Beat the Heat – Ten Wintery Chapter Books

Posted by on Jul 15, 2018 in Blog, Double Cousins |

Beat the Heat – Ten Wintery Chapter Books

I don’t know if you have noticed, but July is whizzing by. My niece, Megan, the librarian was mentioning that their summer reading program is almost over! How can this be? We are entering what is typically the hottest part of the summer and reading programs are wrapping up.

So, in case you are looking for a way to fill the gap, entertain yourselves or your children during these remaining weeks of summer, or simply beat the heat I offer a list of chapter books that include winter scenes. You can call it Winter in July if you want, but here we go.

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is, by far, my favorite winter book. I find myself shivering every time I read it, no matter the weather. The true story of the Ingalls family and their survival during that horrible winter in DeSmet, SD puts me on the edge of my seat every time. My fingers hurt with Laura’s and Pa’s as they twist the straw. My stomach growls with hunger as they eat their last potato. It’s a very real experience.  And, as my sister pointed out, most of the “Little House” books have winter scenes, so you could just keep right on reading the series!

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater

This was one of my absolute favorites when I was a kid. I read it and reread it. Just this week I was in the store and saw it on a shelf. Yes, I bought it. Of course I did. And, I spent a very enjoyable evening reading it again, thank you very much. Mr. Popper, a painter, dreams of going to the Antarctic to live among the penguins. When he writes to Admiral Drake he is surprised with the gift of a real, live penguin. The situation balloons from there. This is a great story for encouraging children to dream big and follow their dreams. I was surprised to discover this was made into a movie. Bonus: after you read the book, you could have a movie night. (Always read the book first. Always.)

The Lion , The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I am not a big reader of fantasy, but this book captured my interest when I was in my early teens. Once I read the first book and grew to love the characters, I had to read the whole series. This classic is great for children who enjoy fantasy worlds, but believable enough for readers of realism like me. There are many great lessons, and this book also was made into a movie.

Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

This is a classic written in 1865. It takes place in the Netherlands and is a wonderful story of dreams, sacrificing for those you love, determination, and good winning out in the end. This book was effective in introducing the Netherlands and their speed skating to Americans. I loved this story, but then, I do love a happy ending!

Snowbound With Betsy by Carolyn Haywood

I had to do some looking online to come up with the title of the book. I remembered it well from reading and re-reading it as a child, but the title escaped me. I did remember that the Betsy books were a series. This is the story of an ordinary girl and her family’s adventures during a snowstorm. The great thing about this book is that if you fall in love with Betsy and her friends, you have more books to read. I’m sure these books are in most libraries, but they are also available in paperback on Amazon as well as original hardback copies if you have enough money to be a collector.

Snowbound Mystery – The Boxcar Children #13 by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Who doesn’t love the Boxcar Children? There are over 150 titles in this series and the title of this one promises to cool you down on a hot day!

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Boys will love this book for sure, but I was completely smitten with the premise that this young man could go into the mountains and figure out how to survive by himself. There is so much to like about this story.  There are two more books in the “series” which is a fun perk!

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

I was surprised when I realized that both this book and the previous one on the list were by the same author. This book is entertaining, educational, and stretches us to think about how other people live and have lived. It takes us out of our world and isn’t that what we want with a good book?

Prairie School by Lois Lenski

I don’t specifically remember reading this book, but I read most of Lois Lenski’s books when I was young. She did a marvelous job of including geography and cultural anthropology in her books. In addition, this book is set in South Dakota and I believe is based on true stories of teachers and students who were trapped in their schools during terrible blizzards. I found articles about these events, and the story of one in a book I used to research one of my Double Cousins Mysteries.

The Double Cousins and the Mystery of Custer’s Gold by Miriam Jones Bradley

This is the book I mentioned above. I would love it if you would consider reading it. Custer’s Gold is the fourth in the series. Of course you would understand the characters better if you read book one first, but it isn’t necessary. This book is set over Christmas break in Nemo, South Dakota and it is one of my favorite creations. It explores the history of Nemo as well as the history of the 1918 influenza epidemic. If you like reading Kindle books you are in luck. This book and three other Double Cousins Mysteries are only $.99 on Amazon until the end of the month.


So there you have it! I hope this list gives you some ideas for summer reading. Do you have any other favorite chapter books that are true Heat Busters? Please share in the comments below And, stay tuned for my next blog giving you my top 10 picture books to beat the heat!