Monday, May 5, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Whiteout

Sometimes I visit my public library’s online bookshelf and browse for an e-book, and that’s how I found Whiteout by Becky Citra. I’m always drawn to stories where kids are put in dangerous situations and need to survive.

Today’s Pick: Whiteout

by Becky Citra

Orca, 2009


Robin can hardly wait for her cousin April and her Aunty Liz to come to the ranch for Christmas. When a devastating car accident sends Aunty Liz to the hospital for several months, Robin can't help but be overjoyed to learn that April will live with Robin and her family while her mother is recuperating. But April has changed, and Robin must deal with April's growing anger and resentment at being forced to leave her injured mother and her life in the city. Then Robin's little sister, Molly, disappears during a blizzard, and Robin and April's friendship faces the ultimate test.

My Take:

The complicated relationship between Robin and her cousin April hooked me and kept me reading through to the end of the story. This is another story where the parents are involved, though not so much that the main character, Robin, doesn’t try to solve her own problems.  I liked the details of everyday life in this story, including school and caring for horses. It's a good read for 8 to 11 year olds.

This story follows a fairly typical plot structure, so it would be a useful read for a writer who is working on learning how to plot a novel. The emotions of the characters and their reactions seemed so appropriate for the age group.

Opening Line:

“…Heavy snowfall warning for Vancouver with thirty more centimeters expected tonight…”


“The thunder in Robin’s head drowned out Dad’s words.”

“Moonlight shone through the window and turned the welcome poster into a long, pale ghost.”

“An icy wind had started to blow, and small hard snowflakes stung her cheeks.”

Other Info:

Becky Citra is a full-time writer who lives on a ranch in a small place called Bridge Lake in British Columbia.

On her website she says, “I try to write every day, in between a busy family life and traveling to talk to children about my books.”

Becky Citra's blog is full of great tips and advice for writers and book recommendations. 

I've featured one of her books, Missing, for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday last year when I read the books nominated for the 2013 Silver Birch Fiction Award.

Other books by this author include:

The Way Home 
After the Fire 
Sam's Ride 
School Campout 
Dog Days 
Never To Be Told 

The Enchanted Theater series:
Jeremy and the Enchanted Theater 
Jeremy in the Underworld 
Jeremy and the Golden Fleece 
Jeremy and the Fantastic Flying Machine
The Ellie and Max series:

Ellie’s New Home 
The Freezing Moon 
Danger at the Landings 
Strawberry Moon

For more, visit Becky Citra’s website. 

You can find more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday books by checking out Shannon Messenger’s blog! Shannon is the founder of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and the author of the middle grade novels, Keeper of the Lost Cities and Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2).


  1. I like that this survival story centers on girls. Typically boys own this kind of story.

  2. I love survival stories. This sounds really unique with a girl protagonist and the blizzard. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing this...totally going to check the author and this book in particular out!

  4. Sounds like a thrilling adventure story!


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