Author – Mary-Anne Scott
Age – 14+
Finn is 16, lives in Waimea with his mum, has a sort-of girlfriend (Alison) and some good mates. He’s feeling uncomfortable about an offer his grandmother has made for him to go to boarding school in Auckland. But when his father Duggie (‘Druggie’ as the locals call him), is suddenly in trouble with the police under a hit and run-manslaughter charge, Finn rethinks the offer.
With coaxing form Alison and his family, Finn takes the chance to escape Waimea. But he doesn’t escape entirely – taking a secret with him.
At first I found Finn a bit of a ‘cold fish’ – not liking his mother, ashamed of his father and only just tolerant of his grandmother. But throughout the novel, I got to know Finn as he dealt with his indecision about Alison and Mia, his ongoing battle with Eddie and his reaction to the after ball party. He was a strong character, a real character, and I believe boys in particular will relate to him.
Snakes and Ladders was a Finalist in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards in 2013
(School, Drugs, Alcohol, NZ Fiction, Family, Love, Friendship, Music, Private School, Secret, Drowning, School Ball, Death, Award)