Cover image for Hannah's winter
Hannah's winter
1st American ed.
Publication Information:
La Jolla, Calif. : Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 2009.
Physical Description:
212 p. ; 22 cm.
Reading Level:
740 L Lexile
Hannah would much rather be back in Australia, starting high school with her friends. But Japan turns out to be nothing like she'd imagined. When Hannah and her new friend Miki find an ancient message in the stationery shop, they are drawn into solving a mysterious riddle.


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When her mother decides to take her to Japan, Hannah realizes that she would much rather be home in Australia, starting Secondary School with her friends.But her stay turns out to be nothing like she could have imagined and when she and Miki find an ancient message in Miki's family's stationary shop, they are drawn into solving an ancient, mysterious riddle.Why do the beans go berserk at the bean festival? Who is the evil woman at the Sarumaru Shrine? Why is Hannah always being hit by donuts? Is someone trying to tell her something?

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

(Intermediate, Middle School) Twelve-year-old Hannah gets dragged to Japan by her mother, who's researching Japanese gardens. At least Hannah speaks the language, having lived there briefly as a child and studied Japanese at school in Australia. But nothing has prepared her for what awaits her in the town of Kanazawa, whose narrow streets and wooden shops make her feel she is "traveling backwards in time." While her mother crisscrosses the country, Hannah stays with the Maekawa family, whose daughter, Miki, is thrilled when Hannah discovers a ghost-a young boy who needs their help. Australian author Meehan shrouds her first novel in a quietly creepy atmosphere: a Ninja Temple with a dramatic, bloody history; a town white and silent with snow; a house in which unexplained breezes suddenly occur. The spooky mood, however, is lightened with humor-the ghost hurls donuts at Hannah and writes on her mirror with sunscreen; the three elderly sisters whom Hannah, Miki, and neighbor-boy Hiro encounter one stormy afternoon are as mysterious but as unthreatening as A Wrinkle in Time's Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who. Hannah helps free the ghost boy to finally join his loved ones; Miki's aunt is reunited with the man she loves; and Hiro's missing scientist father is found (more L'Engle!) in a comedic ending featuring Hannah's eccentric, boisterous mum. The happy reunions provide a satisfying conclusion to this entirely accessible, but agreeably exotic, ghost story. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.