Dancing Through the Snow (2007), by Jean Little

Little-DancingThis is a beautiful little story about Min, an orphan who remembers being abandoned, but by someone who was not even her mother.  When her fortunes turn—as indeed they must in most children’s fiction—she learns to trust, and to love.  This sounds simplistic and trite, but Little crafts the story with a realism and warmth that make us love Min and understand her fears and doubts. Just before Christmas, being shuffled from her most recent foster home to the next, Min is taken in by Dr. Jess, who empathizes with Min’s suffering. Between Jess and a lost-and-now-found-dog, Min finally finds a secure place for herself.

The novel does not descend into sentimentality, nor does it dwell on the negative influences that have shaped Min’s life (although these are necessarily revealed).  I would certainly recommend this text to young girls—with troubles or not—as an enjoyable glimpse into another’s world, one that could be the life of any of their classmates at school.

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