(Watch Official Book Trailer Here)
Islandport Press, FALL 2015
(Ages 8 – 12)
The Swedish, Finnish & Norwegian editions of THE SUGAR MOUNTAIN SNOW BALL by Scandinavian publisher STABENFELDT!
*2016 Gold Moonbeam Award!
* FINALIST for the 2016 Maine Literary Award!
*Selected as one of New Hampshire’s best books by NEW HAMPSHIRE MAGAZINE!
* Awarded by LitPick for the TOP CHOICE AWARD!
You’ll fall in love with this charming, quirky, modern-day Cinderella story!!
Interview for Multicultural Children’s Book Day HERE
Order a copy directly from Islandport Press HERE
or at your local Independent Bookstore HERE
or on Amazon HERE
“Atkinson offers two adorable characters who are as different as they are brave and builds a sweet tale of inspiration and triumph over factors usually far beyond kids’ control…” (Kirkus Reviews)
“You’ll be instantly drawn into the lives of Ruby and her best friend Eleanor when just a little bit of magic sets them on a quest to make their dreams come true…” (Diane Debrovner, PARENTS Magazine)
“This delightful tale with a hint of mystery will engross readers from the first page. Realistic characters in contemporary situations add to the narrative, and a satisfying ending will charm even the most selective tweens.” (School Library Journal)
“… the integration of issues around socioeconomic status and cultural sensitivity elevate this novel beyond the usual friendship tale. Sri Lankan characters are few and far between in young adult fiction, and the author’s respect for Sri Lankan culture shows.” (VOYA Magazine)
The charming, funny story of Ruby LaRue,
an eleven-year-old girl with an enthusiastic zest for life,
and her shy, brilliant friend, Eleanor Bandaranaike.
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) can’t 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 has always longed to mingle with the 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 includes unlikely friendships, crushes, profits, secrets, and a surprise ending!
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.
See photos HERE from the packed October 16th Book Launch
And the SCBWI online Book Launch Party HERE!
From KIRKUS REVIEWS:
“Even when dreams do come true, they might not look exactly as imagined. When narrator and native ‘New Hampshirite’ narrator Ruby and Eleanor, whose family has emigrated from Sri Lanka, visit a fortune teller for a free reading, they are thrilled with the very nonspecific fortunes they hear and immediately embark on a plan to make those fortunes come true. Ruby’s greatest wish is to go to the Snow Ball Dance with her crush, JB Knox, and Eleanor would do anything for a sewing machine. What they don’t foresee, however, is how their lives will change in other ways beyond the fulfillment of their dreams. Even when their dreams look like they’re never going to be realized, their close friendship saves them from hopelessness. Atkinson offers two adorable characters who are as different as they are brave and builds a sweet tale of inspiration and triumph over factors usually far beyond kids’ control….”
From DIANE DEBROVNER, Deputy Editor of PARENTS MAGAZINE:
“You’ll be instantly drawn into the lives of Ruby and her best friend Eleanor when just a little bit of magic sets them on a quest to make their dreams come true. Having lived in the shadow of ritzy Sugar Mountain and the seemingly perfect kids who vacation there, Ruby ultimately learns who matters most. The Sugar Mountain Snow Ball celebrates friendship, family and new beginnings — and the voices of Atkinson’s characters will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished the book.”
From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
“Perky Ruby LaRue has lived her entire life in Paris, NH, at the foot of the ski resort Sugar Mountain. As a townie, she has never once been to the resort and doesn’t even know how to ski. Her best friend is Eleanor Bandaranaike, an immigrant from Sri Lanka who leads a busy life, thanks to her mother’s meddling. As different as the girls are, they share a deep friendship. When a mysterious fortune-teller encourages them to seek out their dreams, they each set out on a path toward their destiny. Ruby wants to learn to ski and attend Sugar Mountain’s annual ball with her sixth-grade crush. Eleanor wants to buy a super fancy sewing machine so she can become a famous clothing designer. Together they create a method to earn money so they can realize their ambitions. Along the way, they learn a lot about each other, their families, and the value of attaining one’s dreams. A feel-good story that has it all, this work touches upon topics such as blended families, cultural diversity, economics, and even physical well-being without an ounce of moralization. This delightful tale with a hint of mystery will engross readers from the first page. Realistic characters in contemporary situations add to the narrative, and a satisfying ending will charm even the most selective tweens. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers who enjoy well-paced, gentle tales.”—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
From CYNTHIA DEFELICE, award-winning author of more than 30 middle grade books:
“In prose as smooth as a dripping icicle, Elizabeth Atkinson tells the tale of one eventful winter in the lives of sixth grader Ruby and her friend Eleanor. Beginning — and ending — with lost socks and readings from the mysterious psychic Madame Magnifique, this story is about discovering what it means to have your dreams come true.”
From Samantha Godbey at VOYA MAGAZINE:
Sixth-graders Ruby and Eleanor both have dreams that seem out of reach… Ruby wants more than anything to be like the happy, wealthy out-of-towners who visit their New Hampshire town’s exclusive ski resort; Eleanor, a Sri Lankan immigrant, wants to become a fashion designer despite her family’s rigid expectations. One serendipitous day, the girls meet a psychic who encourages them to unlock their deepest dreams, which initiates a winter unlike either girl has experienced…
Ruby is a typical middle school girl who eats a lot of junk food, takes care of her brothers, moons over the popular boy at school, and finds herself in humorous situations… the integration of issues around socioeconomic status and cultural sensitivity elevate this novel beyond the usual friendship tale. Sri Lankan characters are few and far between in young adult fiction, and the author’s respect for Sri Lankan culture shows. This is recommended for middle school and public libraries, especially those with South Asian communities.”