Snow Treasure is in my top 10 of Winter setting books. In this case, the Audible version is excellent also. We read it aloud ourselves and this time around I searched for awhile until I found an older hardcover copy because I just didn’t like the new cover. I’m a weirdo about a good cover. I don’t care how much the inside is falling apart if it has decent cover art.
Also, I did around thirty seconds of research and had discovered that this isn’t a real story. I read it as a kid and always thought it was true. That’s okay- it’s a real page-turner, and it could have been right. In the spirit of Mythbusters, I’d call this plausible even if it isn’t true. They could have pulled it off.
0n March 15, 1942, the New York Times book reviewer wrote:
It is a story of courage and wits and grim determination, and though the most tragic aspects of the invasion have no place in it, it makes plain to readers of 9 to 12 the treachery and arrogance with which the enemies of three-quarters of the world are trying to stamp out freedom.
Snow Treasure is dated now. You don’t get to know any of the main characters as you would in a middle-grade novel that someone would write today That never bothered me when I thought it was a true story and if you read it as nonfiction, it holds up fine. If you aren’t familiar with it the general storyline is this:
Peter Lundstrom and his friends are living in Norway under German occupation during WW2. His father, a banker, and Uncle Victor, a fisherman, and other townsmen have devised a plan to get Norway’s gold out of the country and to America so that it never falls into the hands of the Nazis. The idea is that every child would take four bars of gold on their sleds 12 miles to where Uncle Victor’s camouflaged boat is at anchor in the nearby fjord. They would bury the gold in the snow and build a snowman over their gold bars. The townsmen figured no one would question sledding children. After hiding their gold, the children would head over to a nearby farm where they eat dinner and have a place to sleep. And during the night, Uncle Victor would come and fetch the gold and load it on his boat so that he can take it to America for safe keeping.
This is the kind of book that I almost hesitate to blog about as it is so well known, but in the spirit of listing my 100 books of Wintertide it must be included.
Snow Treasure By Marie McSwigan is a book in our home library.