The Snowball Effect

  • Pages:128
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:honesty, pranks, snow recreation, playing in the snow, guilt
  • Pub Date:10/01/2010
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Fry Level:4.2
  • Lexile:HL620L
  • ATOS:4.0
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Dylan and his friends snowball cars for entertainment on the weekend. When they don't get enough reaction from passing cars, they put rocks in the middle of their snowballs. Their first attack with the loaded snowballs causes a car crash. His friends flee, but Dylan goes to the scene of the accident to make sure the driver is okay. He runs off when he knows help is on the way. Dylan is sighted, and rather than being punished, he is lauded as a hero. As his lies pile up, so does the hype about his heroics, and along with it, Dylan's guilt.
"[A] fast-paced story that will resonate with young readers because of its relevant themes. Dylan's guilty conscience and fear of exposure heighten the story's drama…Reluctant readers will appreciate the captivating plot, and the short, low-vocab design of the novel ensures it will be accessible to those reading below grade level."
– CM Magazine
"Deals with contemporary issues in a concise, clear manner, and even though the reading level is lower, there is excellent use of new language that will create opportunities for expanding the reader's vocabulary…This book is full of teachable moments, most notably the idea that you can learn from your mistakes and become a better person…Recommended."
– Resource Links
"Loughead is especially good at depicting Dylan's physical turmoil...The snowball metaphor—how a single lie grows increasingly large—is also well handled…[An] intelligent drama."
– Booklist
"Loughead creates a very realistic teen dilemma...Reluctant readers will keep plowing through simply to see if Dylan can undo all the damage he has caused."
– School Library Journal
"A good read about accepting consequences of one's own behavior."
– Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
Resource Links "The Year's Best"   | 2010  |  Commended
CCBC Best Books   | 2012  |  Commended