Ben Guterson: Winterhouse (Macmillan Publishing Group 2018)
Ben Guterson worked as a public school teacher in a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. In the meantime, he has written articles and book reviews for local magazines and alsomade a travel guide. After working for Microsoft for years, he eventually returned to writing. Winterhouse is his first book.
Orphan Elizabeth Somers spends her days unanimously with her aunt and uncle until she is once invited to the Winterhouse Hotel for the winter break. In the huge library of this beautiful hotel, she finds a book full of puzzles, which may be the key to solving the mysteries of the hotel itself. However, Elizabeth has no idea what the dangers of the research are.
The idea for writing the book came from the author’s daughter, who one day suggested to him that he should carry a notebook around with him to draw and write stories into it, so the Winterhouse Hotel was slowly formed. He eventually wrote a middle grade novel so he could share the story with his children and students as well. Elizabeth’s character was inspired by her daughter, who is also a great bookworm.
Various puzzles play an important role in the story. The writer himself is very fond of wordplays, so he wrote the puzzles for the book. Each chapter begins with a word ladder (we have to get from one word to the other and we can only change one letter at each step), which is always related to the events in the chapter. In addition to the holiday background, the exciting investigation also makes the book unputdownable. Even better is, that the story is the first volume of a trilogy, so we will have even more adventures in the future.
Chloe Bristol’s beautiful illustrations elevate the work among the classics. In addition to book illustrations, the artist is also involved in animation, including creating scenes for Mary Poppins Returns.
If you would like to learn more about the writer and illustrator, visit their websites:
Ben Guterson: https://benguterson.com/
Chloe Bristol: https://chloebristol.com/