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Young Adult Fiction Pregnancy

Snow Apples

by (author) Mary Razzell

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Jan 2006
Pregnancy, Girls & Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2006
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2006
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0
  • Grade: p to 12
  • Reading age: 0


While the rest of the world anticipates a victorious end to the Second World War, sixteen-year-old Sheila Brary finds life in a remote British Columbia outport suffocating and isolating. A household full of brothers, a philandering father and, most of all, Sheila's embittered mother all stand in the way of a bright, beautiful teenager with ambitions and dreams -- to continue her schooling and become a nurse.

The mother-daughter relationship that lies at the heart of this haunting novel is both timeless and complex, and the two strong, rebellious women are more alike than they care to admit. One has succumbed to the demands of a sexist age with resentment, while the other struggles to break away. In the end, Sheila defies her mother by pursuing a romance with Nels, a handsome local carpenter. But when she becomes pregnant, she turns to her father for help, with devastating results.

About the author

When Mary’s three children were in high school, she took a night school course in creative writing offered by the Vancouver School Board and sold an article written in that class. Encouraged, she became a part-time student at the University of British Columbia, studied writing under George McWhirter and wrote an adult novel in a tutorial with Carol Shields. This novel was later rewritten as Snow Apples, for young adults, and shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. She went on to have ten more books published, many of them award-winning. Mary’s poetry, articles and short stories have been published and broadcast internationally. She has a broad working background in both medical and surgical nursing and was the project worker for an oral history of nursing in B.C. A certified Childbirth Educator, she taught prenatal classes at Grace Hospital, Vancouver, B.C., until her retirement from active nursing in the ’90s. She is currently a 4th-year student at UBC, majoring in English literature.

Mary Razzell's profile page

Editorial Reviews

This thought-provoking and powerful Canadian young adult novel merits attention...It is highly recommended for adolescent readers.

CM Magazine long as angst and longing are the predominant features of young adulthood, this story will remain timeless.

Calgary Herald

Rivalry, anger, love, and friendship drive the plot, and rooted in character, the action springs from family secrets that surprise the reader until the very last page.


A grittily honest and compassionate novel...

Michele Landsberg redolent of British Columbia's southern coast that one can almost hear the salal grow...A sensitively written story of a girl...forced to personal acts of courage by the social inequality of the time.

Quill & Quire

...a quiet, introspective novel...For mature, thoughtful readers, it will inspire discussions of the struggle of women in recent history.

School Library Journal

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