Snow Day! A List of Snowy YA Reads


by REBECCA, December 17, 2013

It’s winter! I know to a lot of people that means shivering and schlepping, but I love the winter. It’s so magical and cozy, and I like nothing better than to curl up in my half-busted reclining chair by the window and reading as the snow falls. The last two winters in Philadelphia have been unseasonally warm with no snow at all, much to my disappointment. I grew up in Michigan, and as a kid I adored playing in the snow; later, in middle and high school, every time there was a big snow storm, I would listen to the radio, hoping for a snow day.

So, in celebration of winter, and in an attempt to conjure some snow, here is a list of young adult books sure to bring about a snow day! All blurbs are from Goodreads.

Made of Stars Kelley York

Made of Stars, Kelley York

“When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they’ve never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance’s quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off. Then Chance’s mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent . . . they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?”

My full review of the deliciously snowy Made of Stars is HERE.

The Tragedy Paper Elizabeth LaBan

The Tragedy Paper, Elizabeth LaBan

“Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is ‘Enter here to be and find a friend.’ A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential ‘t’ girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.”

My full review of The Tragedy Paper is HERE.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt

“1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.”

My full review of Tell the Wolves I’m Home is HERE, and my interview with the lovely author, Carol Rifka Brunt, is HERE.

Shiver Wolves of Mercy Falls Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1), Maggie Stiefvater

“For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.”

Harry Potter J.K. Rowling Harry Potter J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling

The winters at Hogwarts are so magical!

His Dark Materials Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1), Philip Pullman

“Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her.

In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being.”

Winter of Fire Sherryl Jordan

Winter of Fire, Sherryl Jordan

“Elsha is one of the Quelled: a branded people, doomed always to mine coal to warm the ruling class, the Chosen. But Elsha has strange visions that set her apart—and a strong spirit that condemns her to death. Her life is saved when she is called to be Handmaiden to the Firelord, the most powerful being on the planet. Elsha is the first of her kind ever to be so honored—and both the Chosen and her fellow Quelled are stunned. But her powers and visions grow ever stronger, even in the face of extreme prejudice. Yet Elsha must learn the hard way that you can’t play with fire without getting burned.”

Trapped Michael Northrop

Trapped, Michael Northrop

“The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive.

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision. . .”

Enjoy the snow!



  1. Margalit

     /  December 20, 2013

    Although the book I’m now reading by the fire, with snow outside the window, is set in a 1976 London heatwave, this post immediately brought to mind an old favorite children’s book, Ezra Jack Keats’ “The Snowy Day,” all about a little boy’s first encounter with the wonders of winter. Such vivid illustrations against the glorious white snow!

  2. Oooh, Made of Stars sounds pretty dark… Also, so awesome to see a shout-out to Winter of Fire – that book is such an underappreciated read!

    • Made of Stars is dark-ish, but it’s about friendship and love too! Winter of Fire is, like, my childhood (in fact, I think I stole a copy from the library by accidentally just never returning it . . . )

  3. weheartya

     /  December 17, 2013

    Yes! Harry Potter, Narnia, and Little Women are all stories that aren’t *about* winter yet put us in a wintry state of mind, too. 🙂

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