Moon of the Crusted Snow

Moon of the Crusted Snow

A Novel

Book Club Kit - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadearship loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision. Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.
Publisher: Toronto, ON :, ECW Press,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781770414006
Branch Call Number: F RIC NVD
Characteristics: 218 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Summer 2020 Adult Book Club Selection at NVDPL! Go to:

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members... Read More »

Summer 2020 Adult Book Club Selection at NVDPL! Go to:

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 15, 2021

This was an interesting way to incorporate an end of the world disaster with native cultures in the north. A fun read for people interested in survivalist literature!

Mar 29, 2021

The Anishinaabe people of this Northern Reserve are cut off from supply lines and communication; they have to rely on themselves and come together as a community for survival. The book starts well. The story is set up well to signify a return to one's roots and customs, while showing the loss that comes from giving these customs up.
But then a stranger arrives and things start to go bad.
I may have missed something but found this story to be without tension as the drama increased, which made for a rather lacklustre apocalypse.

Mar 10, 2021

Rice does an excellent job of bringing readers into the heart of Evan and his family; providing a compassionate picture of life on a reserve. I have no knowledge of the structure and culture of First Nations peoples. Other characters in the book are not developed as much, yet roles, responsibilities, personal failings, community roles are explored. With the arrival of a white man from the south the tenor of the community is changed; the cultural balance is interrupted which cause further struggles in the community. I really enjoyed this book, however, the ending was not satisfying. There could have been a more robust ending.

Feb 04, 2021

Did not finish. Although the premise is interesting I found the writing pedestrian.

TSCPL_Miranda Jan 17, 2021

A post-apocalyptic/survival story told from a First Nations perspective. Rice imagines what the people living on a northern Canadian reservation might experience if a collapse in society meant that they were cut off from the wider world. Lots of references to Anishinaabe culture and beliefs throughout the book, and it's short and fast-paced at about 6 hours on audio. Beautifully written and scenic. Definitely worth a listen.
It's on Hoopla, in ebook and audiobook with no waiting:

Dec 18, 2020

Dec 06, 2020

I'm of two minds about this book. If you want to read a typical dystopian novel with brutal struggles for survival, I'd say give it a miss. It's too short, the characters are mostly two-dimensional, barely fleshed out ideas rather than actual people, and it contains way too many references to printing community memos. When your characters are facing the end of the world as they know it and you put your audience to sleep with multiple paragraphs about avoiding gas shortages, but almost none dealing with the implications of the total destruction of modern society, ya done goofed.

If you want to read more books by Indigenous authors and better understand how First Nations people feel about colonizers (and how they articulate that into a fictional narrative) I would highly recommend it. The villain of the story might as well walk around wearing a big sign that reads "I AM A PERSONIFICATION OF THE MOST TOXIC ASPECTS OF COLONIZATION." Also, it was nice to see FN protagonists depicted as devoted, sober family people rather than racist caricatures.

Still, this is too much of a failure of the dystopia genre (which is my favorite) to get a full thumbs up from me. I don't regret reading it but I felt duped at the end. It's like when I went to see Coyote Ugly expecting hot girls dancing around on barstools and got a coming-of-age movie about a musically talented country bumpkin making it in the big city. This is fine, but it's not what I ordered.

Nov 16, 2020

Excellent read and well written

Sep 26, 2020

This is an excellent book, especially to be read now, during the coronavirus pandemic. The story moves beautifully, carried along by the wonderfully developed characters. A must read!

Sep 01, 2020

It was a very interesting read about the small re3sevre in northern Ontario the author did a great job of telling an exciting story about a community dealing with survival. The people in the story

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Aug 19, 2019

Bookworm_112 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Summary
SPL_Shauna Jan 02, 2019

Just as late fall is turning to brutal winter, Evan Whitesky's reserve in Northern Ontario begins losing utilities. First, cell phones and satellite service go down, then the power grid fails. While initially unnerving, the community mostly laughs it off; service to the reserve has never been good, and they still have enough backup in food and fuel to make a go of it for a short while.

However, as they get their diesel generators in place and distribute food, it becomes clear something has gone very wrong down south. No one has heard anything from Toronto or any nearby urban centres; and two students return, haunted, from a nearer college to confirm that help is definitely not on its way. Eerily, the students are followed by a very large white man, Justin Scott, who promises he can help the community survive even as he begs assistance from the reserve. They grudgingly give him a place to stay.

As the winter wears on and supplies wear thin, Scott's influence over some in the community grows, along with a general sense of menace. Evan and other community leaders try their best to prevent death and desecration. But, dwindling resources and Scott's manipulation spiral together, and crisis hits just as winter runs deepest, throwing the community's survival into question.

Fast-paced, unsettling in every sense of the word, and grounded in Anishinaabe cultural traditions, *Moon of the Crusted Snow* is highly recommended to any fans of gritty, post-apocalyptic fiction.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at NVDPL

To Top