Cover for list of winter chapter books showing the covers of six of the books.

Winter Chapter Books

When our kids were younger, I loved planning units around the holidays and seasons.  The units were fun and kept our homeschool from getting stuck in a rut.  I didn’t have to think of topics…the calendar told me what the next unit would be!  These units allowed us to learn from a variety of materials that all related to each other.  Vocabulary was reinforced and connections between ideas were made.  And each year, we could review the same ideas and layer on more complex vocabulary and ideas.

However, as children become older, it can be hard to plan a unit and gather a variety of books about a particular holiday or season.  This list of winter chapter books is your shortcut to gathering books set during winter for your children, elementary through middle school.  Many of the books are historical fiction or help children learn about the tundra and taiga forests biomes.  So there are many rabbit trails you could go down…Alaskan Gold Rush, dogsledding, blizzards, the Netherlands, Russia, Norway, Tibet, and more!

Note: You may want to save our other themed chapter book lists for later in the year Veterans Day and Christmas.

This list of winter chapter books is your shortcut to gathering books set during winter for your children, elementary through middle school.  Many of the books are historical fiction or help children learn about the tundra and taiga forests biomes.  So there are many rabbit trails you could go down...Alaskan Gold Rush, dogsledding, blizzards, the Netherlands, Russia, Norway, Tibet, and more!

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Winter Chapter Books for Lower Elementary

Balto of the Blue Dawn (Magic Tree House (R) Merlin Mission) by Mary Pope Osborne

Dogsledding and Extreme Sports: A Nonfiction Companion to Balto of the Blue Dawn (Magic Tree House (R) Fact Tracker) by Mary Pope Osborne Natalie Pope Boyce

Jack and Annie head to 1925 in Alaska to join a dogsled mission to save the children of Nome from diphtheria.  Learn about this interesting story from history and then read the Fact Tracker to learn all about dogsledding! (144 pages, 128 pages)

Snowbound Mystery (13) (The Boxcar Children Mysteries) by Gertrude Chandler Warner 

A fun mystery set during a snowstorm in a mountain cabin. (128 pages)

The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

This sweet book about a dog will introduce your children to poetry. (112 pages)

The Snow Bear (Winter Journeys) by Holly Webb

This is the first in a series of four books about characters transporting to wintry locations where they have to take care of an animal native to that climate.  These are great for learning about what kinds of animals live in cold climates and how they survive. (192 pages each)

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh 

Readers set out on a cold, winter night to head over a mountain where the main character believes there are no bears.  However, he is wrong! (64 pages)

Winter Chapter Books for Upper Elementary

I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888 (I Survived #16) by Lauren Tarshis  

If you are not familiar with the I Survived books, they are fast-paced historical fiction about children overcoming natural and manmade disasters.  In this novel, the main character survives the 1888 blizzard across the midwestern prairie.  (144 pages)

The Mystery on the Iditarod Trail (8) (Real Kids Real Places) by Carole Marsh

This fun mystery will take kids to Alaska for the Iditarod Trail dogsled race.  Readers will follow clues and learn about dogsledding and the historic gold rush, too. (160 pages)

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater

This classic story from the 1930s tells of a man who is sent several penguins by Admiral Drake.  Follow the man and his wife along as they learn to care for these penguins in their home! (160 pages)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C. S. Lewis 

No list of winter books would be complete without this classic!  Readers step through the back of a wardrobe to visit Narnia, a place frozen in winter. (208 pages)

Winter Chapter Books for Upper Elementary and Middle School

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

This piece of historical fiction is set in 1940 in a Nazi-occupied Norwegian village.  A group of children smuggle millions in gold past the Nazi guards and send it to America.  A fascinating story to introduce children to the Nazi occupation of Europe. (196 pages)

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig

Another historical novel set during the early 1940s, The Endless Steppe takes children to Russia during their era of communism.  Not only will children learn about this time in history, they will read about the harsh environment of northern Russia. (256 pages)

The Long Winter (Little House, 6) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is a classic book about another midwestern blizzard on the prairie during the 1881-1882 winter.  How Laura and her family survive the winter with no new supplies for several months will spark creativity in your children! (352 pages)

Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine by Caroline Starr Ross

Follow two brothers to Alaska and learn about the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s.  The brothers have to follow clues to find the gold and survive the gritty environment of a gold rush in a harsh environment. (304 pages)

Blizzard!: The Storm That Changed America by Jim Murphy

This is another piece of historical fiction about the 1888 blizzard, but this book focuses on how it brought New York City to a standstill. (144 pages)

Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth

This book introduces children to a place many of us know little about, Tibet.  Readers will experience the harsh, cold environment and the political turmoil of this country. (240 pages)

The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron

This book is based on the true story of a boy who is abandoned on the streets of Moscow and adopted by a pack of dogs.  Learn how they survive together in this tough environment. (320 pages)

The Winter of Red Snow (Dear America) by Kristiana Gregory 

Read this fictionalized diary that gives readers a behind the scenes look into Washington’s encampment in Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778. (192 pages)

Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge 

This book introduces readers to the Netherlands where the main character enters ice skating races to help support his family. (175 pages)

The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell

This book is the first in a fantasy series of expeditions.  In this first book, the explorers are trekking across Iceland. (352 pages)

Do you have a favorite book on this list or one you are looking forward to reading?  Comment below!

Other Wintery Resources

Fronts and backs of winter weather vocabulary cards.Product cover for Mount Everest Unit Study showing subjects included and a colored, line drawing of mountains.Cover for product, Tundra Vocabulary Concept of the Day Cards
Pinnable cover image for blog post Ice Age FREE Unit Study showing printable pages and books that can be used with study.