Curated by Erin Wasinger,
ERB Contributing Editor
Specializing in Books for Young Readers
I want to give a child at Christmas the kind of book that’ll have dog-eared pages and a spine that lays flat by New Years. It’s a bonus if the title makes appearances again and again, in March, September; in conversations: “Hey, this reminds me of that one book ..!”
And to give a child that perfect book takes some insight. I’m here today to provide a guide to some great reads for kids up to middle-grade chapter books or so. If none of these sound just right, a gift card to a local indie bookstore is always a great option, too.
Starting something new
The Vanderbeekers series, including the latest: The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found (Book 4), by Karina Yan Glaser (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2020)
I wish I were a Vanderbeeker: this family’s children are empathetic without being saccharine, helping to solve realistic problems in their community.
- Twins by Varian Johnson, (Graphix/Scholastic, 2020.)
- Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover series (HMH Books for Young Readers).
- Track series by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books).
For younger readers:
- Dog Man fans may like InvestiGators by John Patrick Green (First Second, 2020);
- the Press Start series by Thomas Flintham (Scholastic); and
- the new Katy Farina versions of Baby-Sitters Little Sister books (Graphix)
For animal fans
Beastly Puzzles: A Brain-Boggling Animal Guessing Game, by Rachel Poliquin (Kids Can Press, 2019)
Each page starts with listing common items: great. Now, what animal could you make using these items? It’s more challenging than you think!
- Any and all of the “Life Size” animal books by Teruyuki Komiya;
- Who Am I?: A Peek-Through-Pages Book of Endangered Animals by Tim Flach, (Harry N. Abrams, 2019)
Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior
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