The Starlight Claim

A YA novel by Tim Wynne-Jones.

Tim Wynne-Jones

Four months after his best friend, Dodge, disappeared near their families' camp in a boat accident, Nate is still haunted by nightmares. He'd been planning to make the treacherous trek to the remote campsite with a friend — his first time in winter without his survival-savvy father. But when his friend gets grounded, Nate secretly decides to brave the trip solo in a journey that's half pilgrimage, half desperate hope he will find his missing friend when no one else could.

What he doesn't expect to find is the door to the cabin flung open and the camp occupied by strangers: three men he's horrified to realize have escaped from a maximum-security prison. Snowed in by a blizzard and with no cell signal, Nate is confronted with troubling memories of Dodge and a stunning family secret, and realizes that his survival now depends on his wits as much as his wilderness skills.

As things spiral out of control, Nate finds himself dealing with questions even bigger than who gets to leave the camp alive. (From Candlewick Press)

Tim Wynne-Jones is a writer from Ontario. has written over 35 books, including The Ruinous Sweep, The Maestro, Zoom at Sea, The Boy in the Burning House, Blink and Caution and the adult novel Odd's End. In 2011, he was named an officer of the Order of Canada. He has won the Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — text three times: in 1993 for Some of the Kinder Planet, in 1995 for The Maestro, and in 2009 for The Uninvited.

From the book

The dream was waiting for him. Dodge Hoebeek under a thick sheet of crystal-clear ice, his eyes wide open, his fingers scraping at the glassy ceiling above him, his mouth screaming, bubbles pouring out, and his long blond hair trailing behind him in the black water.

Then somehow the streaming bubbles formed themselves into words. "You gotta come, man! You owe me!"

And Nate, kneeling on the ice above his friend, his bare hands flat on the surface — frozen to the surface — tried to speak but couldn't, as though he were the one who was drowning.

"You owe me, Nate! It's your fault!"

"I'm sorry!" Nate shouted. "I'm so sorry!"

It was like he was looking into a warped carnival mirror, unable to say anything, unable to do anything except throw his head back and howl.

From The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones ©2019. Published by Candlewick Press.


Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now