For the first time I'm participating in kid lit reviews hosted by Kellee Moye and Jan Vincent. Unlike the teachers and librarians who amaze with their stack of reviewed books, along with a list of the ones they're still reading or planning to read, I'm presenting one review. I'm a writer and I don't read any book fast these days. But I'm happy to be posting among such committed readers.
My first #IMWAYR book is:
WINTERHOUSE by Ben Guterson.
Orphan Elizabeth Somers is a reader, a puzzle solver and a girl driven by curiosity. When her cruel aunt and uncle send her to a grand hotel for the Christmas holiday, Elizabeth is puzzled at their sudden generosity. Freed from the poverty and neglect she's grown used to, Elizabeth's spirits soar under the doting care of the hotel's owner, Norbridge. But there's darkness in Norbridge's history and it's threatening the hotel. Elizabeth is determined to discover the source. Her curiosity leads her down dangerous paths. As she uncovers the hotel's secrets, she feels more and more connected to Norbridge and his past.
I enjoyed this book and it's wonderful illustrations. The intrigue was mixed with a drop of magic and set in a wintry wonderland. Elizabeth's curiosity sometimes produces terrible consequences. And although she tries briefly to rein it in when it affects a new friendship, she quickly returns to acting on impulse. That felt like a genuine portrayal and provides good content for discussion. Elizabeth is also a brave girl and she doesn't doubt her perceptions. Her confidence was awesome. The best news for fans of this book: it's the first of a trilogy!
I write middle grade and young adult books with a magical twist. And creatures, always creatures. I'm represented by the fabulous Leslie Zampetti of Dunham Lit.
Lorin Oberweger - Freelance Editor