Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Prisoner of Snowflake Falls

Finished March 28
The Prisoner of Snowflake Falls by John Lekich

This teen novel begins with 15-year-old Henry Holloway living in a treehouse as he tries to find a way to survive on his own while his Uncle Andy is in jail. Henry's mom wanted him to stay away from the life of crime his uncle led, but when she died and Henry moved into the boarding house his uncle ran, it was a bit more difficult.
He uncle's friends and boarders were also criminals and many of them took Henry under their wing, teaching him the skills they used in their crimes. Henry tried to stay clean, but living on his own has made that difficult.
His uncle believes he is staying with a family, and Henry doesn't want him to worry. Instead Henry enters the houses in the neighbourhood he lives in, taking only what he needs, and often doing some chores for the people that he sees need doing when he is in their houses.
When he is caught inside one of the houses, however, his story is blown, and he is sent before a judge. The Judge looks at the circumstances, and makes a recommendation that Henry go to a small town in northern Vancouver Island where he lives with a family, goes to school, has a job, and is expected to follow a set of rules.
The family is one that presents a few issues, the first being that Henry has to share a room with a precocious toddler Oscar. There is also a girl in the family, Charlotte, who is a bit of a know-it-all who tries to run his life.
He deflects the first overture of friendship that is put to him, but soon finds that may have been a bad move. As Henry gradually finds his place in this community and in the Henderson family home, he meets some interesting characters.
From the wealthy vision-challenged Harry Wingate, who Henry serves as a volunteer reader to, to the dog Popcorn who chases him as he delivers newspapers, there are situations that Henry has to find a way to deal with.
Just as he is comfortable in his new life, some people from his past show up, and things get more difficult again.

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