It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good book aimed at that older elementary school reader. Karin Adams delivers with a winter-themed Frostbite Hotel.
In this story, Kirby Katz dreams of being as successful as business entrepreneur William T. Williamson. Kirby faithfully follows Williamson’s advice from his “how-to” book. Kirby decides to start on his path to success just as Williamson had done … with hotels. Kirby believes that while every other school kid will be building a snow fort on the playground, he will build a snow hotel. He gathers his most trusted friends and slowly reveals plans for making his hotel a place that every student will want to visit. But there’s one problem … 6th grader ‘Bear’ Brewster. Somehow, Bear knows every move Kirby is about to make, and Bear has the muscle-power to get the same job done, in short order. How is Bear getting the edge on Kirby? How can Kirby become a success just like William T. Williamson?
Author Adams really nails the elementary school relationships: the friendships, the fears, the strengths. Children reading this book will be able to identify with the characters in the book.
What also rings true is Kirby’s ambition. An organizer and planner, I can picture him outside in the winter and building a ‘hotel’ that he has every confidence will put him on the path to success.
The betrayal from within Kirby’s camp and the manner in which it is handled also feels absolutely right.
Adams manages to write a book that doesn’t talk ‘down’ to the elementary school reader but in which most students will be able to identify. Some of the words may prove challenging, but there’s nothing that will put the reader ‘off’ (young readers often won’t bother reading if a book is too challenging).
There is enough action to keep the story moving, but it really is about people and relationships and the young reader may manage to learn something without realizing it.
This book is a winner!
Looking for a good book? Frostbite Hotel is a great book for that student who is just ready for a longer book and is perfect for those who may be snowed in during the winter months!
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author: Karin Adams
publisher: James Lorimer & Company
paperback, 160 pages