Snow In August Study Guide

Author Biography

Pete Hamill is a novelist and journalist. He served as a former editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News. He is also the author of a bestselling memoir entitled “A Drinking Life”, as well as seven previous novels and works.


Set in a 1947 working-class Brooklyn neighborhood, the story is about an unlikely friendship between an 11-year old Catholic and a rabbi who was a refugee from Prague. It was a time when people are still reeling in from what happened in World War II, picking up the pieces along the way.

Character List

Michael Devlin - an 11-year old Irish Catholic boy who lives with his mother in Brooklyn. Michael is an altar boy who, against the norm, befriended Rabbi Hirsch on during a snowstorm. He found real treasure while spending time with the rabbi and ended up discovering his inner strength as well.

Rabbi Judah Hirsch – a refugee from Prague, he is a kind Jewish man who taught Michael a lot of things. He is a victim of discrimination against some of the troublemakers of their neighborhood. However, with Michael’s help, he was able to found comfort in the child’s company.

Kate Devlin – Michael’s doting mother. She is a strong-willed Irish woman who lost her husband Thomas in Belgium during the war. She works hard to provide Michael with his needs and does everything to protect her son.

Sonny Montemarano and Jimmy Kabinsky – Michael’s friends. They were with him during Mister G’s attack and eventually started ignoring Michael after they heard that he was a rat.

Frankie McCarthy - the main antagonist of the group. Frankie was the one responsible for beating up Mister G, as well as Rabbi Hirsch. He plotted to kill Michael and his mother for ratting him out and sending him to prison.

The Falcons – Frankie McCarthy’s gang. They did anti Semitic actions against their neighbors and beat Michael up.

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