By Author / Illustrator

Ele Fountain



Age range(s)



Pushkin Children's Books




Paperback / softback




Yutu lives in a remote, Arctic village with his elderly grandmother. Their traditional way of life is threatened by the changing snow and ice, which melts faster every year.

Bea is trying to adapt to yet another new school. Worse still, her father’s new job takes up any spare time, and his behaviour becomes odd and secretive. On a trip she hopes will fix things, their fates take a drastic turn and Bea's life becomes entwined with Yutu's in a way she could never have imagined.

Together, they are locked in a desperate race for survival.



I devoured Melt by Ele Fountain in two-sittings. This book left me stunned and collecting my thoughts. Melt is a beautifully written story about two polar opposite worlds colliding and fusing in a feat of survival.

I enjoyed the parallel narratives at the beginning of the book: and unsuccessfully predicting, much to my delight, their convergence.

Bea, a city dweller, moves a lot: makes friends, packs, moves again, a perpetual cycle. Eventually missing step one, why make friends when you are only going to move again?

Yutu, a boy who lives a traditional way of life in a snow-bound remote Arctic village with his elderly grandmother, longs for adventure.

Their worlds collide when Bea's father, a geologist working for an oil company, takes a new job that threatens the Arctic and tests his morals. His behaviour becomes secretive and odd. Bea and Yutu, an unlikely pair, team up in a race for survival in the unforgiving Arctic Tundra in search of the truth.

Themes of survival, friendship, nature, climate change and bravery make this an ideal story for upper KS2. A fast-paced, immersive and gripping read from beginning to end.

256 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Kelly Buxton, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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