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Reuben and the Blizzard

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K-Gr 3‘Reuben, a young Amish boy, lives on a farm with his family. Like his schoolmates, he is excited about the prospect of a blizzard. Snow begins to fall and continues steadily all the next day. Soon the roads are closed, and power lines go down. While Reuben's family does not drive a car or use electricity, they are still affected by the heavy snowfall. Datt is worried that the dairy truck will not be able to pick up the milk from their farm, and the whole family joins in the effort to clear paths around it. When a neighbor, unable to use his car, needs to rush his pregnant wife to the hospital, Datt and Reuben bring a horse and sleigh to their aid, quickly delivering the couple through the snow drifts to an ambulance waiting at the main road. Moss's folk-style paintings elegantly depict the life of an Old Order Amish family; however, the text and the illustrations do not always match. Because they aren't carefully woven together, the story seems to jump from event to event. While the author warmly describes the way this Amish family and their community cope with the blizzard, he fails to build dramatic tension because so many incidents are included, and their outcomes are quite predictable.‘Kristin Lott, East Brunswick Public Library, NJ

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