Take This Book List Holiday Gift Shopping: Part II

This is Part II of my annual librarians’ recommendations of children’s books that make great gifts. This list comes from Bethlehem Area Public Library.

I have a mild case of dyslexia in which I frequently transpose numbers and mistake q’s for g’s and b’s for d’s when I read too fast. Growing up, I struggled with words but my parents read to me every night and encouraged me, and by about 9 or 10, I learned to love books. 

I haven’t been bored since. What a gift.

Whether or not you’re in a position to give a kid the love of reading, you can at least give a child a book worth loving.

Last week’s column listed recommendations from the Easton Area Public Library. Today’s children and teen book recommendations and descriptions come from Edana Hoy, head of youth services for Bethlehem Area Public Library.

For pre-schoolers:

“Llama Llama Time to Share” by Anna Dewdney. Llama Llama does not want to share his toys with the neighbors but soon learns that it is much better to share than argue. Another winning addition to this series.

“Creepy Carrots” by Aaron Reynolds. Jasper Rabbit loves eating the carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field until he begins seeing carrots, creepy carrots everywhere. Clever, funny and just a little bit creepy.

“Skippyjon Jones Cirque de Ole” by Judith Schachner. The ever- popular Skippyjon Jones, the cat who thinks that he is a chihuahua, takes his talents to the circus this time. Look for others in this series.

“Max and Ruby’s Treasure Hunt” by Rosemary Wells. “With their outdoor tea party ruined by rain, Max and Ruby head inside for a treasure hunt. This lift-the-flap book is full of fun and surprises.

“Bear Says Thanks” by Karma Wilson. Bear returns for another go ’round with his good friends, saying thanks as they contribute tasty additions to his dinner party.

Grades K-3

“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King. A picture book format presentation of King’s inspiring 1963 speech at the Lincoln Memorial with rich, visually stunning illustrations by Kadir Nelson.

“Star Wars, Who Saved the Galaxy?” by Catherine Saunders. An exciting beginning reader for Star Wars fans, loaded with images of droids, villains and favorite characters like Luke and R2-D2.

“Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm” by Patricia MacLachlan. This is the story of the Alden children before they became the orphans of the beloved Boxcar mystery series. Readers will meet the children’s parents and discover exactly what happened at Fair Meadow Farm.

“Clementine and the Family Meeting” by Sara Pennypacker. Eight-year-old Clementine must deal with the fact that her family will soon welcome a new brother or sister. Spunk and sincere, Clementine is a third-grader.

Grades 4-6

“Secret of the Fortune Wookiee” by Tom Angleberger. Are Star Wars origami finger puppets really giving stellar advice? Read this series and find out.

“One Year in Coal Harbor” by Polly Horvath. Twelve-year-old Primrose tries to play matchmaker for her Uncle Jack while facing lots of challenges and adventures in this excellent sequel to the Newbery Honor book “Everything on a Waffle.”

“Showoff” by Gordon Korman. “When Luthor the Doberman goes berserk at the mall dog show, chaos ensues and he’s taken to the pound. Griffin Bing and friends must rescue him in this fourth book. Read the Swindle series before the January release of “Hideout.”

“Kingdom Keepers: Shell Game” by Ridley Pearson. The fifth title in the series that follows the after-dark adventures of young teen hologram hosts at Disney World. This thrilling series provides much information and a look at secrets behind park technology.

Grades 7 and up

“Reached” by Ally Condie. The third and final entry in the series that began with “Matched.” Cassia searches for freedom and meaning in a dystopian society that controls all. A good option for teens who enjoyed “The Hunger Games.”

“Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen” by Richard Paul Evans. Possessing special powers and dealing with Tourette’s syndrome, Michael battles enemies in the jungles of Peru. It’s the sequel to “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25.”

“Son” by Lois Lowry. Claire lives in a utopian society where all needs are met and decisions made for you. Or are they? The book is the fourth entry in the quartet series.

“Vietnam: Free-Fire Zone” by Chris Lynch. Rudi, a Marine, is one of four best friends who enlisted at the same time. He finds the war is dramatically changing him and not for the better. This is the third installment with number four due out in January.


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