cover image Winterhouse


Ben Guterson, illus. by Chloe Bristol. Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-12388-6

Eleven-year-old Elizabeth Somers has lived with her chilly aunt and uncle ever since her parents died in an accident that Elizabeth can’t quite remember. After her relatives accept an offer for an all-expenses-paid vacation, they ship Elizabeth off to the Winterhouse Hotel “in the middle of nowhere during Christmas with no money and hardly any clothes,” as she puts it. Though wary, Elizabeth is intrigued by the hotel and its guests, making a new friend in 11-year-old Freddy, who loves puzzles and anagrams as much as she does. But she’s troubled by recurring feelings of uneasiness that precede a variety of incidents, as well as a sinister couple that seems to be keeping tabs on her. Then there’s the mysterious book she can’t bring herself to return to the hotel’s vast library. Filled with puzzles and magic, Guterson’s debut keeps suspense high as the secrets of Elizabeth’s past unwind. This satisfying mystery leaves just enough unanswered questions to have readers eager for the next book in this planned trilogy. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 9–12. [em]Author’s agent: Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency. (Jan.) [/em]