Kw-logo-smaller

Snakes and Ladders Book Review

Snakes and Ladders by Shaun Smith
Courtesy of Dundurn Press
Snakes and Ladders Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Jan 31, 2009
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

One heroic act changes a family’s life forever. Check out Shaun Smith’s debut teen novel, Snakes and Ladders.

Author: Shaun Smith

One heroic act changes a family’s life forever. Check out Shaun Smith’s debut teen novel, Snakes and Ladders.

Summer in Ontario

During the summer of 1971, 13 year-old Paige and her family retreat to their country cottage in Ontario, Canada. Paige spends her days reading about the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and helping her little brother Toby protect a nest of duck eggs from a so-called “cobra.” Paige never actually sees the snake, and her brother has terrible eyesight. But even though Paige reassures Toby that there are no cobras in Ontario, he stands by what he saw.

Go-Carts and Secrets

After Paige’s grandfather passed away, Mr. Thorvald and his wife bought his land. Now Mr. Thorvald wants to tear down the tree that holds Paige’s favorite tree fort to build a go-cart track. And worse, Paige discovers a haunting secret about her babysitter’s father, the man who Mr. Thorvald hired to cut down the tree.


The Battle of the Tree Fort

When the men arrive to fell the tree, Paige stands her ground. She refuses to get down from the fort. Police try to remove her, but she only climbs higher or jumps to unreachable branches. Soon the fire department and the rest of the town arrive, including a group of tree-hugging hippies who surround the tree for protection. But when an awful storm brews, things get ugly. Will Paige be able to save her beloved tree fort? Or will she fall mercy to the storm?


The Bottom Line

While written simply, this book is touching, intriguing and devastating. It starts off slow, and often sounds too young for a teen novel. But as soon as the awful secrets come out, the story takes off. Paige’s father stops coming to the cottage on the weekends and her mother drinks too much. The boyfriend of her brother’s babysitter shows up at night, feeding alcohol and cigarettes to Paige and insisting that they play spin the bottle. And when visiting the babysitter’s rundown shack, Paige reads her diary and discovers the terrible secret about their family. Snakes and Ladders is a story that you won’t soon forget.


Snakes and Ladders Rating: 4


Related Stories:

  • What They Found Book Review
  • Whole Sky Full of Stars Book Review
  • A Northern Light Book Review
  • Monsoon Summer Book Review
  • >
    >

    readers voted!

    Comments

    there are 0 comments

    Please login or register to add comments

    share with your friends


    Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


    like this article?
    get more just like it in your email

    F989513170265

    What Should Grow on Trees?

    • Money.
    • Spaghetti.
    • Shoes.
    • Pizza.

    related stories

    latest videos

    Random in the forums

    Crisanna
    Crisanna posted in Debating:
    uhm, i have no idea how many kids im gonna have . . . but if i have a girl i might name her Alana. that's kinda the only name i got. other than that, i'll figure it out when i get there
    reply 5 minutes
    Ange_16ner
    Ange_16ner posted in Debating:
    I want my daughter to be called: Alena, Elizabeth, Annabelle son: Jeremiah, Alfred (Alfie) twins: (boy/girl) Philip and Lillian (Phil & Lil!) idk for girl/girl boy/boy though <3
    reply 12 minutes
    Team Audi #46
    You beat Super Metroid. Brother tried that. Got a few months until he lost everything. Yep. Hasn't tried again since.  I would be the same way. Problem is the main game I am nerd about is a racing sim. :p Really hard to beat that game in a day. Or do much in a day. I would however do that for other games if I had the information on them. And the means to actually get to the system at the correct time considering the systems are in my brothers room. 
    reply 34 minutes
    Thundertoronto
    10
    reply 38 minutes
    Thundertoronto
    I tolerate.
    reply 39 minutes

    play online games

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

    Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

    100x100_ra_logo_girl

    Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

    _thumb_100x100

    Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...

    _thumb_100x100

    We have all played the famous game Sudoku, now play it online with this Classic ...