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Winter Cottage

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A Depression family appropriates a summer cottage in the Wisconsin woods, where they spend the winter and welcome all visitors, including a runaway youth and two strangers.
Published 1968 by Macmillan
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Winter Cottage by Carol Ryrie Brink read January 2015

Absolutely loved this little-known gem. Though Winter Cottage collects dust while its more famous sister, Caddie Woodlawn, gets all the fame, WC is an excellent book in its own right and it's a shame that it is out-of-print. My library still has a copy in circulation, thank goodness, and if you can get your hands on a copy I urge you to read it without delay before libraries start discarding them.

As with Brink's other works, the characters in
Little did I know when I first read and fell in love with this book that one day I too would be entering sweepstakes (and winning).

The charm of this family - the enterprising father and the two daughters who yearn for a settled home - makes you root for them and crave just a taste of Pa's famous pancakes.
Both charming and exciting. No cliches - for example the father is a dreamy poet and unsuccessful at regular work, but he does have his dignities and he is not lazy nor a drunk. I liked the historical setting - for example I learned that the reason sweepstakes now all say 'no purchase necessary' is because so many of the contests back then were exploitative.

And the writing is just perfect. Most of it is dialog, but little sprinkles of descriptive passages sometimes reveal gems like, "[T]his car
Just came across this one again - wow, does it bring back memories! My Dad must have read this to us half a dozen times, we loved it so much. I remember the kids entering contests (which they found on the backs of tin cans and flour sacks)in order to try to earn money to pay the rent (on the empty cottage they occupied). If I remember right, the Dad used to make pancakes he called "golwallopers" and "whales". Absolutely loved this as a kid.
I suspect I would have adored this as a child, and had fond memories re-reading it later as an adult. As it is, I can only rate it according to my adult standards. A solid 3 stars for the story, and 4 stars for the cute vintage illustrations.

Thanks again for a great recommendation, Constance!

How I would have loved this as a child, because I loved it now!
During the depression a down-on-their-luck family "rents" the summer cottage that their car breaks down next to for the winter.

Small caveat: this verges on my most hated of children's genres - the kids are smarter than the adults and take care of the adults - but it didn't cross my line, quite.
My daughter read this book last week and she loved it. She went on to read Baby Island and when I searched for other titles by Brink, I remembered how much I loved so many of them. Unfortunately, our library does not have all of them -- so I wanted to add the titles to my list of books because I loved them so much and books can disappear so easily.
Very sweet. I knew what the "big surprise" was, but it was still kind of an innocent feel good book that didn't necessarily pull me in, but I know that if I had come across this in fourth grade I would have read and reread it over and over.
So glad I heard about this through the Betsy-Tacy list. It has some of the same "homemaking" charm as another favorite, Dandelion Cottage, the coziness of winter, and a fun twist at the end.
Cute book, but what is the difference between "adventure renting" and "breaking and entering"? I would have liked to see that discussed further (or maybe not).
Another find among the older juvenile books. Takes place during the Depression when a father and his 2 daughters, down on their luck, are stranded in northern Wisconsin near a closed up summer cottage. They decide to stay in the cottage for the winter, and the oldest daughter (the only practical member of the family) is left trying to find a way to pay rent to the unknown owners. I thought the book had a slow start. But, over time, I grew fond of the characters and found the ending, though not s ...more
This young adult book was written in 1939 and is set during the depression. A homeless widower and his children are traveling to stay with his unwelcoming sister when their car breaks down on a back road. The family takes shelter in a summer cottage for the night and ends up spending the winter. A good story exquisitely told.
Book is out of print, so I got ILL to see if it's worthy to purchase. Stay tuned.

Setting is fall of 1930. I wanted to find some children's lit written about the last crises period we had in the US.

Nice story, but not really what I was hoping for.
I LOVE this book. It's like the best story ever. It's a family favorite. We used to read it in the car on vacations. It's got such a great story, and this cool thing about pancakes. You have to read it. It's one of those warm fuzzy type stories. Yeah...
All time favorite family read aloud! If you live in where you experience winter, save it for a cold season and read with hot chocolate! It is very hard not to read the entire book in one sitting! Delicious!
Sep 27, 2013 Fullfaun rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jetmound, mel
I read this book when I was in grade school and I Adore It, reread it several times.

and I want to make the panacakes called Gogglewockers that they made.
Suggested in a recent OCTE Journal as a book for children to read during hard times. Language and story a bit dated, but still engaging. Middle school level.
I loved this one when I read several years ago! But I don't think I knew before that Brink wrote it.
I looooved this. :) So fun and cozy.
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Born Caroline Ryrie, American author of over 30 juvenile and adult books. Her novel Caddie Woodlawn won the 1936 Newbery Medal.

Brink was orphaned by age 8 and raised by her maternal grandmother, the model for Caddie Woodlawn. She started writing for her school newspapers and continued that in college. She attended the University of Idaho for three years before transferring to the University of Cal
More about Carol Ryrie Brink...
Caddie Woodlawn Caddie Woodlawn's Family Baby Island The Pink Motel Two Are Better Than One

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