Are You Feeling the Cold?

Both of Alex Nye’s books for children will have you reaching for the snuggle blanket. Set on Sherriffmuir during the winter, Alex says, “Both CHILL and SHIVER were inspired by my time living in a remote cottage during a winter of harsh blizzards, on a moor that was reputedly haunted by battleground ghosts.”

In Chill, which was originally published in 2006 and won the Royal Mail Scottish Children’s Book Award, we meet Samuel and his artistic mother, who rents a cottage from the Morton family. The Morton children live in Dunadd, their ancestral home on Sherriffmuir but lost their father when he was quite young. Samuel and his new friend Fiona find the atmosphere intriguing and want to explore, but Fiona’s brothers, Charles and Sebastian are less welcoming towards the newcomers and sceptical of their aims. This leaves Samuel and Fiona alone to research the history of the family and the local area, in the process uncovering a journal written by one of Fiona’s ancestors,  the truth behind the animosity between Chris Morton and her neighbour, and the reason for the curse which lies on the Morton family and its heirs.

Shiver is set the following year, when another blizzard isolates the two families and another ghostly figure makes itself apparent. Again, it is Samuel and Fiona who uncover a hidden passage, investigate the stories and establish the facts, attempting to pacify Fiona’s unhappy ancestor. But Sebastian is mellowing and in Shiver, he helps Samuel search the moor for the graves of two children whose spirits must be laid to rest.

In both stories, teacher Alex Nye presents believable, appealing characters and mysteries which have to be solved by ordinary children. There are no fantastic characters, no magic powers, just real children with contemporary issues to deal with – as well as a few historical ones. You can read Shiver without having read Chill, but why not read them in chronological order? Both books have been republished this year and are available here on Amazon

Published by

Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *