An unforgettable take on a favorite fairy tale by multi-award-winning author Jane Yolen
Summer's life in the mountains of West Virginia feels like a fairy tale--her parents dote on her, and she's about to get a new baby brother. But when the baby dies soon after he's born, taking their mother with him, Summer's life turns grim. Things get even worse when her father marries a woman who brings poisons and magical mirrors into Summer's world. Stepmama puts up a pretty face and Summer's father is under her spell, but Summer suspects she's up to no good--and is afraid she is powerless to stop her.
Drawing from her eponymous short story of 2000, Yolen offers a gripping 20th-century adaptation of Snow White, starring Snow in Summer, a girl growing up in West Virginia in the 1940s. Summer's beloved Papa, bereft over the death of his wife and son, is seduced by a beautiful but wicked witch, who marries him and takes over the household, using her wiles to render Papa and the rest of the town helpless while she abuses her stepdaughter. Only widowed Cousin Nancy resists the witch and offers aid to Summer via some down-home magic. "Your caul, child.... I retrieved it right after you were born. Salted it down, let it dry over the rim of a bowl. I've kept it for you all this time." Based on the traditional Snow White complete with a magic mirror and seven dwarfs (more or less), along with some Appalachian folklore, post-Depression era culture, and snake-handling evangelicals this story is beautifully written and deliciously scary, with just enough differences from familiar versions to keep readers guessing. Ages 10 up.