Since I started my book blog I have done a Top Ten for Christmas. I am running a little later this year so I have gone with books you should be able to buy at any bookshop. For each category I am choosing one book I have reviewed and loved along with another I chose off the shelf of a bookshop as if I were buying a gift (as with all good book gifts I have had a read before passing it on).
I am concentrating three categories – Picture Books, Tweens and Young Adults, with a bonus choice from reviewer Sam to give us an insight into that hard-to-buy-for-group.
The Dinkey Donkey by Craig Smith and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
A couple of weeks ago I asked reviewer Sam what books he remembered from his childhood, and his immediate response was Where the Wild Things Are. This tale of the naughty child running wild who in the end returns home to his family is loved by all children, and is a great, timeless gift for Christmas.
When searching the bookstore for a new Christmas gift I could not go past The Dinkey Donkey. I loved the Wonkey Donkey and its silly sounding rhymes, and we still quote bits from it every now and then. Now we can update our stale sayings with the extremely loveable Dinkey Donkey, who is a more than just a pretty face. Not only does this book have the same rhyming build up as the original, but it teaches children to look past the cute donkey to see all that she is. This is a must for children of all ages.
Books for Tweens
The Girl The Dog and the Writer in Rome by Katrina Nannestad and The Golden Unicorn by Anh Do
When I first reviewed Katrina Nannestad’s book about a young girl solving a mystery in the streets of Rome I was captivated. If I were buying a book for a tween this would still be my recommendation because it is funny, has a great plot and lovely characters. It is children’s writing at its best. Since Rome, Freja has travelled to Provence and Lucerne and continued her adventures. Plenty of gift giving options with this series.
I picked up Ahn Do’s Unicorn because it looked like such a departure from his previous books, and it is. Right from the first chapter you are taken into a new world created by the villainous Soul Collector, and once you are in there it is hard to get out. The language and writing is great for tweens, and Chris Wahl’s illustrations make this book accessible for your older reluctant readers, and also for advanced early readers. However, it is the story that carries this book, and once your reader is finished you will be pleased to find book two in the series is already out.
Passenger by Alexander Bracken and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee
There are many great titles I could have chosen for this section, but because we are so close to Christmas I have gone with books you can buy off the self. When you have your readers have their Christmas dollars I hope you will look at some of the reviews I have done of independently published books and give some of them a chance. I also have a link to some free reads below.
However, as the time to Christmas draws closer I have gone with two off the shelf books with an historic twist for young adult readers. And yes, perhaps they lend towards the female readers, but I think Sam may have taken care of the boys in the next section.
Passenger is a great book that takes the reader through time with the lead character Victoria as she finds she suddenly finds she is enmeshed in a war between factions of time travellers. This is a great, fast paced story, which continues in Wayfarer, the second book in the series (fortunately for avid readers). The characters are strong, likeable and flawed. The jumps through history give this book a twist I love, and it is a great read for all those romantics out there.
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy was a surprise for me. I loved the title, and so picked it up to read the first chapter. I know reason says you should not choose books this way, but sometimes it works. I couldn’t put it down once I started, in fact I would have finished it there and then in the shop if I had not bee pulled away. Our main character Felicity is not your common eighteenth century female. She is focussed on becoming a doctor in a work who sees other roles for her. As she follows her dreams she is thrown into adventure and learns the true meaning of friendship. This book is a great great for lovers of; history, strong female leads; adventure and a good story.
Teenage and Young Adult Boys
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Boys are notoriously difficult to buy for, so I have a special section for them, written by reviewer Sam, who has shared two books I have seen him read more than once this year.
Hello fellow readers today I would like to tell you about two books I believe you should buy for the holidays.
Ready Player One is a book about a future where humanity lives in a virtual world called the oasis. This world is full of 80s pop-culture and different places to explore but when the death of it’s creator arrives a secret is revealed, that hidden in the oasis is an easter egg that will give whoever finds it complete control of the oasis and 3 trillion US dollars. You follow the story of Wade Watts as he hunts for the egg. I would recommend this book for ages 13 to 18.
Scythe is a book about a futuristic world in which death is no longer a problem, overpopulation however has become an extremely apparent side effect of a world without death so the scythes were formed they kill people based off charts from when humans would die. This story follows scythe apprentices Rowan and citra through their journey of becoming a scythe. I would recommend this book for ages 12 to 16.
Happy Christmas shopping, and happy holiday reading form all of us at The Bookbubble. Hope to see you in January when I will share my Christmas Holiday reads.