By Beverly Stewart, M.Ed.
This winter is shaping up to be a cold one. With snow on the ground and more predicted, it looks like families will be sharing lots of “snow days” this winter.
Of course, a day off from school means sledding, snowball fights, and the obligatory snowman or two. But, once the novelty of the winter wonderland wears thin, turn off the television, unplug the electronics and offer up a great book.
Bored with your home library’s offerings? Stash away a few exciting, new books for this specific purpose! Pre-plan with a trip to the local library when show is in the forecast or swap with another family to keep the book selection fresh.
By age, here are a few great “snow-inspired” reads that are sure to please as temps dip and the winter winds howl!
Snow by Cynthia Rylant. The Newbery Medalist creates a dreamy, snowy world as a little girl and her grandmother enjoy outdoor adventures in a breathtaking landscape. The simple story is enhanced by gorgeous illustrations by Lauren Stringer.
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats. A classic! New York becomes the ultimate “snow globe” as a child discovers how a clean white blanket of snow can completely change the world.
Clifford’s First Snow Day by Norman Bridwell. Every child’s favorite big red dog, Clifford the puppy discovers just how much fun a snow day can be.
1st – 3rd grade
Magic Tree House #32: Winter of the Ice Wizard by Mary Pope Osborne. Brother and sister duo Jack and Annie journey to the Land-Behind-the-Clouds, a frozen kingdom of ice and snow. Warning: this series is addicting!
Cam Jansen: The Snowy Day Mystery #24. The young sleuth solves a mystery of missing computers with only one vital clue – footprints in the snow. How does she do it? Your child will have to read to find out!
The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino. The perfect snow day read for budding scientists. This book features photos of snow crystals and explains how they are formed into unique, beautiful shapes.
4rd through 5th grade
The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo. For the child who loves all things from the wizarding and magical worlds, this story follows Gywn on an adventure of discovery of his own powers. Based on traditional Welsh folklore, but placed in a distinctly modern setting, this is part of a series that will have children begging for more.
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. The prequel to the unforgettable Chronicles of Narnia series. Travel to the magical land Narnia, meet King Aslan, the evil Queen and begin the legendary adventure that children have thrilled to since it was penned in 1955.
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman. Orphan Lyra Belacqua battles both “Gobblers” and the evil Mrs. Coulter in this high fantasy epic. If Harry Potter was a favorite with your child, this will be an instant hit.
Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves #1) by Jean Craighead George. Set in Alaska, this story introduces 13-year-old Miyax. She is torn between her traditional Eskimo upbringing and runs away, with a goal to reach San Francisco. On her journey, a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community. First in an exciting three-part series.
A Christmas Carol (Christmas Books #1) by Charles Dickens. Widely credited with changing the way we celebrate Christmas, as well as bringing to light many social injustices of the period, A Christmas Carol is a must-read for all students. The story, which debuted in 1843, offers multiple themes which continue to resonate today.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Frome’s toils to maintain an unproductive farm and survive his difficult, hypochondriac wife are upended when a vivacious “hired girl” enters his life. The story is by turns, poignant, tragic and cautionary.
Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater. Wolves have been a presence in protaganist Grace’s life since she was a child. When she meets Sam, a yellow-eyed boy who tugs her heartstrings, she can’t help but sense he is eerily familiar. Can wolf and human co-exist?
For additional suggestions on great reads by age category, visit the Back to Basics Learning Dynamics News Blog at http://www.backtobasicslearning.com/schoolblog/great-reads-by-age/
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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