Books that Feel Like Winter

Whether unconsciously or intentionally, we often gravitate toward books that evoke the season that surrounds us. Winter reads are the coziest of all seasonal reads. They are often deeper and more meaningful than those which echo other seasons, speaking to themes that we may not feel drawn toward during the brighter months, but which seem to invite us as we hunker down out of the wind and cold. 

Picture Books

An ode to serendipity & belief that is destined to be a new Christmas classic. Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each another again. Luckily, it's just the season for miracles.

From Matt Tavares comes a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.

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Far to the north by the great Arctic Sea, where the winter sun barely rises above the horizon, live the People Who Fear the Winter Night. On the long winter nights the People huddle around their hearths, fearing visits from terrible Blizzard, who can destroy anything with its icy winds and snow.

Among the People lives a young girl named Teune -- the finest robemaker they have ever known. One night while Blizzard rages outside, the sparks from Teune's fire accidentally set fire to Blizzard's magnificent robe and consume it. But while the People Who Fear the Winter Night rejoice that Blizzard is no longer a threat, Teune sorrows that Blizzard's mighty robe is destroyed and sets out to make amends.

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Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues, and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don't need words. You don't need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn't an owl, but sometimes there is.

A beautiful story that puts you in the winter mindset, snow or no snow.

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Middle Grades Books

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Our story begins on a frosty night…
Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair. But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

A darker tale for the upper middle grade readers, this companion to Mafi's Furthermore is perfect for winter.

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Lily refuses to believe what everyone else accepts to be true: that her father has died while climbing Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Lily has grown up hiking in the Alaskan wilderness with her dad. He's an expert climber. There's no way he would let something like this happen. So instead of grieving, Lily decides to rescue him. Her plan takes her to Denali and on a journey that tests her physically and emotionally.

In this powerful debut, Hannah Moderow has written an authentic Alaskan adventure that crosses terrain both beautiful and haunting—and ultimately shows the bond of family and the wonder of wild places. (And what could be more wintery than the frozen Alaskan wilderness?)

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Harry Potter lives with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But a mysterious visitor tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. Harry is taken to his new school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry finally feels like a normal kid, but even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the Boy Who Lived.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it

from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces darker than he could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come. It may just be me, but Harry Potter always feels like Christmas.

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Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul.

We're back to the mysteries of the Greenglass House and it's unusual guests in the second installment in this series. It's perfect for an intriguing read during the holiday break.

 

Early Young Adult & Classics

A charming and suspenseful tale based on "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation:

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Christmas is a key element in this retelling, and much revolves around the snow and the cold, making it a perfect winter read.

 

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In a house haunted by memories, the past is everywhere … As darkness falls, a man caught in a snowstorm is forced to shelter at the strange, grim house Wuthering Heights. It is a place he will never forget. There he will come to learn the story of Cathy: how she was forced to choose between her well-meaning husband and the dangerous man she had loved since she was young. How her choice led to betrayal and terrible revenge – and continues to torment those in the present. How love can transgress authority, convention, and even death.

The bleakness of this classic is perfect for the coming icy winter months. The wild dark of the moors (and a few of the characters) mirrors the dark and cold outside our windows.

 

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