Snow in August Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Snow in August

    "Snow in August" is set in Brooklyn in 1947. Michael Devlin, an eleven year old Roman Catholic boy, befriends a rabbi who is a refugee from Prague. He listens to the rabbi's stories of the old country, helps around the synogogue and teaches the rabbi English. A gang of anti-Semitic teenagers try to intimidate the rabbi and Michael and eventually make good on their threats as one of them beats up the rabbi and puts him in the hospital.
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The review of this Book prepared by Jack Goodstein

Snow in August is a good example about prejudice and racism in the 1940's. The story is set in Brooklyn New York, where Michael and his widowed mom live. Michael is a sweet kid, and one day on the way to catholic mass, the Rabbi Hirsch calls out to Michael to come in and him a favor. Micahel walks into the building with Rabbi Hirsch, and then an instant friendship is formed.

The rabbi teaches Michael all about Jewish history and yiddish, while Michael teaches the rabbi to speak better English. Their friendship deepens, but Michael's friends turn against him for befriending a Jew.

There is a big bully in town, Frankie McCarthy, who starts a lot of trouble as he HATES the Jews and black people. Frankie is a big troublemaker and has a KILLING temper. He and a group of people start a lot of fights and hurt Michael pretty badly in one scene. They continue making problems until they get their 'dues' later in the book.

This is a book of depth and meaning when it comes to hate and predjudice against any minority or group of people.
The review of this Book prepared by Boppy

Chapter Analysis of Snow in August

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   racism!!!!    -   religious issues Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   religious Jew Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)    -   Irish


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Pacific NW

Writing Style

Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Pete Hamill Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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