- Candace Schmidt
Many of us were disappointed when our predicted snow failed to materialize last week. So, if you really need a snow fix, try one of these frosty reads!
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
This novel set in 1920's Alaska reads like a fairy tale for grown-ups. Childless and desperate, Jack and Mable have moved to the harsh Alaskan wilderness to start a new life and escape painful memories. One evening, during a beautiful, magical, snowfall, they playfully build a snow child. In the morning, the form is gone, but there are foot-steps leading away from it, and they glimpse a small blonde-haired girl in the woods. Is she real or is she a tragic trick of their fragile imaginations? Have a blanket and a hot drink handy while reading this stunning debut novel.
Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz
Do you have a smart dog? Could your dog save the sheep, the chickens, the family farm and YOU if the need arose? Well, Rose can and does in this novel inspired by real life on the author's Bedlam Farm. Told from Rose's point of view, this story chronicles an epic blizzard that threatens the farm and all the animals who live there. Rose has to take control when Sam, the farmer, is trapped in an avalanche. Rose's heroics are non-stop, but surprisingly believable. Just when you think Rose has earned a nap in front of the woodstove, she is out there again, dragging another barnyard friend to safety. Move over Lassie—you are just a wimpy lap dog compared to Rose! Read this one with a furry friend nearby.
The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
A young, married couple on a skiing holiday is caught in an avalanche. After miraculously digging themselves out, they arrive back in the village to find their hotel and the entire town eerily deserted. They are unable to contact the outside world. But there is freshly-prepared food in the lodge dining room and a roaring fire in the big stone fireplace. After a few days they start to worry that they are prisoners in this weird winter world. This mesmerizing novel reminded me at times of Stephen King's The Shining.
And here are a couple of my favorite winter tales for the whole family. These would make great read-alouds with or without snow outside.
Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen
Fans of Hatchet wrote author Gary Paulsen and asked him to write a book about what would have happened to Brian if he had not been rescued before winter set in. Paulsen responded with Brian's Winter. Brian uses his survival pack, his hatchet and his wits to survive a winter in the Canadian wilderness.
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Even if you have not read the other titles in the series, this one is a must for reading in the winter. After a prediction of a bad winter, Pa moves the family into town. This story chronicles the winter of 1880-81, when blizzards covered the area for nearly seven months and the entire town ran low on food and supplies. It was May before the train bringing supplies got through. Along with the supplies came the Christmas barrel, and the Ingalls family celebrated Christmas in May!
I know it is not the same as a real "Snow Day," but reading about snow may just be the next best thing! And you don't have to shovel!