Snowflake, AZ: Book summary and reviews of Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick

Snowflake, AZ

by Marcus Sedgwick

Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick X
Snowflake, AZ by Marcus Sedgwick
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2019
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From Printz medalist Marcus Sedgwick, a gripping novel about health - our own and our planet's - and the stigma of illness.

Ash boards a Greyhound bus heading to the place where Bly was last seen: Snowflake, Arizona. Six thousand feet up in the wide red desert, Ash meets Mona, her dog, her goat, and her neighbors, and finds stepbrother Bly, too.

In their ramshackle homes, the walls lined with tinfoil, almost all the residents of Snowflake are sick. But this isn't any ordinary sickness: the chemicals and technologies of modern life are poisoning them. They call themselves canaries, living warning signs that humans have pushed the environment too far, except no one seems to be taking their warnings seriously. The healthy "normies" of Snowflake have written them off as a bunch of eccentrics, and when Ash too falls ill, the doctor's response is "It's all in your mind."

Snowflake, AZ contemplates illness and health―both our own and our planet's. As Ash lives through a cycle of illness and recovery and loss, the world beyond is succumbing to its own affliction: a breakdown of civilization only distantly perceived by Ash and the isolated residents of Snowflake, from which there may or may not be a chance for recovery. This provocative novel by one of our most admired storytellers explores the resilience of love and community in the face of crisis.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Sedgwick's restraint is remarkable, and he achieves something special with the raw, vulnerable humanity he reveals through these characters...An ominous, relevant, and uniquely compelling read." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"This raw, deeply philosophical tale leaves readers with a timely, sobering message about how humankind's treatment of the environment impacts the environment's treatment of humankind." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A provocative story of illness and forthcoming apocalypse." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Will appeal to both realistic fiction and sci-fi readers." - School Library Journal

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Author Information

Marcus Sedgwick Author Biography

Photo: Kate Christer

Marcus Sedgwick was born and raised in East Kent in the south-east of England. He now lives in the French Alps.

He is the winner of many prizes, most notably the 2014 Michael L. Printz Award for his novel Midwinterblood. Marcus has also received two Printz Honors, for Revolver in 2011 and The Ghosts of Heaven in 2016, giving him the most citations to date for America's most prestigious book prize for writing for young adults. Other notable award winning books include Floodland, Marcus' first novel, which won the Branford-Boase Award in 2001, a prize for the best debut novel for children published in the UK each year; My Swordhand is Singing, which won the Booktrust Teenage Prize for 2007, and Lunatics and Luck, part of The Raven Mysteries series, which won a Blue Peter Book Award in ...

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