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The Way Past Winter is a riveting adventure about magic, an eternal winter, and one girl's unbreakable determination to reunite her family.
Mila, her sisters, and her brother, Oskar, live in a small forest cabin, surviving in a world gripped by frost and snow.
When a mysterious man shows up on her doorstep, Mila and her family grant him shelter for the night. But in the morning, the man is gone—and he's taken Oskar with them.
• Written by awardwinning and internationally recognized author Kiran Millwood Hargrave • Inspired by European folklore • Middle grade novel that explores deeper topics—grief, inner strength, and the unbreakable bonds of family
Determined to save their brother, Mila and her sisters set out on a mission to rescue him. But challenges await them at every turn: wolves with the speed of demons, tempestuous gold, an untrustworthy mage—and always the relentless, stinging freeze of winter.
The Way Past Winter is a classic adventure story in the vein of Phillip Pullman, Anne Ursu, and Kelly Barnhill that evokes the best of the middle grade fantasy genre.
• A beautifully written, smartly paced tale of riveting adventure with a focus on family • Perfect gift for children ages 10 and up who love fantasy and magic • Great for librarians and teachers looking to expand their classroom novel collection • Add it the the shelf with books like Greenglass House by Kate Milford, Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.
About the Author
Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a bestselling author and winner of many prestigious awards for her books The Girl of Ink & Stars, The Island at the End of the World, The Mercies, and The Deathless Girl. She lives in Oxford, in the United Kingdom.
"At once an epic adventure and an intimate tale about family. More than just a gripping story, it presents a timely and powerful allegory for how humanity and nature are inextricably linked. A truly beautiful book." -Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil
"An ode to the frozen north, to sibling love, and to the lure of adventure."-The Guardian
"I loved curling up on a snowy night with The Way Past Winter! Kiran captures all the magic of a classic fairy tale; this story of strong sisters, a shapeshifting bear, eternal winter, parents' mistakes, and stolen children is captivating and impossible to put down. For anyone who loves brave heroines and the timeless feel of stories like Breadcrumbs, Snow and Rose, or The Jumbies!" -Tui T. Sutherland, bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series
"A young heroine sets off into an endless winter to rescue her brother from a mythic bear. . . . Imagine Narnia's Lucy rescuing brother Peter from Philip Pullman's armored bears. The focused plot contains Brothers Grimm-like scenes . . . An atmospheric tale for older readers wanting an action-focused fairy tale."-Kirkus Reviews
"Hargrave effortlessly sweeps the reader along with her protagonists. Bravery in all its forms proves invaluable to the quest, and the notion of myth-made-reality adds a sheen of magic to the narrative. Readers enamored with the works of Matilda Wood or Katherine Rundell's The Wolf Wilder (2015) will revel in this wintry adventure."-Booklist, starred review
"With this chilly fable, Hargrave (The Deathless Girls) invokes a feeling of folklore set in an ambiguous era and location. Sibling bonds and resilience run strong as the sisters trek through forbidding territory to face an enemy capable of controlling their very thoughts. [The Way Past Winter is] a tense journey that boasts a mythic essence and a well-earned end."-Publishers Weekly
"Hargrave balances the narrative between wintry adventure and spellbinding fairy tale. . . mingling magical elements with thrilling survival episodes. . . A generous helping of action adventure flavors this engaging folkloric fantasy."-The Horn Book Magazine
"Hargrave's lush language and imagery completely immerses readers in a Nordic-inspired world where legend mingles with reality. . . . This rich title begs to be read while wrapped in a warm blanket, sipping a cup of hot chocolate. Recommended."-School Library Journal
"Author Kiran Millwood Hargrave paints her wintery world with poetic, lyrical prose. Her story's complex magical elements never detract from the page-turning adventure and underlying themes of sibling relationships, responsibility and love of the natural world. The Way Past Winter is a winning and memorable combination of classical fantasy and a call for environmental activism."-BookPage
"[S]o twisty and fantastical. . . [it] might captivate young readers. I was won over. . . . by the beautiful descriptions of frosty branches and starry night skies, of flying across the snow on a sleigh pulled by dogs, [and] most of all by its heartening message: 'We will weather this together.'"-The New York Times