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Hannah's Winter Hardcover – March 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Pub; First American Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933605987
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933605982
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,413,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—When Hannah's writer mother travels from Australia to Japan to do research for a new book, she takes her reluctant daughter with her. While Liana travels throughout the country, the 12-year-old stays with her mother's friends, the Maekawas. She is able to converse with the family as she spent time in Japan when she was younger and has been studying Japanese at school. Hannah is soon swept up in a mystery with her new friend, Miki Maekawa. Opening an old toy box, the family finds a riddle that appears to be an appeal for help from "the ocean boy," a lost soul seeking peace. The girls and their friend Hiro set out to solve the riddle, traveling to markets, temples, shrines, and an ancient castle and meeting people from the past who aid or hinder their quest. Following the realistic and likable characters on their journey gives insight into the beauty of Japanese culture and tradition, and the fast-paced action as the children figure out the clues will appeal to many readers.—Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Twelve-year-old Australian Hannah has been sent to spend the winter with Japanese family friends in Kanazawa so she can improve her ability to speak the language. She and 13-year-old Miki find a written message in an old box of papers. It outlines a series of mysterious steps that both girls quickly realize they are inadvertently following, after a nighttime tour of a temple and a strange encounter with a singing monk. As readers raptly follow the deepening fantasy, they will find themselves flipping pages time after time to reread the message. Determined to fit in, Hannah makes a few humorous missteps (bowing self-consciously and smacking her head on a table that s in the way), all of which keep the tale lighthearted and make her seem endearingly real. Meehan utilizes beautifully crafted similes and metaphors as she creates a loving and detailed portrayal of Japan and its people. Told in the first person, the tale remains so grounded in reality that it never defies belief. A fine fantasy debut (first published in Australia in 2001). (author s note) (Fantasy. 10 & up) --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I run a bookgroup for homeschooled kids between the ages of 9 and 14 out of my library. They're good kids and voracious readers but they serve as a strange litmus test of what kids out there are reading and enjoying today. I often will bring them new books out of curiosity and once in a while, they surprise me with their insights. For example, I got a bunch of Kane/Miller books in the other day so I spread `em out on the table to see who bit. Considering how jaded I am in general, I assumed that the classy cover bereft of even a hint of glitter would make little to no impact on them. How wrong I was. One of my girls zeroed in on "Hannah's Winter" and plucked it up right there and then. For a fantasy, Kierein Meehan's novel sports a pretty tasteful and serene cover. Next week my homeschooler was back, and she informed me in no uncertain terms, "It's really good." From the horse's mouth. Who was I to argue? Her vote plus the starred Kirkus review this book has garnered were enough to get me reading it as well. And darned if she wasn't right all along! Steeped in extensive details about modern small town Japanese life, "Hannah's Winter" is like nothing out there on American bookshelves for kids. Got a kid who loves fantasy? Got a kid that loves Japan? Meehan delivers the goods in spades.

Worst. Mother. Ever. Maybe that's a bit harsh. But believe you me, Hannah is not feeling particularly charitable towards her mom when she finds herself picked up from Australia and left in Kanazawa, a city on the west coast of Japan's largest island, Honshu. Forced to stay with one of her mom's friends and a girl roughly her own age, Hannah quickly finds herself immersed in an entirely new world. The Maekawas are nice people who run a paper shop. When Mr.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Blount on April 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hannah isn't sure if she wants to go live with a family in Japan while her mother is traveling around the country. She lived there when she was small, and has always done well in Japanese class, so she is familiar enough with Japan to try. What she finds there is not only people that she comes to love as a family, but also a supernatural adventure that teaches her more about Japanese culture than she could have imagined. The story moves along quickly, Hannah has just arrived in Japan when strange things start happening. This made the story good in some ways, but it is also my main criticism. I wish the author would have spent a little more time developing the characters and describing the settings. Overall, however, I found the book enjoyable.
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