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White as Snow Review by Nancy Wagner

By Donna Westover Gallup
Cladach Publishing
PO Box 336144
Greeley, CO 80633
(916) 725-3630

This is a Christian fiction story of a 10-year-old boy named Charlie who is faced with death in the Colorado Territory in 1864. Charlie lives with his grandpa, and his grandpa seems to be asleep and won't wake up. Throw in winter coming on and no neighbors for miles and you have a pretty bleak situation. After an encounter with an angry grizzly bear mother, only a miracle could save Charlie and Grandpa. Christmas is coming, however.

This is the first book in a series called "Mysterious Ways." In subsequent books Charlie grows older and faces new struggles in his spiritual life. In this book, however, he faces that first spiritual struggle for all seekers: is God real, and if so, why isn't He helping right now? The book is filled with pleas to God and answers from God--but in very natural-sounding situations, not preachy at all.

The book is told from Charlie's perspective and is easy to read. The plot is well defined and very realistic. The fact that the story takes place almost 150 years ago will keep this book from being too scary in the beginning for young readers. Charlie is presented very realistically, with all the dreams and ineptitude that a 10-year-old boy would have in this seemingly overwhelming situation. I fully recommend this book for older elementary age and above, and I look forward to the next book when it comes out.

Product review by Nancy Wagner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2006