The best books for winter reading

BONECHILLER, by Graham Mcnamee, Wendy Lamb books, $15.99; ages 13 and up.

In winter, Harvest Cove, Canada, is a ghost town. But Danny is staying because his dad has taken the caretaker’s job at the marina. One night while walking home, Danny is attacked by a very large, very strange creature. He convinces himself he imagined the whole thing. But when one of the kids from school disappears, Danny learns of an old Native American legend that proves the creature is real. And it has claimed Danny as its next victim.

 THE PRINCE OF FENWAY PARK, by Julianna Baggott, HarperCollins Children's Books, $16.99; ages 9-12.

Oscar Egg believes in curses. He believes he is cursed and his beloved Red Sox are cursed. One day, to Oscar’s horror, his mom leaves him with his dad while she is out of town. The only thing he knows about his dad is that he works at Fenway Park. What Oscar doesn’t know is that Fenway Park is inhabited by creatures who are cursed. Oscar is going to be the one to save the creatures and end the curse.

 SCAT, by Carl Hiaasen, Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99; ages 9-12.

Mrs. Bunny Starch is terrorizing her class again. When she calls on Duane and he can’t answer, she assigns him a 500-word paper on pimples.

Duane, whose nickname is Smoke, later becomes the main suspect in a small brush fire that cuts the field trip to Black Vines Swamp short and the disappearance of Mrs. Starch. Nick and Marta don’t believe he is responsible.

FERN VERDANT& THE SILVER ROSE, by Diana Leszczynski, Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15.99; ages 9-12.

Fern’s parents are botanists and named her after her father’s favorite plant. She hates her name, she hates that her father spends all day talking to his plants in the greenhouse and she hates that her mom travels all over the world saving endangered plants. Most of all, Fern hates plants.

When Fern’s mom disappears, she quickly learns why her life revolves around plants.

 THE 39 CLUES, (The Maze of Bones, Book 1), by Rick Riordan, Scholastic Press, $12.99; ages 9-12.

It will take 39 clues to solve their grandmother Grace’s mysterious will. Orphans Ann and Dan are on the trail that spans the globe, but so are a variety of strange, crazy and evil relatives. The first to find all 39 clues will win the Cahill family fortune. In the first book, they are in Vienna trying to find a code in a piece of Mozart’s music.

There are 10 book planned for this new adventure series. The series includes game cards, Internet games and even a $10,000 prize. Read along, play along and enjoy.

Sandi Pedersen is the mom of four and the Web mistress for Chicago Parent.

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