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Phantoms In The Snow Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathleen Benner Duble is a critically acclaimed and award-winning author of many historical novels for children. Her books include THE SACRIFICE, BRAVE ZULU, SAMANTHA!, HEARTS OF IRON, and QUEST. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From Phantoms in the Snow

Noah grinned and took a step forward on his skis, swayed a bit, tried adjusting, and fell hard.

His uncle let out a loud laugh.

Noah frowned, the excitement over learning to ski lessening slightly with the embarrassment of falling so incredibly quickly and the uncomfortable feeling of the seat of his pants growing suddenly wet and cold.

His uncle laughed even harder. "Here, let's try again."

He pulled Noah to his feet once more and held him still until he was sure Noah was balanced.

Noah felt awkward, just standing there, afraid to move. In the pictures he'd seen, skiing had looked easy, but the long wooden boards strapped to his feet made Noah feel unwieldy. He shifted his weight to try and get more comfortable, but as he did so, the skis suddenly started to slide out from under him. And he began to move down the slope.

"Turn your skis into the hill," his uncle cried out as he saw Noah begin to slip farther down the mountain, "into the hill, boy!"

Noah tried to pound the skis into the snow on the mountain as his uncle had instructed, but instead, he began to pick up speed.

"Help!" Noah managed to shout through the fear that was now thick in his throat.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545197708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545197700
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Kathleen Benner Duble grew up surrounded by very talented individuals.
Her father was a jet pilot in the Pittsburgh Air National Guard, and her sister, Lauren, went on to receive her wings and become a tanker pilot for the MAINEiacs in Bangor, Maine. Because Kathleen had sixteen car accidents before she was twenty-one, Kathleen's father would not let her try her hand at flying. This was probably a very good decision.

Kathleen's mother and younger sister, Mara, were both highly successful executives, fighting for spots in a mostly male-dominated corporate world. As Kathleen hated confrontations of any kind, this was not a wise choice of career for her either.

Her family despaired. What to do with a girl who barely looked up from the book she was reading to explore the world? Send her to college!

Kathleen graduated cum laude from Miami University, Ohio in 1980 (an easy task as most of college involves reading). She walked out with a diploma and a degree in Creative Writing. At last, she had found her calling.

But what do you write about when you've spent your whole life with your nose buried in a book? Kathleen began to look around. And for once, instead of princes and princesses and tales of adventure, she saw her own family right there in front of her with their unique stories to tell. Kathleen got to work.

In February 1999, she had a short story published in Highlights Magazine for Children, a story about a botched music recital with her sister. Her first book, Bridging Beyond, a young adult novel, about her grandmother, came out in May of 2002 and was an IRA Notable Honor Book. Pilot Mom, again about her sister, came out in May of 2003 from Charlesbridge Publishing. Her third book, The Sacrifice, a story about an ancestor discovered by her father, was released in October of 2005 by Margaret K. McElderry. This middle grade novel was a Junior Library Guild Selection, received a starred review from Booklist, was a 2005/2006 Book Sense Pick, a Jefferson Cup Noteworthy book, and an ALA BBYA nominee. It is also a Louisiana Reader's Choice nominee, a Keystone State Award nominee, a William Allen White nominee, a Nevada State Reader's Choice nominee, a Virginia Reader's Choice nominee, a Great Stone Face nominee, a Sunshine State Young Adult nominee and a Massachusetts Book Award nominee.

In 1983, she married her very smart and talented husband and began to steal from him. Hearts Of Iron, about his family's summer place, was released in October of 2006 from Margaret K. McElderry. It was a Winter Book Sense Pick and a 2007 IRA Teacher's Choice.

In Bravo, Zulu Samantha! from Peachtree Publishing, Kathleen turned once again to her father to create the character of the crotchety old grandfather who is miffed at being forced to retire from the Air Force. Her father was an excellent role model! Bravo Zulu, Samantha! was an Agatha Award nominee, a Maine Student Book Award nominee and a Society of Librarian's
International Book Award Honor Book for Language Arts: K-6 novels.

In March of 2008, Quest, was released from Margaret K. McElderry. This book tells the story of Henry Hudson and was a Boston Author's Club and a Jefferson Cup Highly Recommended book.

In July of 2008, The Story of the Samson, was published by Charlesbridge Publishing. The amazing adventures of this little boat were discovered by Kathleen while on a trip to Nova Scotia with her parents and was an NCSS Notable Trade Book.

Phantoms in the Snow is her most recent book published by Scholastic. It is the story of a group of skiing soldiers called Phantoms who turned the tide of the war in Italy against the Germans in World War II.

In 1987, she became a mom - her very favorite job! And luckily, she got the job a second time in 1990. She is currently working on stealing stories from her two teenage girls, who live far more daring and exciting lives of intrigue and deception than Kathleen does.

Kathleen lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful husband and two fabulous girls. They all love to travel, but none of them are pilots. You can read more about Kathleen and her work, or schedule a visit, at her website: www.kathleenduble.com.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Perkins on May 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Phantoms were an actual skiing division that made one of the most important assaults for the US during WWII, and they are one of the inspirations for the development of leisure skiing in the country today. Although this story is based on historic events, it is also about the feelings that young people (who approach maturity under difficult circumstances) encounter as they leave the safety and security of childhood for the unpredictable challenges of the adult world. Set in the beautiful mountains of Colorado and Italy (with a visit to Texas in between), readers follow young Noah Garrett as he acquires friends, life lessons, and wisdom. The narrative offers a strong picture of the real worries any youth might have under such pressure (an orphan who ends up living with an estranged Uncle). The descriptions of training and events during the war are done with a balance that makes them memorable. Scenes describing the impact of the violence of war on civilians and soldiers keep the story from becoming one that is intended to glorify war. The story line is clear, and it progresses at a comfortable pace for a young audience. (There are also some amusing events that enrich Noah's journey). This novel offers an insightful and entertaining read without losing the sense of gratitude and respect (offered formally in the opening) for the men who really did serve in the 10th mountain division. A cool read for hot summer days!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Texas is home to Noah Garrett. He's fifteen years old and used to living among the tall grass and the heat. When his parents suddenly die of smallpox, he finds himself in the temporary care of the local minister. After arrangements are made, Noah boards a train and heads for the mountains of Colorado.

Noah's uncle has offered to take the boy in, but Shelly James's home is not exactly what Noah expects. Officer James, aka Uncle Shelly, lives at Camp Hale, a military base high in the Rocky Mountains. Noah is about to begin living the life of a Phantom. He's never even heard of these skiing soldiers, but he's about to learn the hard way.

Noah quickly regrets his little white lie that leads his uncle and the camp's commanding officer to believe he is already sixteen. That's the legal age allowing boys to enlist, so it is assumed that Noah is agreeable to becoming a Phantom. His training begins.

He has never seen a snow ski in his entire life. Now, he is told to bundle up, strap the awkward boards on his feet, and hit the slopes. After one day of training, he drops into his bunk like a rock. Even though he is used to hard work on the farm, every part of him aches. When he overhears his uncle and the general talking, he realizes the torture has just begun.

Despite being raised a pacifist, Noah soon becomes part of this group of soldiers. He learns to ski quickly and excels at climbing and rappelling, as well. He also finds himself becoming attached to the gruff, unemotional man that is his uncle. For Noah, the all too real possibility of fighting Germans in Europe remains in the distant future.

PHANTOMS IN THE SNOW is an excellent novel about a little known group of soldiers in World War II.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandy on January 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I normally am not pulled into "boy" books like this, but this was very interesting and kept my attention, particularly concerning the relationship between Noah and his uncle. I will note, though, that in my opinion the middle-to-end part of the book was a bit more slow-moving and dragged. There are a number of bad words, including, "For God's sake," "darn," and at least 14 phrases using "heck." Other than that, I really liked the subject and reality of the book, and am glad I bought it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jess on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Fantastic read for any age! The story tells of young Noah, an orphan raised pacifist who is sent to live with his Uncle at Camp Hale in Colorado. The descriptions of Camp Hale and areas surrounding come to life as the story of Noah's training in the 10th Mountain Division unfold. Having seen Camp Hale and living in Vail this story was a great way to see the history come to life for the whole family to read together!
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By Ali S on February 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Way younger than I thought the audience would be...6th grade or under, I'd say. 7th and 8th graders found the vocab too easy. The author came to our school which was interesting.
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