holiday book guide

Holiday Gift Ideas 2021

Liz Atwood, Lower School Reading Teacher, has created an extensive holiday book gift guide for each child or adult in your life, organized by age group.

K–2 gifts

A New DayAmor TowlesTowles latest masterpiece; an enthralling odyssey across America
Aaron Slater, Illustrator (The Questioneers)Kate QuinnEnsworth Parents Book Club January Pick
Outside, InsideChibundu OnuzoGiveaway on social media
Milo Imagines the WorldStanley TucciTravel to Italy with Stanley Tucci
Super Detectives! (Simon and Chester Book #1)Joe PosnanskiGreat gift for the baseball lover
I am Frida Kahlo (Ordinary People Change the World)David HockneyA beautiful collection of Hockney's IPad drawings created during quarantine.

Grades 3–5 Gifts

Cold War Correspondent: A Korean War TaleNathan HaleThe latest title in Nathan Hale Hazardous Tales series
A Tale of SorceryChris ColferThe third book in A Tale of Magic series
The Beatryce ProphecyKate DiCamilloThis is a gentle tale of the power of love and the determination to do the right thing. Kate DiCamillo is a Newbery Award author and the illustrator, Sophie Blackall is a Caldecott Medal winner.
The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities: New Stories about Mythic HeroesRick RiordanThis book is full of thrilling stories about heroes from many cultures, including Indian, Mesoamerican, Korean, Cuban, Black American, African, Navajo, Mexican, Mesopotamian, and Celtic.
Chronicles of Never After The Thirteenth FairyMelissa De La CruzThe new twist on fairy tales. Great for fans of Land of Stories.
Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives: A Graphic Novel (Cat Kid Comic Club #2)Dav PilkeyGrades 2-3. Flippy, Molly, Li'l Petey, and twenty-one baby frogs each have something to say. Naomi and Melvin don't see eye to eye and Poppy perceives the world differently than her siblings. Will the baby frogs figure out how to work together and appreciate one another's point of view -- both inside and outside the classroom?

Middle School Gifts

Run: Book OneJohn Lewis & Andrew AydinThe life and Legacy of John Lewis told in this nonfiction graphic novel
PonyRJ PalacioThe bestselling author of Wonder returns with an adventure about a boy on a quest to rescue his father, with only a ghost as his companion and a mysterious pony as his guide.
Ground ZeroAlan GratzA remarkable historical fiction novel with an unforgettable take on history and hope, revenge and fear with stunning links between the past and present.
Rise and Fall of Charles LindburghCandace FlemingThe winner of the 2021 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for young adults.
The Rembrandt ConspiracyDeron R. HicksPart of The Lost Art Mysteries trilogy. Each is a stand alone book with the first being The Van Gogh Deception
Daughter of the DeepRick RiordanThis is a contemporary reimagining of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island. Great for science fiction fans.

High School Gifts

The House in the Cerulean SeaTJ KluneLinus Baker, a solitary 40-year-old man, who is a caseworker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth (an organization that oversees the well-being of magical children who have been placed in government-sanctioned orphanages), is dispatched to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fear and judgment to determine whether or not these orphans are likely to bring about the end of days. Reviewers describe The House in the Cerulean Sea as a profound story about discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place. Common Sense Media deems this book appropriate for readers ages 14 and older.
Inheritance Games SeriesJennifer Lynn BarnesIn this Young Adult mystery series, Avery Grambs’s life is changed in an instant when she learns she is set to inherit a billionaire’s fortune. What’s odd is Avery has never met this person. In order to receive her inheritance, Avery must move into a mansion, Hawthorne House, and use her intellect and strategy to solve a series codes and puzzles. Think of this as a mystery novel in the setting of an escape room. Students who have read this series describe it as a fun, fast-paced mystery with plot twists and tension. Common Sense Media says this series is appropriate for readers ages 13 and older.
LegendbornTracey DeonnTo discover the truth behind her mother's mysterious death, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews, infiltrates a magical secret society claiming to be the descendants of King Arthur and his knights. The setting of the book begins with Bree at a residential program for bright high schoolers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Legendborn is a New York Times bestseller, but it is also the winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award. Common Sense Media says this series is appropriate for readers ages 14 and older.
City of Bones (Book 1 in The Mortal Instruments Series)Cassandra ClareThe Mortal Instruments series begins with fifteen-year-old Clary Fray, who visits the Pandemonium Club in New York City and witnesses a strange murder committed by three teenagers, who are covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. What unnerves Clarey most is when she observes the body disappearing into thin air. The City of Bones is an urban fantasy fiction novel that takes Clary to the world of the Shadowhunters, an undercover group of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. The City of Bones is the first book in the series, and Common Sense Media deems this book appropriate for readers ages 12 and older. The content in The Mortal Instruments series does become more mature as the series progresses.
DuneFrank HerbertWith the film Dune accessible through HBO, it feels like a great time to spotlight the book that inspired the film. Frank Herbert’s book Dune is a tried and true favorite and is also the first book in a six-part series. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune formed the basis of what many consider to be the grandest epic in science fiction.
American RoyalsKathrine McGeeAmerican Royals reimagines our nation if George Washington had been presented with a monarchy rather than a presidency after America won its independence from Britain. This story takes place centuries later with the House of Washington still reigning supreme. American Royals is the story of older teens in the highest, most glamorous levels of society, where the royal heirs vie for power and princesses vie for love. Common Sense Media deems this book appropriate for readers ages 13 and older.
Boy 21Matthew QuickBoy21 is a compelling coming-of-age story that unites Finley and Russ. Basketball is a point of connection between the young men, but this story addresses complex issues of mental health, love, and friendship. Matthew Quirk is best known for his book, Silver Linings Playbook, and reviewers remark a how well Quirk adapts his interest in mental health issues for young adult audiences. Common Sense Media deems this book appropriate for readers ages 12 and older.
Firekeeper's DaughterAngeline BoulleyFirekeeper’s Daughter is the debut novel by Angeline Boully. This Young Adult thriller is about Daunis Fontaine, a Native teen, who gets caught in a criminal investigation and must eradicate the corruption in her community. Firekeeper’s Daughter is a New York Times bestseller and was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s Best YA Book of All Time. Common Sense Media deems this book appropriate for readers 15 and older.

Adult Book Gifts

Lincoln HighwayAmor TowlesTowles latest masterpiece; an enthralling odyssey across America
Rose CodeKate QuinnEnsworth Parents Book Club January Pick
SankofaChibundu OnuzoGiveaway on social media
Taste: My Life Through FoodStanley TucciTravel to Italy with Stanley Tucci
The Baseball 100Joe PosnanskiGreat gift for the baseball lover
David Hockney: the Arrival of Spring in NormandyDavid HockneyA beautiful collection of Hockney's IPad drawings created during quarantine.

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