The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball

210p. ebook available. Islandport Pr. Oct. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781939017710.
Gr 3–7—Perky Ruby LaRue has lived her entire life in Paris, NH, at the foot of the ski resort Sugar Mountain. As a townie, she has never once been to the resort and doesn't even know how to ski. Her best friend is Eleanor Bandaranaike, an immigrant from Sri Lanka who leads a busy life, thanks to her mother's meddling. As different as the girls are, they share a deep friendship. When a mysterious fortune-teller encourages them to seek out their dreams, they each set out on a path toward their destiny. Ruby wants to learn to ski and attend Sugar Mountain's annual ball with her sixth-grade crush. Eleanor wants to buy a super fancy sewing machine so she can become a famous clothing designer. Together they create a method to earn money so they can realize their ambitions. Along the way, they learn a lot about each other, their families, and the value of attaining one's dreams. A feel-good story that has it all, this work touches upon topics such as blended families, cultural diversity, economics, and even physical well-being without an ounce of moralization. This delightful tale with a hint of mystery will engross readers from the first page. Realistic characters in contemporary situations add to the narrative, and a satisfying ending will charm even the most selective tweens.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers who enjoy well-paced, gentle tales.

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