Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

Review and photo by Kimberly O’Rosky ~ @whatkreads on Instagram

Thanks to Kid Lit Exchange for this review copy! All opinions are my own. 

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
(Henry Holt BYR ~ January 2, 2018)


I got completely lost in and captivated by this middle grade story over the past few days. It’s full of fantasy, mystery, quirky characters, hidden codes and magic!!!!

The setting is absolutely charming. Winterhouse is a secluded hotel that offers fun activities, insightful lectures, outdoor recreation and has a rather impressive library. It offers a wonderful backdrop for some rather essentric characters. Elizabeth is sent rather unexpectedly to Winterhouse over the Christmas break. She is traveling alone and doesn’t realize what kind of adventure she is about to embark on. Her love of completing puzzles, anagrams, word logs and solving various codes helps her befriend Freddy, another young guest. Together the two have fun exploring the grounds and eventually find themselves uncovering the history and secrets that the magnificent hotel seems to hold.

Throw in a peculiar book that slowly reveals a secret message, a pair of villains who travel with a strange coffin-like crate, portraits with hidden messages and an odd orb that keeps appearing in the distance – I promise that it will keep you racing through the chapters eager to find out what happens next.

The storytelling is incredibly imaginative and reminded me of Lemony Snicket – which I absolutely love. It also includes some fantastic illustrations that help bring the actions and characters to life. I’m excited to see that this is the first book in a trilogy. I’ll definitely purchase my own copy to share with my daughter and be on the lookout for the sequel!

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