Friday, April 4, 2014

If It Snowed Forever

IF IT SNOWED FOREVER  by Fred Burstein and illustrated by Anna Burstein
Irie Books, 2014

Author Fred Burstein (Anna's Rain; Rebecca's Nap) has written an unusual novella about a young girl with heart trouble, a bus driver and a bunch of teens with social issues of various kinds that erupt in the bus on the way to school. This may sound like the prelude to a dystopian story of hopelessness and angst, but it is anything but that. The novella deals with real problems -- adult and teen -- but the beauty of Mr. Burstein's writing is his casual, conversational style which sort of meanders like the bus itself. In point of fact, the author was the bus driver. If It Snowed Forever is a one-of-a-kind story that proves that people can only achieve peace of mind by bonding and being compassionate. The early reviews from well-known authors say, " ...touching and life-affirming ..." David Kherdian and Nonny Hogrogian (Newbery Honor and Caldecott medalist authors). Paula Fox, a Hans Christian Andersen Award winner, praises the novella's characters. She says, "Jimmy is wonderful. His dreams, his inner life, his bafflement and yet his authority." Nancy Hickey, a Special Education teacher, says: "A story about students on a minibus who transcend usual adolescent behavior and compassionately bond with Marie, a girl with special needs. The reader sees through Marie's eyes and learns how simple gestures and small moments can change lives forever." If, in reading this short novel, you are changed for only a moment the story has done its work effectively, for as we know, books change lives forever in ways we do not always know.

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