(Merit Press, Simon and Schuster)
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 season in which Amish teens try out forbidden temptations,
in order to get them out of their system. Lucy is part of a different sect, in
which teens aren’t allowed such bold experimentation, and she’s fighting
to keep up as Alice races from one wild party to the next. Then, one night
after just such a party, Alice vanishes. Wracked by guilt, Lucy knows that
she should have been watching out for Alice, but instead, she was kissing
Faron, an Older Order boy shunned by his society. Now, Lucy plunges into
a search for her best friend—while also hiding her own secret, which could
put her in even more danger.
"Snowbirds is a thoughtful young-adult novel about friendship, rebellion, and the consequences of all the little choices we make. An ideal read for those looking for a nuanced look at the difficulties of growing up and breaking free from a world that has been so instrumental in shaping one’s identity."
– Foreword Reviews
"Chappell weaves an engrossing mystery while giving readers a peek into Amish and Mennonite cultures. Subtle interactions within the close-knit communities build suspense and keep readers on their toes.
– School Library Journal
“The disappearance of her friend will send a Mennonite girl on a journey of discovery. The story is competently told, in plain, straightforward prose—befitting the subject matter and narrator Lucy's character … This novel will … find readers.”
"The book sheds light on an otherwise secretive and mysterious society and offers an unprejudiced look at this way of life....Chappell's writing is the real star of this novel. Her command of words is astounding...the book has a strong poetic feel to it. The closing sentences of each chapter...add the magical touch... . The story is very beautiful to read."
– YA Books Central
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