About the Book: In the bleak winter of 1940, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lindstrom’s tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated–until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country’s treasure–and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers.
My Two Cents: This is a little bit of a sentimental pick for me. My grandmother, who taught first grade for over twenty years, gave me a copy of this lovely little book long ago. Snow Treasure has been in print since its first publication in 1942. Although the story is fiction, McSwigan based it on newspaper reports in 1940 and states in the author’s note “that she [had] tried to be as accurate as possible in describing how the children carried the gold on sleds.” Whether real or fiction, this book is suspenseful and adventurous. This book reads as a “classic” from another era due to the tone and tempo, but I think that’s a valuable thing for kids to experience. As a reader and as a parent, I was really impressed by the bravery, patriotism, and selflessness of Peter and his friends.
Grade Level: 3-5
- Scholastic’s Snow Treasure discussion guide
- Norway facts and photos from National Geographic
- Learn about the physics of sledding with this fun activity.
- Make a difference like Peter and his friends did! There’s a great list of ways here that can give you ideas and get you started.
More to Read:
- Another World War II story, this time from Denmark: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Another story of kids who bravely stand up to powerful grownups: Flush by Carl Hiaasen
- Another winter classic about an intrepid boy on a sled: Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner