This remarkable and acclaimed debut novel by the Newbery-winning author of When You Reach Me introduces readers to a captivating, hidden world below the ice…
Peter is thrilled to join his parents on an expedition to Greenland. But when they finally reach the ice cap, he struggles to understand a series of frightening yet enticing visions.
Thea has never seen the sun. Her extraordinary people, suspected of witchcraft and nearly driven to extinction, have retreated to a secret world they’ve built deep inside the arctic ice.
As Thea dreams of a path to Earth’s surface, Peter’s search for answers brings him ever closer to her hidden home in this dazzling tale of mystery, science, and adventure at the top of the world.
“A mystic thriller.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Optimistic science fiction that highlights human ingenuity and survival under dire conditions.” —The Wall Street Journal
Stead's debut novel rests on an intriguing premise that a group of people with unusual powers was forced to flee England generations ago to live peacefully below the ice in the "cold world" of Greenland. Fourteen-year-old Thea is a strong-willed resident of Gracehope, named after the woman who sacrificed her life to fulfill her dream of resettling her community safely under the glaciers. However, Thea, the last woman in Grace's direct bloodline, insists that her ancestor's intention was never to stay in Gracehope forever, but to rejoin life on the surface. Her life is forever changed the day she and her cousin find a secret tunnel to the world above and meet Peter, the 12-year old son of two scientists from New York who are ostensibly researching global warming. Peter is a reticent child who, like his mother, suffers from headaches and unusual ailments. After a long build-up, including a seemingly ancillary scientific puzzle about DNA, the story takes on a livelier pace as the central mystery unfolds the connection between Peter and Thea. It is a testament to the storytelling that the existence of this parallel world and the convergence of Peter and Thea's stories, told in separate chapters, are both credible and absorbing. Young readers will find this a journey worth taking. Ages 9-12.