holiday book guide

Holiday Gift Guide 2022

Ensworth's librarians and reading support team have once again created a holiday book gift guide divided into age groups for readers, from Kindergarten all the way to adults.

K–2 gifts

Every Dog in the NeighborhoodPhillip Stead and Matthew CordellPhilip Stead and Caldecott Medalist Matt Cordell team up once again for a sweet, offbeat tale about a loving grandparent and grandchild. Perfect for dog lovers, of course-but the charming, subtle messages of community and compassion will appeal across the animal kingdom.
Dazzlin' DollySuzanne SlideThis inspirational and dazzling story of Dolly Parton—noted singer, songwriter, and humanitarian—follows her rise to fame, from her beginnings in East Tennessee to performing to thousands at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
FarmhouseSophie BlackallBased on a real family and an actual farmhouse where Sophie salvaged facts and artifacts for the making of this work, join the award-winning, best-selling Sophie Blackall as she takes readers on an enchanting visit to a farmhouse across time, to a place that echoes with stories.
The Christmas Book FloodEmily KilgoreWith gorgeous artwork and a diverse cast of characters, Emily Kilgore and Ritty Moss's The Christmas Book Flood is a surefire holiday classic.
The Three LatkesEric KimmelWhen three Hanukkah latkes fight over which of them tastes the best, the winner is decided by the family cat. Which will he choose? The excited latkes can't wait to find out, but perhaps they should be careful what they wish for.
Twinkle Twinkle Winter NightMegan LitwinCelebrate winter with this magical twist on a beloved nursery rhyme that brings the shimmering season of lights to life.
Big Truck Little IslandChris DusenWhen a big truck and its big load get stuck on a narrow road, traffic on the little island comes to a halt. Inspired by a true incident, the author tells a fun tale of resourcefulness and community through clever, rhyming wordplay and whimsical illustrations, sprinkled with plenty of cars and trucks for transportation-loving readers.

Grades 3–5 Gifts

The First Cat in Space Ate PizzaMac BarnettThis is a hilarious new graphic novel by a very popular author and a Caldecott-winning illustrator.
Spy School Project XStuart GibbsThe latest title in the extremely popular series by Stuart Gibbs. This is book 10 in the beloved mystery series.
Otto: A PalindramaJon AgeeA clever and funny graphic novel told entirely in palindromes. This will be a fun book for young wordsmiths and humorists!
The Labyrinth of Doom (Once Upon a Tim book 2)Stuart GibbsDid I mention that our students love Stuart Gibbs books? This is the second book in the Once Upon a Tim series
Mihi Ever AfterTae KellerThis is the first book in a new series by Newbery Award winning author Tae Keller. It is a new sort of princess series.
A Rover's StoryJasmine WargaThe One and Only Ivan meets The Wild Robot in this novel about the journey of a fictional Mars rover named Reliance. It is written by the Newbery Honor winning author Jasmine Warga.

Middle School Gifts

The Door of No ReturnKwame AlexanderThis is the first book in a trilogy by Newbery and Coretta Scott King Award winning author Kwame Alexander. It is an epic odyssey of an African family.
Those Kids from Fawn CreekErin Entrada KellyThis is a well-told, relatable novel about misfits and outsiders that will ring true with middle grade readers. It is by Newbery Award winning author Erin Entrada Kelly
The Star that Always StaysAnna Rose Johnson
"A heartfelt novel about embracing one's identity, appreciating what the past has taught, and finding the courage to move forward."
Two DegreesAlan GratzThe newest book by Alan Gratz, a popular writer of historical fiction who is loved by our students.
The Cool CodeDeirdre LangelandThis funny graphic novel would be great for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Kayla Miller! When coding whiz Zoey goes from being homeschooled to a new school, she develops an app to help her make friends. Will it work?"
Lines of CourageJennifer NielsonThis is the story of five kids living through World War I. Each of the five holds the key to the others' futures if they are lucky -- and brave -- enough to find each other. This is page-turning historical fiction.
Middle School: Winter BlunderlandJames PattersonIn the 15th book in the Middle School series by famed author James Patterson, Rafe is on a dangerous mission in the cold, unforgiving tundra. Will he survive his most (frost)biting adventure yet? This is filled with middle school humor.

High School Gifts

It Ends With Us and It Starts With UsColleen HooverNot too many books fly off the library shelves like Colleen Hoover’s, and this is not unique to Ensworth’s readership. The New York Times reported that Colleen Hoover sold more books in 2022 than Dr. Seuss, and she’s sold more books than James Patterson and John Grisham — combined. You don’t have to work in publishing to comprehend this level of popularity. Hoover's books will certainly appeal to readers who enjoy love and emotional drama. Most of her books are part of a series and some are a bit mature; consider referencing the Reading Order & Age Graphic before purchasing. The first book we ordered for the library is still the most popular: It Ends with Us is the first book in the two-book series. Her newest book It Starts With Us rounds out that series and was just released in October 2022.
The Weight of BloodTiffany D. JacksonAnother section of our library that gets a lot of visits is Suspense, and more specifically, Thrillers. The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson is a reimagining of Stephen King’s Carrie that takes on serious issues of race and classism in a small Southern town. Common Sense Media gives this book a 14+ age rating.
Beartown, Us Against You and The WinnersFredrik BackmanBeartown is a tremendously popular novel about a town’s junior ice hockey team and its chance to compete in the national semi-finals. Intense pressure is shouldered by the team, but ultimately becomes a burden too heavy to bear and becomes the catalyst for a violent act that traumatizes an entire town. Ensworth high school students may have already read Beartown, so if they enjoyed the first book, why not gift them with the complete series? Us Against You and The Winners round out the Beartown series and both books come highly recommended.
The Bomber MafiaMalcolm GladwellWe would be remiss if we did not acknowledge our history lovers in this holiday book list. Malcolm Gladwell’s The Bomber Mafia is a fantastic book that brings together the stories “of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history” (amazon). The book is relatively short and would be an excellent winter break read for your history enthusiast
The Darkest MindsAlexandra BrackenFrom the publisher: "When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control."
Slow HorsesMick HerronThe first book in CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning British espionage series starring a team of MI5 agents united by one common bond: They've screwed up royally and will do anything to redeem themselves. 

Adult Book Gifts

HorseGeraldine Brooks"Despite the simplicity of the title, Geraldine Brooks’ latest novel is a heart-pounding American epic that gallops backward and forward in time to tell a story about race and freedom, horses and art, and the lineage of not just ancestors but actions."
Inciting Joy: A collection of EssaysRoss Gay"In these gorgeously written and timely pieces, prizewinning poet and author Ross Gay considers the joy we incite when we care for each other, especially during life’s inevitable hardships. Throughout Inciting Joy, he explores how we can practice recognizing that connection, and also, crucially, how we can expand it."
The Lost Kitchen: Recipes and the Good Life Found in Freedom MaineErin French"No one can bring small-town America to life better than a native. Erin French grew up in Freedom, Maine (population 719), helping her father at the griddle in his diner. An entirely self-taught cook who used cookbooks to form her culinary education, she now helms her restaurant, The Lost Kitchen, in a historic mill in the same town, creating meals that draw locals and visitors from around the world to a dining room that feels like an extension of her home kitchen. The food has been called “brilliant in its simplicity and honesty” by Food & Wine, and it is exactly this pure approach that makes Erin’s cooking so appealing—and so easy to embrace at home."
And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the Hard StruggleJon Meacham"Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln, charting how—and why—he confronted secession, threats to democracy, and the tragedy of slavery to expand the possibilities of America."
Signal FiresDani ShapiroThe publisher of this January Book Club choice sets the stage for this novel: "Signal Fires opens on a summer night in 1985. Three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car, and, in an instant, everything on Division Street changes. Each of their lives, and that of Ben Wilf, a young doctor who arrives on the scene, is shattered. For the Wilf family, the circumstances of that fatal accident will become the deepest kind of secret, one so dangerous it can never be spoken."
The Addiction Innoculation: Raising Healthy kids in a culture of dependenceSuzanne LaheyThe publisher of this January Parenting with Purpose pick says, "The Addiction Inoculation is a comprehensive resource parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children.

Share It