Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12 Days of Giving: A Few More Favorites

I'll be posting themed book lists with book giving ideas for a variety of ages and interests every day Dec. 1 - 12. Check the label Twelve Days of Giving for all the lists. Shopping for someone specific? Drop me a comment with ages/interests (including adults!) and I'll be happy to make some suggestions. Don't forget your local indie bookstore and if you don't have a favorite indie, might I suggest ordering from The Bain Lair Bookstore

I've had so much fun putting together these lists of great gift books for you, but of course there are favorites that didn't really fit anywhere else, so my last list is going to be the rest of my favorites from 2018. Enjoy!

Picture Books: 

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Leo Espinosa (Schwartz & Wade, 2018). This is a really cute book about some kids who want to send their goldfish on vacation and turn a city fountain into a goldfish pond for neighborhood goldfish. Based on a true story (!), this is a fun book for pet lovers. 

I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi (Chronicle, 2018). This sweet picture book perfectly captures that special relationship between a girl and her grandma. When Yumi and her grandmother each have the same idea - they want to see each other - they both set off and ending up missing each other completely. This would be a perfect gift from a grandma to a granddaughter (and yes, I bought it for my mom and niece!).

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick, 2018). On their way home, Julián and his abuela  see a group of ladies spectacularly dressed up and he can't stop thinking about dressing up like them, like a mermaid. He sets about making his own costume, but what will his abuela think when she sees? This is a celebration of individuality and loving who you are. 

Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed, illustrated by Stasia Burrington (HarperCollins, 2018). This picture book biography shows Mae Jemison as a young child, dreaming of being an astronaut. I love the gorgeous illustrations. This would make a great gift for girls interested in science. 

Stegothesaurus by Bridget Heos, illustrated by T.L. McBeth (Henry Holt, 2018). Perfect for dinosaur lovers or word lovers, Stegothesaurus can't help but come up with synonyms for everything, much to the chagrin of his stegosaurus brothers. When he meets an Allothesaurus, he is happy/esctatic/joyous until he realizes that his new friend's idea of a good meal is a little dangerous to his health. 

Middle Grade: 

Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Scholastic, 2018). An engaging story with a protagonist that kids will love to root for and also an important story about immigration experiences in this country told in a really kid-friendly way. Mia Yang helps out at the hotel her immigrant parents manage, running thr front desk while they clean the rooms. But their motel is more than meets the eye as Mia's parents offer rooms to fellow immigrants who need a place to crash... as long as the owner doesn't find out. 

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Penguin, 2018). After the partition of India creates the new nation of Pakistan, Nisha and her family must relocate. But Nisha, half-Muslim and half-Hindu, is no longer sure where she fits in. This historical novel would make a good choice for readers of Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl. 

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Scholastic, 2018). Candice and Brandon undertake a mystery that has plagued their town for years - a search for a hidden fortune that will have them investigating the town's history. This is a great choice for fans of mysteries like The Westing Game. 

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon (Wendy Lamb, 2018). This book starts out with Caleb accidentally trading his baby sister for a bag of fireworks. And then Styx Malone came around and Caleb's life was never the same. This is a book with lots of humor and heart, but also a serious side.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (Putnam, 2018). If you're shopping for a scary story lover this year, this is the one for you. On the way home from the field trip, the bus breaks down close to dark. The creepy bus driver warns Ollie "Best get moving. At nightfall they'll come for the rest of you." And Ollie's long-broken digital watch, a keepsake from her mother, starts displaying a countdown and one word: RUN. Shivers abound.


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen, 2018). Xiomara is a poet. She puts her feelings into poems that she writes in her notebook, helping her navigate the world she lives in. Her mother is a devout Catholic and wants her to be that way, too, but Xiomara has doubts. This novel in verse is a great choice for teens starting to question their world and figure out their place in it. 

And that's it for this year's Twelve Days of Giving! I hope you found something for a reader on your list!