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Snow War is the fifth book in The Kids in Ms. Colman's Class series. It focuses on student Ian Johnson.

Back Cover[]

The playground is covered with snow. The kids in Ms. Colman's class are busy building snow forts and throwing snowballs. It is fun at first. But then the snowball fights turn mean.

Ian does not like the snow war. He wants it to stop. Can Ian end the snow war all by himself?

Summary[]

Main Plot[]

On Sunday, the last day of vacation, Ian Johnson is engrossed in his new book They Came from Beyond, about an alien race called the X-ers, when his friend Chris Lamar comes over to play in the snow with him. Ian also discovers he has a loose tooth. The next day, Monday is the start of school, and Ian spends most of the day reading his book. When Ms. Colman arrives, she announces that at the end of January, Stoneybrook Academy will hold its annual winter carnival, which is used as a fundraiser for books and equipment for the school. Ms. Colman's class's booth will be a fortune-telling booth, where the class will sell snowflakes for 50 cents which have written on them either a fortune or 'Prize', indicating the recipient won a prize.

At lunchtime, that day, the kids make snowmen, snowwomen, snowcats, and snowdogs, while Ian reads his book. A bit later, they start to build three snowforts. The next day, Ian is still disappointed there is not enough snow for school to be called off for a snow day. At recess, Ian continues to read his books while the rest of the class builds snowforts in groups - one built by the five boys in the class, one built by 6 of the girls, and the remaining built by the remaining five girls.

When the class starts working on making their snowflakes, Ian notices that they are abnormally crabby towards each other, insulting each other's snowforts. Meanwhile, they discuss prizes and supplies, and decide to buy ten four-dollar prizes. The next lunch, the kids start a snowball fight, damaging some of their forts and increasing the classmates' animosity toward each other. When the bell rings, Ian notices that when his classmates line up to go inside, they are sticking with their snowfort groups, with none of the groups talking to each other.

On Friday, Ian notices kids destroying other forts by kicking them or sitting on them, and calling each other names. Ian continues to read his book. When the class goes to make snowflakes later that day, some students notice that a few of the snowflakes are missing. On Monday, even more students notice that they are missing snowflakes, or that the ones they made are torn. They all accuse each other. Ms. Colman becomes calmly angry with them, and tells them the behavior must stop. Ian feels bad that Ms. Colman is cross with the class, because she almost never is, even though he had nothing to do with the snow war or stealing snowflakes. He hopes their behavior will improve.

That day at lunch, he reads his book while observing his students continue to yell at each other and throw snowballs. This culminates with Audrey throwing an iceball that she was aiming at Ricky straight into Ian's face and knocking his loose tooth out, which hurts and draws blood.

Ms. Colman is once again very displeased with the class. She gives them an ultimatum: if the snow war does not stop now, their class cannot have a carnival booth, and none of them may attend the winter carnival at all. Ian knows they are embarrassed, because no class has been told they can't go to the winter carnival. The kids continue to bicker, and Ian is mad because none of this is his fault, because he did not participate in the snow war. He storms out of the class.

The next day, Mrs. Titus makes the declaration during announcements that since a student was injured by being hit with a snowball, there will be no more snowball throwing on school property, ever.

At lunch, the students are eating at tables separated by their snowfort groups, but no one looks particularly happy. Then, Ian gets a great idea - to use a cafeteria tray as a sled to slide down a snowy hill. He feels like he is an X-er hurtling through space. Eventually, most of the rest of the kids join him, using a total of six trays. When the kids come back into the classroom, they apologize to each other for throwing snowballs and destroying forts. Ms. Colman is pleased to see the kids acting better, and the kids declare the snow war over, which means they need to get to work on their winter carnival booth.

The kids work hard to cut more snowflakes and come up with fortunes. Four parents decide to help Karen's stepfather build the carnival booth in his workshop, and the next day the kids paint it. Ms. Colman, Ms. Ford, Sara, Ian, Nancy, Ricky, and Audrey go to the toy store to buy prizes.

On Saturday the winter carnival is held and the gym has been transformed into winter wonderland. Snowflakes and snowballs hung from the ceiling, murals with snow scenes are on the walls, and many booths are set up with things for sale. Chip, Ian's brother, is impressed. Ian wins a windup gorilla at the ring toss, and both Chris and Ian buy a baseball cap and a brownie. When Ian's family gets home, Chip gives Ian a present: the next book about the X-ers.

Secondary Plots[]

Characters In This Book[]

Students

Family

Other

  • Ms. Colman
  • Mr. Tang - teacher on playground duty
  • Mr. Morton - cafeteria monitor
  • Ms. Ford - Sara's mother, toy store chaperone
  • Seth Engle - Karen's stepdad, helps build the snowflake booth in his workshop
  • Mrs. Titus - school principal, announces no throwing snowballs on school property
  • Mr. Posner - kindergarten teacher, his student wins a prize at the snowflake booth

Places In This Book[]

Snowfort Groups[]

  • Boys - Bobby, Chris, Omar, Ricky, Hank
  • Girls - Karen, Hannie, Nancy, Sara, Natalie
  • Girls - Leslie, Jannie, Audrey, Tammy, Terri

Trivia[]

  • Continuity: Stoneybrook Academy hosts a winter carnival, which is shown in the little sister series.
  • Ian has a catchphrase 'Rat and Toads', that he says when he is disappointed, which is similar to Karen Brewer's catchphrase 'Boo and Bullfrogs'.
  • Ian and Chris are good friends.
  • The books that Ian reads are not real books.
  • Dr. G is the name of the weatherman on the local radio station.
  • Ms. Colman wasn't on playground duty that month.
  • Audrey threw the ice ball.
  • There is now a no snowball throwing on the playground rule.
  • Seth builds the booth for the festival.
  • There is no one thanked or honored on the dedication page.

Gallery[]

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