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The Snowball Effect
By author: Deb Loughead
Selling Points: "honesty, pranks, snow recreation"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2010
Lexile Level: HL620L
Fry Reading Level: 4.2
Pages: 128
Fiction Ages 10-14
Price:  $9.95
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"Oh, don't be such sucks, you guys. It's just gonna scare them, that's all," Matt told us. Cory and I stood there watching Garrett and Matt work their tightly packed balls of snow. We'd never used a rock inside a snowball before.

Dylan and his friends snowball cars for entertainment on the weekend. When they don't get enough reaction from passing cars, they put rocks in the middle of their snowballs. Their first attack with the loaded snowballs causes a car crash. His friends flee, but Dylan goes to the scene of the accident to make sure the driver is okay. He runs off when he knows help is on the way. Dylan is sighted, and rather than being punished, he is lauded as a hero. As his lies pile up, so does the hype about his heroics, and along with it, Dylan's guilt.
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media - April 1, 2011
"A good read about accepting consequences of one's own behavior."
School Library Journal - March 1, 2011
"Loughead creates a very realistic teen dilemma...Reluctant readers will keep plowing through simply to see if Dylan can undo all the damage he has caused."
Booklist - November 1, 2010
"Loughead is especially good at depicting Dylan's physical turmoil...The snowball metaphor—how a single lie grows increasingly large—is also well handled…[An] intelligent drama."
CM Magazine - October 1, 2010
"[A] fast-paced story that will resonate with young readers because of its relevant themes. Dylan's guilty conscience and fear of exposure heighten the story's drama…Reluctant readers will appreciate the captivating plot, and the short, low-vocab design of the novel ensures it will be accessible to those reading below grade level."
Resource Links - October 1, 2010
"Deals with contemporary issues in a concise, clear manner, and even though the reading level is lower, there is excellent use of new language that will create opportunities for expanding the reader's vocabulary…This book is full of teachable moments, most notably the idea that you can learn from your mistakes and become a better person…Recommended."


Resource Links "The Year's Best", commended  CA  2010
CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2012


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Middle-school fiction
for reluctant readers

Key Features:
Contemporary stories
Compelling characters
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Accelerated Reader
Lexile levels

Paperbacks: $9.95

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