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Reading books will always be my favorite way to spend the day, but it’s especially true during the colder months. Endless hours of darkness to sit by a fire or a nice warm lamp, curled up in a comfy chair or wrapped in a blanket, a warm mug filled with a nice hot beverage in one hand and a book in the other.
With these warm thoughts in mind during the cold months, it’s time to look into some winter-themed Middle Grade and Young Adult books that will melt your heart and freeze your spine. The cold, dark months may be a melancholy time for some (I cannot express how often I re-read Jane Eyre in the winter), but it can also be a time of exciting adventures or bone-chilling ghost stories.
Image via We Heart It
At the first snowfall, begin your winter story time journey with Let It Snow. A freak blizzard hits a small town and disrupts everyone’s Christmas plans. Three different sets of characters, all in some way known to one another, tell their 24-hour story of what they did that stormy day.
After you’ve taken a break to go sledding, pick up Breadcrumbs. Forge a friendship with Jack and Hazel and help Hazel find her friend after he’s captured by the Snow Queen. Dive further into the lighter reading with The Mysterious Howling. Touch base with your inner canine at Ashton Place and wreck havoc on your home -- figuratively, of course.
As night falls, immerse in the chilling ghost story, The Dead of Winter. Explore a haunted mansion owned by a tormented master, and help young Michael solve the mystery of the mistress’s death in the frozen moat. Look out for the ghosts in The Poisoned House, and guide Abi on her quest to discover who exactly poisoned her mother. Be sure to have all lights turned on for this evening!
The next morning, grab your sword and prepare for a magical battle in Witchlanders. Beware who you trust, the young farm boy destined to save his village or the powerful warrior destined to find his second half. Continue your adventure in Icefall, and discover the traitor in the midst that prevents everyone from leaving the claustrophobic fortress of ice.
Take a trip back in time to turn-of-the-century Paris, inside a cold abbey guarded by gargoyles in The Beautiful and the Cursed. Fight demons, discover inner powers, learn of the protective instincts of gargoyles, and experience the presence of angels like never before with Ingrid and Gabby. Fast forward to Cold War Russia in The Boy on the Bridge. Fall in love and question the motives of everyone around you.
After your whirlwind adventure through time, pick up that beloved, worn copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and cry tears of happiness when Harry discovers he does indeed have a true, loving family. The cold stones and warm hearths of Hogwarts will always be there for those who seek it.
Laura Crockett is a graduate student, bookseller, Anglophile, tea devotee, musician, and book hoarder. Everything good in her boils down to her Midwestern upbringing. Follow her Downton Abbey obsessions on Twitter (@LECrockett) and book interests on her blog http://scribblesandwanderlust.wordpress.com