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Reviewed by Nashella Zarek for Readers' Favorite
"The Taste of Snow" by Stephen V. Masse tells the story of Nicole, a young girl in Austria who receives a magical candy cane from a shopkeeper during the Christmas season. Nicole is skeptical at first, but then decides to take the candy cane and begins to think constantly about the idea of magic. After tasting the candy cane, some unusual things begin to happen to Nicole, some of them good and some of them not so good, and Nicole cannot decide whether this is the result of the magical candy cane or nor. Is the candy cane the reason for Nicole’s sudden outbursts? Will the magic that is held in the candy cane be enough to keep Nicole safe through a terrifying night alone in an Austrian blizzard? "The Taste of Snow" follows Nicole through some truly harrowing circumstances, and also celebrates the magic that is Christmas.
"The Taste of Snow" by Stephen V. Masse is a beautiful and well-crafted story. Stephen Masse has a gift for language that is rich but easily understood even by young readers. The reader can easily imagine life in Austria with all its rich holiday traditions. I was drawn to both Nicole, the older and supposedly wiser sister, as well as her younger sister Ashley, who is full of mischief and spirit. Young readers will like Nicole because although she tries hard to do the right thing most of the time, she still makes mistakes and young readers will identify with that. The story is full of vibrant and well-drawn characters, and readers will feel highly compelled to read on to see what awaits Nicole next. "The Taste of Snow" is a wonderful, magical story that introduces readers to a new culture and will leave them rooting for the spunky heroine as she learns about true magic.