Short days, frozen fingers in the morning, the smell of snow in the air…Pittsburgh’s first big snow (and the school holidays) are imminent. So pick up one of these wintery reads at the library, or download it to your favorite device, stock up on hot cocoa and marshmallows, and get ready to hunker down.
In Green Glass House by Kate Milford, Milo’s family runs The Green Glass House, a smugglers’ inn in a smugglers’ town. Milo’s plans for a quiet, winter holiday are ruined by the arrival, one after the other, of strange guests to the inn. In no time at all they are snowed-in, and it is apparent that there is a thief (or two) in their midst. Milo and the cook’s daughter set out to discover what has brought everyone to the inn, and what mysteries the Green Glass House is protecting.
Anyone who has enjoyed Brian Selznick’s kind of magic and mystery will like Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy. In the strangest of museums (a pavilion of wolves, a room containing only teaspoons, a gallery of brains in juice…) in a foreign city where it always snows, Ophelia finds herself trying to find a key to free a strange boy imprisoned by the Snow Queen. Foxlee’s story is suspenseful, and the ambiance of her frozen city and bizarre museum will keep you turning pages.
Whether you love the quiet and magic of wintertime woods, or need a reminder of the sound of birdsong and rivers and summer in the forest, this is a great time to revisit My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. This classic story about a boy who runs away from home to test himself in the Catskill Mountains is such a clever combination of nature, science, cooking, and engineering fact with fiction that the whole family will enjoy this adventure story.
Readers of historical fiction can curl up with Bo at Ballard Creek, by Kirkpatrick Hill, the surprising adventures of a girl growing up in early 20th-century Alaska; or, if spies and anything espionage is more of your thing, Marie McSwigan’s Snow Treasure, about Norwegian children during WWII who use their sleds to smuggle gold right under the Nazis’ noses.
Just in case you thought 30 degrees was feeling cold, Theodore Taylor’s, Ice Drift, the story of two Inuit brothers trying to survive on an ice floe in the Arctic Circle, will make you feel like you’re enjoying a heat wave–even on the iciest of Pittsburgh days.
Should you run out of winter reading–or you need to make a marshmallow run–stop by one of CLP’s locations to enjoy a craft, Lego-building, or other winter activity. Check the Kid’s Event Page for locations and times. Happy Winter!
-by Anne Lee, CLP – Main