Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Twelve Days of Giving: A Few of My Favorite Things

Welcome to Twelve Days of Giving, where I post for twelve days and recommend books for your holiday giving!

Well, here we are on the last day of giving. Thanks for tuning in, everybody! I'd like to wrap up by featuring my favorite books of 2009 that haven't yet been mentioned. Happy reading!

The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse by J. Patrick Lewis. (Grades K-5.) This book includes funny, funny poems about all sorts of weird and wacky jobs from underwear salesmen to the Queen of England and more. They're sure to have you laughing along. Recommended for fans of silly poetry (like Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky).

Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian. (Grades K-5.) Dinothesaurus is a collection of poems about (what else?) dinosaurs. With his signature word play and detailed paintings, Florian's latest collection is sure to please young dino-fanatics. Read my full review of Dinothesaurus.

When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton. (Grades 6-10.) Told in a series of vignettes, all set on All Hallow's Eve from 1943 to 1949, When the Whistle Blow is the story of a child turning into a man. Of a small town boy coming to grips with the fact that the world is changing, that things can't stay the same. Read my full review of When the Whistle Blows.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. (Grades 5-8.) It's 1978. Twelve-year-old Miranda lives in New York City, walking to school each day with her best friend Sal and reading A Wrinkle in Time more times than she can count. But then everything changes. Sal refuses to walk to school with Miranda. And Miranda starts finding notes left for her in strange places. Notes that caution her not to tell anyone about them. Notes that seem to predict the future. And if Miranda can figure out who's leaving the notes and what they're telling her to do, she might be able to prevent a tragic death. Read my full review of When You Reach Me.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. (Grades 6+) Besides having a super-interesting premise, I was drawn into stories about two characters that I immediately liked. Short chapters that switch between Alek's and Deryn's points of view kept the action moving. The world-building is done effortlessly. The fictional world was being built around me as I read and it felt very organic, which is just how it should feel. I wanted to know more, wanted to stay in this world and learn more about it. Excellent. Read my full review of Leviathan.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork. (Grades 9+) 17-year old Marcelo has his future planned out. He'll work training horses this summer at his school, a special school for kids with disabilities. In the fall, he'll return to Paterson for his senior year and then go to college to study nursing. But Marcelo's dad has other plans for him. Arturo would like Marcelo to join "the real world" by working at his law firm for the summer and attending a typical high school in the fall. They make a deal. If Marcelo gets through the summer working at the law firm, adapting to new situations and following the rules of the real world, then Marcelo can choose what school he attends in the fall. But the real world is more complicated, beautiful, and frightening than Marcelo could ever have imagined. Read my full review of Marcelo in the Real World.

Need more gift ideas? Liz is a dear and she's collected a round-up of gift-giving posts around the Kidlitosphere. Do check them out. And of course, be sure and check out the rest of the 2009 Twelve Days of Giving and the 2008 Twelve Days of Giving for more ideas!