Next Week I Am Reading… Wintry Reads for Young Adults
Thursday 8 December 2022
With the Christmas holidays almost upon us, we have swapped our weekly feature 'This Week I Am Reading...' for a selection of wintry page-turners for young adults. The weather may be grey and cold, but these engaging reads will help you to escape the wintry blues -so put the kettle on and cosy up with a chapter or two of a good book.
My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgewick
In the bitter cold of an unrelenting winter, Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust. Despite the villagers' lack of hospitality, they settle there as woodcutters. But there are many things Peter does not understand. Why does Tomas dig a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut so they live on an isolated island? Why does Tomas carry a long battered box everywhere they go - and refuse to tell Peter of its contents?
When a band of gypsies comes to the village, Peter's drab existence is turned upside down. He is infatuated by the beautiful gypsy princess, Sofia, and intoxicated by her community's love of life. He even becomes drawn into their deadly quest - for these travellers are Vampire Slayers, and Chust is a community to which the dead return to wreak revenge on the living.
Stylishly written and set in the forbidding and remote landscapes of the 17th century, this is a story of a father and his son, of loss, redemption and resolution.
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.
When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
It's Christmas-time in the Stanton family house: presents, carol singing, good cheer. But for eleven-year-old Will Stanton, something sinister has begun, inching round his subconscious, shouting silent warnings he can't decipher. Then on Midwinter Day, Will wakes up to a different world: silent, covered in snow and ancient forest, a world of another time. A world where evil lurks.
Because Will is not the ordinary boy he always thought he was. He is the last of the Old Ones and the power to vanquish the evil magic of the Dark lies within him.
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn't belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door - and Snow knows that she has to leave ... She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai.
As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate ...
A wonderfully icy fantastical romance, with a strong heroine choosing her own destiny, Danielle Paige's irresistibly page-turning Snow Queen is like Maleficent and Frozen all grown up.