"Snowbirds will turn your image of the Amish upside down. Lucy will grab your heart and run away with it." --Robin MacCready, winner of the Edgar award for Buried
Every year, Lucy waits eagerly for the arrival of the "snowbirds," the Old Order Amish who come trundling into Florida on buses from the north, bringing Lucy's best friend Alice, with whom she's spent every winter she can remember. This winter is different. At sixteen, Alice is in the middle of "Rumspringa," a season in which Amish teens try out forbidden temptations, in order to get them out of their system. Lucy is part of a different sect, in which teens aren't allowed such bold experimentation, and she's fighting to keep up as Alice races from one wild party to the next. Then, one night after just such a party, Alice vanishes. Wracked by guilt, Lucy knows that she should have been watching out for Alice, but instead, she was kissing Faron, an Older Order boy shunned by his society. Now, Lucy plunges into a search for her best friend--while also hiding her own secret, which could put her in even more danger.
"The disappearance of her friend will send a Mennonite girl on a journey of discovery. The story is competently told, in plain, straightforward prose--befitting the subject matter and narrator Lucy's character... This novel will...find readers." --Kirkus Reviews
"Snowbirds is a thoughtful young-adult novel about friendship, rebellion, and the consequences of all the little choices we make. An ideal read for those looking for a nuanced look at the difficulties of growing up and breaking free from a world that has been so instrumental in shaping one's identity." --Foreword Reviews
"If the only things you know about the Amish you learned from TLC, you might want to check out this amazing new novel pronto ... it’s perfect for the gal who loves to explore new cultures."
– Brit + Co
"The book sheds light on an otherwise secretive and mysterious society and offers an unprejudiced look at this way of life ... .Crissa-Jean Chappell’s writing is the real star of this novel. Her command of words is astounding ... the book has a strong poetic feel to it. The closing sentences of each chapter ... add the magical touch ... .The story is very beautiful to read."
– YA Books Central
“A beautifully written novel … .Through SNOWBIRDS, Chappell gives her readers the opportunity to lessen the difference and stigma surrounding Amish, and other religious communities. She allows her readers to find commonalities between themselves and others. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to understand that everyone is human, regardless of their race, faith, and traditions.”
“Subtle interactions within the close-knit communities build suspense and keep readers on their toes. Many readers will relate to Lucy's attempts to find her own identity. A good choice for fans of Sara Zarr, this absorbing mystery will fit in well in higher-level middle school and reluctant high school reader collections."