HarperCollins (January 3, 2012) 256 pages
Description from Amazon:
“We live here, my girl, because it is close to the Way, and echoes of its magic are felt in our world. The Way is a path leading to another place, where the people are governed by different rules. Magic runs through them and their land.”
With her boundless curiosity and wild spirit, Fer has always felt that she doesn’t belong. Not when the forest is calling to her, when the rush of wind through branches feels more real than school or the quiet farms near her house. Then she saves an injured creature—he looks like a boy, but he’s really something else. He knows who Fer truly is, and invites her through the Way, a passage to a strange, dangerous land.
Fer feels an instant attachment to this realm, where magic is real and oaths forge bonds stronger than iron. But a powerful huntress named the MÓr rules here, and Fer can sense that the land is perilously out of balance. Fer must unlock the secrets about the parents she never knew and claim her true place before the worlds on both sides of the Way descend into endless winter.
Winterling reminded me VERY slightly of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe mixed with a little of The Most Dangerous Game. It also had a mild dystopian feel to it. If you remember The Most Dangerous Game, I'm sure you realize there's some creepiness! The creepiness factor isn't TOO bad, but if your young reader is easily spooked, I'd stay away from it.
Fer(short for Jennifer) lives with her grandmother(Grand-Jane). Grand-Jane is over protective and keeps Fer on a pretty tight lease, which drives Fer insane. Grand-Jane is constantly trying to teach Fer about herbs and healing spells. Fer has always felt different, like she doesn't belong in the the world she lives. When she meets Rook, a boy from the other side of the Way, Fer's world changes.
While I didn't love Winterling, I did like it. The only thing that I flat out didn't like was how disrespectful Fer is towards her grandmother. She's disobedient, and mutters things under her breath about her grandmother. There are times she even "talks back" to her. Let me say quickly that I don't believe that a respectful child will read this story and suddenly think it's okay to be rude. I do like the heroes and heroines of a story to be good role models, though. Again, that's the only real complaint I have!
Overall, I thought it was an adventurous, suspenseful story.
Content: As mentioned above, disrespect of elders is an issue and some violence.
*I couldn't actually remember the name of The Most Dangerous Game. I thought the word "game" was in it, but I couldn't seem to find it. I got help from Whatsthatbook.com. If you are trying to remember a book from long ago, but you only have a few details, you can write what you know and others will name the book you are looking for. It's a really cool site!!
**I was provided an Advance Reader's Copy through the Amazon Vine program.