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War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories
Cover of War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories
War at the Snow White Motel and Other Stories
An insightful and funny new collection of short stories from award-winning author Tim Wynne-Jones.In "War at the Snow White Motel," Rex and his family are vacationing in Vermont. A thoughtless act...
An insightful and funny new collection of short stories from award-winning author Tim Wynne-Jones.In "War at the Snow White Motel," Rex and his family are vacationing in Vermont. A thoughtless act...
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  • An insightful and funny new collection of short stories from award-winning author Tim Wynne-Jones.

    In "War at the Snow White Motel," Rex and his family are vacationing in Vermont. A thoughtless act launches him into war with an older teenager at their motel, but a much bigger conflict — the Vietnam War — looms large on the horizon.

    Ant wants to join the #FridaysForFuture movement — and impressing the new girl at school is only one good reason why. Joseph and Danny are determined to right an old wrong, no matter the consequences. Michel takes a road trip to spot a rare bird, and along the way learns what his father is really afraid of. Robin has to battle her anxiety when her great-grandfather sends her in search of an old stuffed toy with a storied past. Walker is home for the summer, in time to help his little sister expose a local company's dubious environmental practices. A boy can't figure out why the class bully won't leave him alone — it's not anything he could have foreseen.

    Tim Wynne-Jones brilliantly captures pivotal moments small and large as these characters fight for understanding, courage and a better future. This new collection features six brand-new stories and three that have been previously published.

    Key Text Features
    author's note

    Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

    Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

    Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

    Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

    Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

    Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

    Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

    Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

    Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.


  • From the cover

    The swimming pool is shaped like a heart. No, wait — it's an apple. Of course! The poisonous apple Snow White took a bite of that sent her into a coma. Sort of weird, really, when you think about it. Who'd want to swim in a poisonous pool? No one by the look of it. The pool is empty. All that delicious coolness just lying there, sparkling in the late afternoon sun. ...

    Poison or not, alligators or not, I'm hot and I want into that pool. I head straight for the diving board, take as big a bounce as I can off the end and cannonball into the water.


    I drift down into the blue coolness, my eyes wide open. Glug, glug, glug. There is only watery sunlight down here, as if the sun was a big yellow china ball that someone smashed into little shards and sprinkled on the blue tile floor. My goggles aren't on tight enough and water seeps inside, so with a little kick off the bottom I drift to the surface.

    "Hey, you!"

    A voice booms above me. I grab the lip of the pool. I also grab a mouthful of water, which makes me cough and cough. There is a large pair of hairy feet planted right beside my hand. I look up, my vision all swimmy through goggles full of water — way up, past a pair of Superman legs, a pair of yellow bathing trunks with palm trees on them, a chest big enough to pitch a tent on, to a face glaring down at me as if I am a toad and the only thing stopping him from squashing me is that he doesn't have his toad-squashing boots on. Then I see the comic book in his hand. It's sopping wet.

About the Author-

  • Tim Wynne-Jones is one of Canada's foremost writers for children. He lives in Perth, Ontario. Visit Tim Wynne-Jones' website: http://www.timwynne-jones.com/


  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2020
    Nine short realistic stories make up this collection set (mostly) in various Canadian locales. Though all but the first seem to be contemporary, many of the issues their protagonists struggle with are timeless. The titular, Vermont-set "War at the Snow White Motel" features Rex from Wynne-Jones' Rex Zero trilogy in a nuanced tale filled with dry humor that paints a smaller portrait of the very real everyday fears experienced by a brainy, anxious kid against a backdrop of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Others reference specific modern experiences, like the thought-provoking "Ant and the Praying Mantis," which involves characters interested in Greta Thunberg's #FridaysForFuture movement or in "Jack," in which a boy who is tormented at school describes anti-bullying campaigns like those common in many schools today. Collectively, these stories poignantly explore the navigation of the complicated territory of peer dynamics and changing families through the lens of main characters who are smart misfits, almost all of whom are younger teen boys who seem to default to white. Clever dialogue and genuine, messy relationships among kids and their parents and friends as well as with older relatives who are dealing with dementia will ring true for readers who share these experiences. Author's notes on each story are included in the afterword. An intelligent, emotionally resonant collection. (Short stories. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 13, 2020
    Each thought-provoking short story in this collection by Wynne-Jones (The Starlight Claim) features a different boy navigating a decisive situation with grace and resolve. Most of the tales are contemporary and set in Canada, but the titular one highlights Rex (from the author’s Rex Zero trilogy), whose family travels to Vermont in 1964, where, while staying in a fairy tale–themed motel, Rex encounters a young man who registered for the draft just as America is entering into Vietnam. “Ant and the Praying Mantis” proves particularly topical when the main character, Anthony, learns about Greta Thunberg, climate change, and FridaysForFuture while trying to befriend a new girl at school. The powerful “Journey to Ompah” sets Michel and his father on a trek to find a rare bird and unearths a secret about his father’s past that shines light on his dad’s upbringing and character. And in “Jack,” the protagonist experiences bullying and develops unexpected empathy for his attacker. An interesting author’s afterword offers insight into the creation of each narrative. With a nostalgic, wholesome feel, these stories offer tales of quiet courage. Ages 9–12.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2020
    Grades 6-9 While the nine stories in this appealing book are varied in many ways, all feature likable main characters facing realistic dilemmas, nearly all are told from a boy's point of view, and most are written in the first person. In The Pledge, two terrified 12-year-old boys set out to atone for a boneheaded prank they carried out three years earlier and end up solving a recent mystery. The Journey to Ompah concerns a father-son road trip that takes an unexpected turn, showing the boy that a little firsthand knowledge can provide a great deal of useful insight into his family. And in The Brotherhood of Interstellar Dirt, a birthday sleepover during a meteor shower turns into a sleepless night outdoors with unexpected drama and a satisfying conclusion. Readers familiar with Wynne-Jones' previous short-story collections, such as Some of the Kinder Planets (1995) and Lord of the Fries and Other Stories (1999), will come to this one expecting originality, wit, and humanity. They'll find all that and more in these often surprising, always rewarding stories.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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    Groundwood Books Ltd
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Tim Wynne-Jones
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