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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Secrets Were a Way of Life.
But Secrets Have Gone Too Far …

Every year, Lucy waits eagerly for the arrival of the “snowbirds,” the Old Order Amish who come trundling into Florida on buses from the north, bringing Lucy’s best friend Alice, with whom she’s spent every winter she can remember. This winter is different. At sixteen, Alice is in the middle of “Rumspringa,” a seaso
Hardcover, 265 pages
Published January 18th 2017 by Merit Press
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Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Mary Thompson
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
Snowbirds is a lyrical, highly compelling story that makes you feel like you are right there in Lucy's world. This is a story about the love between friends and family and also about the value of individuality and staying true to oneself. Chappell paints a nuanced portrait of Amish life that illuminates without either judging or romanticizing. This is the first 2017 book I've read, but I already know it will be one of my favorites for the year. ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
“Her friend giggles. She’s got a million rubber bracelets stacked up her arms and rainbow streaks in her hair. Maybe I’d dress like that, if I lived in their world. They’re like me and Alice. The same, but different.”

The summary of Snowbirds immediately had me hooked. After reading only a few words from the inside of the dust jacket, my eyes were popping out of my head. I grabbed the book off the library shelf and ran to the checkout counter (well, as much as you can run in a library, anyway
Elisha Jachetti
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
SNOWBIRDS by Crissa-Jean Chappell is a contemporary young adult drama set in the world of an Amish community in Pinecraft, Florida. The book sheds light on an otherwise secretive and mysterious society and offers an unprejudiced look at this way of life, one that I knew very little about prior. It was both educational and a reminder that the details of peoples’ lives are often just details. Deep down, everyone has the same wants, needs, and desires. The story is told by Lucy, a young Beachy Amis ...more
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

The story was an interesting look inside the world of the Amish culture, something I have not read about before. I really wanted to make some sort of connection with Lucy, to sympathize more with the way she was brought up and her search to find her friend Alice. However, I found something off putting about her, it was hard for me to really care about her situation. It also didn't help that I felt the same way about the majority of the main char
Lisa Mandina
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars actually. Another great book from a favorite author. Full review to come on Lisa Loves Literature soon.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thanks to Merit Press for sending me an advanced copy of this book. I think the main problem with this book was the characters. They're either stereotypes or in one minute out the next (ex. Crystal.) Lucy should've grabbed my sympathy, but instead I found her whiny and under developed as a character. This is one of those books where you can't wait for it to be over, because it just seems to drag, making the small range of pages magnify. ...more
Liza Wiemer
Love this cover so much! SNOWBIRDS is an unexpected, fascinating window into the Amish world. Friendship and faith are powerful themes of this beautifully written novel. For anyone who has been curious about what it's like to grow up in an Amish community, this is an excellent contemporary YA novel that will leave you deeply satisfied with the ending. FRTC. ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Snowbirds I grew up in Amish country in Northern New York, an area of both strict ordnungs more liberal Mennonites, so the topic of this book intrigued me the moment I read the back.  The story is mainly set in Pinecraft, a community in Florida that consists of both Amish and Mennonite residents.  "Snowbirds" are those Old Order Amish that come south for the winter, temporarily joining the Florida community.
The story is told by Lucy Zimmer, a young girl in the Mennonite community.  Unlike the M
Snowbirds is a look inside the Amish culture in the community of Pinecraft, Florida. As told through the eyes of Lucy, a teenager on the verge of a big decision - whether to be baptized and stay in the Amish community she grew up in or to go her own way. A very coming-of-age book but through a different scope than most of us are probably used to.

I don't know about you, but I honestly did not know much about the Amish way of life. So almost everything in this book was new to me and it was a littl
Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef. Huge thanks to the publisher for the review copy in exchange of an honest opinion.

There are so many positive things about this book. For starters, the cover is just gorgeous, I loved it since the very first time I set my eyes on it! The story is unique along with its characters. And it was a book that hooked me, for I could not stop reading it!

What I liked:

This is my very first time that I've read a book that talks about the Amish communi
Gracelyn Pritchett
I thought thois book was very interesting. It was hard to get into, but after the first couple chapters, I started to really enjoy it.
Katie Krantz
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book as a YA novel because it manages to be interesting and inspiring all at once, with an interesting premise and amazing characters. The plot revolving around an Amish community provides an instantly eye-catching twist, but the treatment of the characters as normal teenagers who challenge institutions makes them incredibly understandable. I adored that the main character, Lucy, was brave and deeply valued sisterhood. Every character was given nuance and genuinely considered as a hu ...more
BookChic Club
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Chappell's and I love getting to read new books from her. Her latest is a thrilling mystery set against an Amish backdrop. It's a new world that I haven't really read much of and Chappell does a good job of introducing the Amish way of things without it being too infodumpy. Lucy is a great character trying to find her way in the world while dealing with the constraints of being Amish and wanting more for herself in life. Even if you're not Amish, I feel like a lot of readers wi ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read by inspired author. More than a slice-of-life of closed societies from YA POV with mystery woven into the narrative. Perfect combo for me - YA + detective/mystery element. I hadn't given much thought to differences and prejudices within Amish culture. This story is told entirely from the inside of a teen Mennonite who loves many things about her life but wants to be sure she is following a path true to her being. ...more
Claire Talbot
A new look at the Amish - not your typical "bonnet" fiction. Lucy is Mennonite, and befriends an Old Order Amish Girl named Alice who visits Florida during the winter months. It was news to me that the Old Order Amish from Maine would travel to Florida for part of the winter. When Alice is 16, she enters "Rumspringa" a period of experimentation and freedom when the Old Order test their wings (and wildness) before joining the church. Lucy's sect does not participate in Rumspringa, and she experie ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked being able to learn a little bit about a culture/religion/way of life not my own. I also liked a glimpse into an unfamiliar side to a very familiar or touristy Florida.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amish girls and Live Action Role Play games -- how can you not be intrigued? Lucy dresses plain, but she's no pie-baking quilt maker. She makes gazebos with her widowed Dad while dreaming of studying the ocean. Every year she looks forward to the migration of Old Order Amish, including her bff Alice, from up north to seaside Sarasota. But this year Alice is on Rumspringa, and she's gone a little wild. Then she goes missing and Lucy sets out to find her. Reading this in winter, I loved the refere ...more
Sarah Donovan
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
#bookaday Rumspringa, Old Order and Mennonite Amish, friendship, love, secrets, mystery, Florida and Maine. Lots of interesting dynamics and plot features, but the dialogue lacked identity and the narration was distancing. I did not develop a friendship with Lucy the way I tend to do with most first person young adult narrators.
A. Musquiz
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Review coming soon
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-reads
I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaways program.

Snowbirds is a different view of the Amish than most Amish books I've read that sweetly cover the issues facing Amish youth. This one delves into the POV of Lucy who longs to go to college and not do the "womanly" chores that her father wants her to learn as a 16-year-old. Her friend, Alice, is one of the snowbirds who comes down from Maine to Florida every year to pass the winter. Alice is bound and determined to run aw
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Lucy, belongs to the Mennonite Amish, they have more relaxed rules than the old order Amish from up north. Alice, Erin’s best friend comes with her mother and other old order Amish to Florida yearly. Old order teens have a time of Rumspringa, where they live free of rules before making a life commitment to remain Amish. Alice persuades Lucy to go with her to a Rumspringa party on the beach, the girls go their separate ways after the party and Alice turns up missing. Lucy feels responsible for no ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
sNOw thank you! Thanks anyway. Boy did I dislike this book. Sad. Full review at Forever Young Adult. ...more
Isabel Webb
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
*I received this from a Goodreads giveaway*
This book was so intriguing I never wanted to put it down. It's different, thrilling, sweet, sad, and everything in between. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Laura Cobrinik
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Crissa-Jean Chappell's "Snowbirds" was one of the most fascinating and great YA books that I've read in a long, long time. Chappell's two main characters are Lucy Zuckerman (from Pinecrest, Florida), a Memninites (a Liberal branch of the Amish people; and Alice Yoder from the mountains of Northern Maine, and an Old World Amish (the more conservative branch), whose community arrives in Prinecrest every year. (Thus the title "Snowbirds."
We meet Lucy and Alice at the end of the summer when they are
Allison B.
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I gave this book 3.5 stars because it was about an Amish girl trying to choose either to do what she wants or have a good reputation in her Amish community. Lucy meets a shunned Amish boy named Faron and she slowly falls for him. but then everything comes to a halt when her best friend Alice goes missing and Lucy feels responsible. The plot was good all the way through this point but when Lucy decides o go looking for Alice the plot line starts to lag a little. There is no real trying ...more
Kate Baxter
This coming of age story set in Pinecraft, Florida peeks into the secretive world of the Amish whether Old Order or Beachy Amish-Mennonite. (Who even understood the difference?) It's told through the life and heart of a teen girl straining to be set free from religious and familial expectations. It has all the pathos, wonder, enchantment and tension of true teenage life with the secretive Amish element added to the mix.

The clipped sentence structure initially felt breathless but eventually, one
Jun 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: owned, ya, signed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I picked up this book purely based on the cover. When I learned it was, in fact, Amish teen fiction, I considered putting it back. I'm glad I gave it a try, though, because I ended up really enjoying it. I learned a bit more about the Amish/Mennonite communities, particularly Rumspringa and shunning. It was interesting enough to recommend. ...more
Susie Dodge
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Young adult novel I picked up at the library hoping my daughter would read it, but I did instead. I have always been drawn to novels about the Amish and this one is set in two places I love, Lido Key, Florida and Acadia National Park in Maine. Interesting mystery and a look into the different ways of Amish life.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated by the distinctions among the different Amish communities, and the process Lucy went through figuring out her place in the world. Some scary suspenseful writing as well as thoughtful kind relationships. A good page turner!
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Crissa-Jean Chappell was born in Miami and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut young adult novel, TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER (HarperTeen) is a NYPL Book For The Teen Age and a VOYA Perfect Ten. Chappell’s second novel, NARC (Flux Books) is currently optioned for film. MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH (Flux Books) is a Florida Book Awards medalist, which Kirkus calls, "compelling and emotionally nuanced." Ch ...more

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