Saskatoon Star-Phoenix Review

Wide-ranging thoughts on growing up
Reviewed by: Verne Clemence

Outlook writer Larry Warwaruk, the author of two adult novels and one non-fiction book, has turned his attention to a younger audience with his new novel Andrei and the Snow Walker.

Andrei is a 12-year-old boy who immigrates to Canada from Ukraine in the spring of 1900 with his parents, an older sister, and his grandfather. The grandfather has an ancient Scythian bowl with links to his Cossack ancestors. Though the rest of the family scoffs at the idea, Andrei and his grandfather are convinced the bowl has magical power.

They all work hard to make a home on their land near Batoche. Their Métis neighbours help them get used to new ways in the new land, and another neighbour, a man from their home province in Ukraine, lends them a cow and gives Andrei a new puppy.

Andrei’s new Métis friends Gabriel and Chi Pete tell him stories about Snow Walker, a mythical figure with special powers who is said to inhabit the forest near their homestead.

The family manages to get a house and a barn built before winter hits, but a blizzard strikes while Andrei is out looking for the spot where his grandfather buried the Scythian bowl. He thinks he’s going to die when he falls through the ice on the river, but a mysterious figure pulls him out of the freezing water and gets him to a warm cabin.

This is good adventure tale with a bit of history thrown in. it is intended for readers nine and up.

Article by Verne Clemence.

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