The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball

Even though my term as a 1st round judge for Cybils is over. I am still slowly putting up reviews for the Cybils books I have read for round one. 

 All of the books that were nominated are more than worthy. Even though I cannot post a review for every book, I wanted to try and post as many I could.

I forgot to previously mention this, but please note: these are just my thoughts on the books. They are no way a reflection of  the committee or committee discussions. 

Thank you to all  that nominated books and to Cybils for giving me the opportunity to participate. It was such a joy to read these books and be exposed to books that I normally wouldn't have read. 
This was such a wonderful experience I will never forget. 

Please be sure to watch for the Cybils finalists on January 1st and the winner on February 12th. 
Finalists and winners will be announced on the Cybils blog.

 Here is another great round one book: 

 The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball 
By: Elizabeth Atkinson 

The Story 
Cheerful Ruby and her shy friend Eleanor couldn’t be more different. Ruby has lived her whole life in Paris, New Hampshire. Eleanor’s family is from Sri Lanka. But these best friends share one thing: they both have impossible dreams.
Ruby and Eleanor live in the quaint town of Paris, New Hampshire, located at the base of Sugar Mountain, an exclusive ski resort in the White Mountains. Every winter, Paris comes alive with "Outers," wealthy families from out of town who own ski condos and wear designer clothes, luxuries that Ruby and Eleanor (and most of the year-round residents of Paris) cannot afford.
One December day, Ruby and Eleanor stumble across Madame Magnifique, the "World’s Most Divine Psychic," who urges them to unlock their deepest dreams. Ruby’s has always been to mingle with Outers, and now, more than ever, she is determined to make that dream come true.
As a chain of events unfolds over the winter months, both girls find themselves on a journey of self-discovery that starts with unlikely friendships, secret crushes, and new found skills, and snowplows to an unexpected outcome.
A relevant story in today’s world―exploring cross-cultural sensitivities and diversity within a classic New England microcosm―"The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball" questions the role of destiny and the ability we all have to achieve that which seems impossible.
*Description provided by Amazon

Best Quote 
"It made me realize—like everything else we’d been through lately—that a lot of stuff you think will happen doesn’t, and stuff you never thought would happen does. So it’s best to be open to anything and everything life throws at you, because you never know where it will take you next."

Four things I really liked about this book: 

1. It had a sweet theme of bettering yourself and following your dreams. The author uses a psychic to push the girls to go out of their comfort zone to achieve their dreams. I thought this was a cleaver plug for this theme. I also appreciated that the author had the adults in the book working on bettering themselves too. It showed that this improvement never stops. 

2. There was some diversity. Eleanor and her family are from Sri Lanka & there is a boy who has Asperger's Syndrome. There is also some French sprinkled throughout the book. 

3. Although the father was absent and worked away from home, the families were overall happy. I really liked Ruby's relationship with her brothers and step mom.  There also wasn't any tragic deaths! Hooray! After reading so many sad middle grade books lately, I really appreciated this.

4. The friendship between Ruby and Eleanor is spectacular.
 It made me long for my childhood friends. 

It was on the slow side. There were also some plot holes in regards to Ruby's mom. Ruby's dream to ski, and Lance. I wish the author would have given more detail to these areas. It definitely left me with a lot of unanswered questions. 

Even though I appreciated Lance's character, I also was a little disappointed with his mysterious presence. I wish that books would make characters with Autism more present. It feels like they often fall into the background & I think they deserve more than that. 

These were just minor things though! 

I am sure my middle grade reader's will not analyze it in the way I have and will enjoy the story. 
I will be sure to recommend this one to tweens who enjoy realistic fiction. 

Overall, this was a fun read. I would recommend reading this one on a snowy day 
with a cup of hot coco. 



  1. I should include this one in my list of books with lots of snow! So glad you enjoyed your work on Cybils. You were all reading NINJAS!

    1. Thank you, Karen! I hope you enjoy it. I am hoping for a snowy day soon.