The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Snow Angel
Publisher: Zephyr, Head of Zeus
Twelve-year-old Makena was born for the mountains – her father is a guide on Mount Kenya and she dreams of following in his footsteps. However, the arrival of the Ebola virus shatters her world and, alone in Nairobi, her life becomes a struggle to survive as one of the ‘forgotten children’ in the city’s slums. Friendship and a chance encounter with a charity worker offer the chance of a new start, but it takes a return to the mountains and a magical encounter with a fox for Makena to be able to hope again.
Covering issues such as the treatment of children with albinism, grief and the harsh realities of poverty, this is no cosy festive read. But the fundamental message that there is always wonder to be found, mean that this is ultimately a story of resilience, kindness and the power of nature. Catherine Hyde’s black-and-white illustrations add to the sense of magic that Lauren St John creates in her descriptions of the African and Scottish landscapes.
Readers will finish this book more aware of the little things we can do to make the world a better place for everyone.