By Andrea Beach,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Dark "Snow Queen" reboot will thrill fantasy fans.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Fantasy meant to entertain, but readers can be encouraged to look into the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale to compare it and some of the many fantasy stories it inspired.
Both using magic (to take shortcuts) and getting help from those more powerful than you come at a price. It's better to experience genuine feelings, even when they're painful or scary, because they help you learn about yourself and make you stronger. Being unique is a positive thing, not a negative one. Asks whether the ends justify the means: Does the way you get things in life matter? Reinforces importance of loyalty and friendship.
Positive Role Models
Snow models perseverance, loyalty, and bravery. She helps her friends even at great risk to herself. She's learning to control her emotions and how to handle them outside the safety of home. Many characters who help her out seem to have hidden motives that make them difficult to trust, but they come through for her. Family relationships are complicated, and the best adult role model is Vern, the orderly assigned to Snow while she's in a psychiatric hospital.
Violence & Scariness
Fantasy violence includes a climactic battle and fighting with swords, daggers, magical elements, and scary fantasy creatures. Stabbing, cutting, and a throat slitting are mentioned but not described. Blood from injuries is mentioned but not described; there's no gore. Characters frequently in mild to moderate peril from fantasy creatures and magic. A minor character's death mentioned with lots of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Feelings of physical attraction described briefly. A few kisses mentioned; one passionate one described briefly. Snow and Bale love each other intensely but don't fully understand it yet. Nudity mentioned once but not described. A scene in a nightclub has some sexual objectification of young women scantily clad and dancing in cages.
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"Hell," "bitch," "asshole," "s--t," and "badass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Psychiatric hospital setting in which patients take medication mood regulators and sedatives, usually in pill form but sometimes forcefully injected. Frequent mention of daily "cocktail" (drug combination) with nicknames for the effects they have, such as "Dopey" and "Boring." In the fantasy world, Snow makes a connection between the pills she used to have to take and the potions her friends take to gain magical abilities.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Stealing Snow is another fantasy by Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die), this time set in the world of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen." Like the original, this version is fairly dark. Fantasy violence includes a climactic battle with swords, daggers, magic, and scary fantasy creatures. Blood's mentioned a fair amount, but it's not described and there's no gore. Characters are frequently in peril from scary magic and fantasy creatures. There's physical attraction and a few kisses, one of which is described briefly. Drugs for patients in a psychiatric ward are mentioned frequently by their effects instead of by name, and sedation by injection is occasionally used to coerce good behavior.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
In STEALING SNOW, Whittaker psychiatric hospital is the only world 17-year-old Snow Yardley knows. A violent incident when she was 6 prompted her mother to place her there, and it's just about all she can remember. One night her best friend (and true love?) Bale is taken away, and a mysterious new orderly calls her "Princess" and encourages her to escape from Whittaker to find her true destiny. She does escape, and her search for Bale leads her into a magical world called Algid. Algid is full of dangers and mysterious people who may or may not want to help the daughter of ruthless King Lazar. Snow's quest to find Bale reveals more secrets at every turn. Is she really the one prophesied to rule over Algid? And if she is, will she do what she must to fulfill her destiny?
Is It Any Good?
Veteran author Danielle Paige turns her dark eye to the fairy tale "The Snow Queen" with an exciting and, ahem, chilling reboot that lovers of magical fantasy are sure to enjoy. The writing in Stealing Snow starts out strong, with deft turns of phrase, an intriguing premise, and a compelling narrator. Some of the deftness gets left behind as the story progresses, but Paige maintains the suspense and intrigue.
An imaginative world, populated with interesting characters and magical elements, keeps the pages turning to the climactic ending. Of course there's a huge cliffhanger, and magical fantasy fans will be anxious to learn what happens next.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Stealing Snow compares with other versions of the classic fairy tale. Which is your favorite? Why?
Have you read the original version of "The Snow Queen"? What makes this story worth telling so many times, in so many ways?
Why are fantasies, especially ones with magic, so popular? What do we love so much about them?
- Author: Danielle Paige
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
- Publication date: September 20, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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Where to Read
Our Editors Recommend
Romantic Fantasy Books for Teens
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