would be ...more
Melanie
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. It had an interesting perspective and a lot of potential but it just didn't work for me. The beginning was repetitive and dull and could have been summarized in one chapter. By page 45 I almost gave up. I liked the stepmama character but the "magic" could have been fleshed out and explained in more detail. There were a few plot holes that didn't make sense to me and explanations that never panned out. The changes of narrative perspective were somewhat confusing ...more
Kristen
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short & Sweet: It's been a while since I saw a fairy tale retelling in America that is not modern. This one takes place in the early 1900s and Yolen does an amazing job of pulling you into the setting and story. Instead of Summer's father dying, he is under a spell after he marries Stepmama. The view point alternates, showing not only Summer and Stepmama's views, but also Cousin Nancy's at times. The reader gets to delve into the reasons why Stepmama does what she does and it really is quit ...more
Nick
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other than the few elements of fantasy, it is also a good historical fiction about life in rural West Virginia. The story develops slowly, but that is because the author made it ten times longer than the version of the fairy tale that most of us have read. This allows for more development of the characters, as well as the side plots, ranging from the social life in the community to the controversial church in the hills, based on a real religious movement in the South.
I still think that naming a
...more
Julia
Snow in Summer is Snow White set in the West Virginia mountains the years during and after World War II. Her father isn’t a king, but a farmer with rich bottom land, who can grow anything until his wife dies, and who over-grieves his wife’s death and falls under the sway of a magic user. Summer, though very young when her mother dies, takes care of her father, even does the farming for him, and then her Stepmother. Summer doesn’t leave her Stepmother, but when she takes her to a snake-handling c ...more
Marilyn
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book---young adult, but would be enjoyed by anyone who likes fairy tales retold. It's Snow White set in a small town in West Virginia. There are all the familiar elements--girl whose mother dies, sad and lonely father, evil stepmother, poisons, potions and a magic mirror, a hunter, seven little men in a forest cottage,etc. But it's all combined in a new, fresh way that makes it magic all over again. Jane Yolen does it again!
Nicky Kyle
Probably the least impressed I've ever been by a Jane Yolen story, honestly. There was certainly potential in the conceit, and the ending was surprisingly enjoyable (although it felt a bit rushed in comparison to how drawn-out the rest was), but the pacing was slow to the point of tedium and the narration was repetitive (and not in a good way). Overall the book felt more like a slog than anything else. I was sadly disappointed. If you're a hardcore Christian who likes fairy-tale retellings and d ...more
Jacqueline
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take of the Snow White tale, with a twist on just about everything right down to the poisoned apple. My only beef with the book was the fact that most of it was taken up with the backstory of Stepmama, Snow and Papa leaving the the rest of the tale for the very end of the book. This made it feel rushed to me.
Adrienne
Fun modern retelling of Snow White, with a little extra magic thrown in. I was really liking it until the "7 dwarves", came into the picture, then it became a little too unrealistic for me. I guess I thought the author would omit that part, or at least modify the experience in some way....but it is Snow White, I get it. Otherwise a fast, entertaining book.
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
More about Jane Yolen...
“Aren't hidden doors the most alluring? The old stories point that out surely. Even the greatest heroes and heroines fall under the spell of a locked door.” 10 likes
“Even her powders and face paint couldn't disguise the age lines and gripe lines that ran as deep as the railway tracks some said were bound to cross our mountain any day so.” 1 likes
More quotes…