Reprinted from the Citizen:
Now that Thanksgiving is done and we’ve eaten all the leftovers, it’s time to get serious about our holiday shopping, and that means our annual Books Make Great Gifts Guide. Books always fit and are never the wrong color.
Young children on your list will enjoy “Malala’s Magic Pencil”, a book that encourages children to look at the world around them, written by the inspirational Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoet.
|Malala's Magic Pencil
For middle grade students, debut novelist’s Karina Yan Glaser’s “The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street” introduces us to a lovely family of seven who live in an apartment in New York City. When their landlord announces they must move after Christmas, the Vanderbeeker kids work to change his mind. It’s a good old-fashioned family story told in a modern setting.
|The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Young Adult readers will devour Marie Wu’s propulsive novel, “Warcross” about a young gamer who, while working as a spy at the International Warcross Championships, uncovers a conspiracy. It’s the first in the series, and it’s for fans of “The Hunger Games.”
A nice stocking stuffer book for older children is Admiral William H. Raven’s “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life and Maybe the World”, taken from his speech to the graduating class at the University of Texas at Austin. It’s good advice we can all use.
|Make Your Bed
If you know a parent who needs a good laugh this season, Laurie Gelman’s “Class Mom” about a hilarious older mom who ends up once again as class mom for her son’s kindergarten will have them rolling on the floor.
E. Robuck’s “#HockeyStrong” is geared toward parents who spent countless hours at the hockey rink, soccer or baseball field watching their child. This satire gets all the details just right, with plenty of laughs as well.
For the person who grew up watching 1970’s television, there are two good choices. “Caroline- Little House Revisited” by Sarah Miller tells the story of “Little House On The Prairie’ from mother Caroline’s viewpoint instead of daughter Laura’s.
If you know from the title of the book- “Meddling Kids”- that this book evokes Scooby-Doo and the gang, then you are right. Edgar Cantero’s book is set in 1990 and reunites a group of former teen detectives known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club, who last saw each other in 1977. Let’s just say the intervening years haven’t been kind to them.
For people on your list who like to have their hearts racing when they read, Maile Meloy’s “Do Not Become Alarmed”, about a group of children who go missing during a family cruise to a foreign port of call, will do the trick. The story is told from the points of the view of the frantic parents and the children who are missing, and even though the reader knows where the children are, it’s still a breathless journey.
|Do Not Become Alarmed
Novels set during WWII have been popular in the past few years (“All The Light You Cannot See”, “The Lilac Girls”), and Kate Quinn’s “The Alice Network”, set in two different time periods- WWI and WWII- is a perfect gift for those readers. It’s based on a real group of female spies who worked to defeat Germany, and it’s a pulse-pounder.
|The Alice Network
Another book based on a true incident is Wiley Cash’s novel “The Last Ballad”, the story of Ella Mae Wiggins, a young mother working in a North Carolina factory who ends up a labor organizer. Although set in 1929, it’s a timely story.
|The Last Ballad
For people who like to watch true crime shows, Monica Hesse’s “American Fire” tells the true story of a series of arsons that occurred in Virginia in 2012-2013, the investigation into the fires, and a town that has fallen on hard times.
Biographies are always popular, and Sally Bedell Smith’s “Prince Charles” is perfect for the Anglophile fan of “The Crown” on Netflix. Astronaut Scott Kelly shares his story of spending a year in space in his memoir “Endurance”, a book for science enthusiasts.
If you like to give coffee table books, Pete Souza’s “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” is a collection of many photos he took as official photographer of the Obama administration. You’ll see iconic photos and many you haven’t seen before.
|Obama: An Intimate Portrait
And for the cook on your list, Ree Drummond's "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!" is geared towards busy people who want to make delicious meals for their families.
|The Pioneer Woman Cooks