To mourn the impending passing of daylight saving, here’s a wintery list (if this is too much to bear I suggest going back to summer).
- Hatchet: Winter by Gary Paulsen. This book picks up at a theoretical end point for Hatchet, and Brian has to survive winter in the Canadian wilderness, one tough opponent. This book is also helpfully titled Brian’s Winter.
- My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick. Horror and winter go together nicely, particularly when you consider the strong influence Eastern European countries have had on vampire folklore (Eastern Europe knows how to do winter). If you’re a bit worried about Peter and how he got on you should read The Kiss of Death (set in Venice – winter may or may not star; I haven’t read it yet).
- The Devouring by Simon Holt. Speaking of horror and winter, here’s a book with an icky title. Wicked creatures called Vours move into people’s bodies and banish their souls to a place called a “fearscape”. Sounds like Stephenie Meyer’s book The Host but without the warm fuzzies.
- Winter by John Marsden (winter being a person rather than a season here). Winter heads back to her old home to confront the tragic past of her family.
- Alex in Winter by Tessa Duder. Alex’s tough winter of training, made tougher by the death of Andy.
- Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This winter is made unimaginably harsh by the fact that the moon is knocked out of orbit, causing a multitude of volcanoes to erupt and block the sun with ash clouds. A brilliant book but I suggest you find a really good, nice, happy book to read straight afterwards.
- The Dead and the Gone, by Susan Beth Pfeffer. The companion to Life As We Knew It, this is again terribly depressing, but there might be a hint of hope at the end (although I could be just making that up – wouldn’t want to spoil things). The Dead and the Gone is set in New York City, where winter is very cruel indeed, especially when your mother doesn’t return from the hospital where she works and your father is on an island in the Caribbean, or at least you think he is, and you’ve got two sisters to look after.
- Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett. The Spirit of Winter’s got a thing for Tiffany Aching. Sounds cute, but it takes all Tiffany’s witchy skill to survive until spring and ensure spring survives.
- The Winter War by William Durbin (Russian/Finnish war). Interesting if you’re into history; the Soviet Union invaded Finland in 1939 and the resulting war was a bit of a David versus Goliath thing (the blurb says the Soviets had 3000 tanks and the Finns had 30). The story is told from the perspective of Marko, a messenger on the front line who skis through the forests at night camouflaged in white. That makes my job sound really, really bland.
- Winter Song by Jean-Claude Mourlevat – is wintery on so many levels, as the Amazon.co.uk description suggests: “Four teenagers escape from their prison-like boarding schools to take up the fight against the tyrannical government that murdered their parents fifteen years earlier. Fleeing across icy mountains from a pack of terrifying dog-men sent to hunt them down, only three of the friends make it safely to Jahn’s Restaurant, the headquarters of a secret resistance movement. It is here they learn about courage, freedom and love, and discover the astonishing power of one voice as the battle begins – to free a depressed and terrified nation from a generation of cruelty, and to save their captured friend, forced to fight to the death in a barbaric ancient game.”
So there you are. Winter is spooky and malevolent and mournful, if this list is anything to go by. Writers are depressing creatures!