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I’m So Thankful for This Book

November 23, 2011

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to share with you some of the books we are thankful for. We’d love to hear what books you’re grateful for. Please share in the comment section below.

For me, choosing one book I am thankful for is as hard as deciding which side dish on the Thanksgiving table I want to eat first. And much like Thanksgiving dinner, books (and I mean plural) often are best consumed and best remembered in one giant, delicious grouping: my favorite, most impressionable books. And, yet, if we’re lucky, when it comes to be your turn at the thanksgiving table to say what you’re thankful for most, you’d rightly put Aunt Sally to sleep if you went ahead and listed every little thing you wanted to. So I will try to abbreviate:

Little Prince The Little Prince. It’s imaginative; it encourages children to question and to think and it insists that they are intelligent enough to do so. It’s beautiful. Gosh, it’s such a beautiful book. And I love the emotion involved with the book (and am happy to cry each time I read it— starting with the lovely dedication).

Stargirl. Stargirl stuck with me and sticks with me still as a book that made me love stories, love the underdog and it made me grateful for words. “She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl.” Need I say more?

Norman MacLean’s A River Runs Through It. Before it was a feature film starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford, it was a immensely powerful and delicate semi-autobiographical novella about a young man looking back on his familial relations in early 20th century Montana with an complex mixture of affection, wisdom, yearning and resilience. I often reread it just to absorb MacLean’s poetical use of language and insight. I just think it’s so touching and the embodies to a T why I love to read and love to write. – Bobbie

Night Circus This Thanksgiving, a book that I’m particularly thankful for is Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.  I started it last weekend, after wondering for weeks what all the buzz was about, and cannot wait to finish it over the long holiday weekend!  The funny thing is, even though I’ve been seeing this book everywhere, I had absolutely no idea what it was about.  After reading the first few chapters I quickly discovered that the mystery surrounding the book was the perfect prelude, as the story itself is alive with magic, mystery, and suspense.  If you’re looking for me after the Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, you’ll find me curled up in seclusion finishing this wonderful book!- Sarah N.


Thomas I admit it – my kids are license junkies. I expose Ruby to Disney Princesses and Barbie, and the boys have been fully engrossed by Thomas but these days are more focused on Spiderman and Star Wars. So this is my shout out to books that satisfy their junk food craving but introduce literacy. I’m fairly sure that my oldest was practically reading by kindergarten solely based on the writings of the Reverend Awdry (Thomas). Ruby has been known to completely memorize a Princess board book. I get a little frightened when she starts talking about going to the ball and marrying a prince but I’m banking on the example of her stay-at-home-dad to balance her out. Ezra takes a book to bed with him almost every night. These days it’s the Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia.

Here’s to diversity in books. They don’t all have to be literary gems, they just need to get kids reading.- Deanna

9780375866753 One book that I’m thankful for this year is Attack of the Shark Headed Zombie. I know it sounds strange, but this was a book that I thought “I don’t even need to read this one to sell it, the title says it all.” Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. My boys saw it in my bulk mailing box about this time last year & made me read it to them on the spot. We have since read this book MANY times and enjoyed more with each reading. It reminded me of a couple things that I try to tell my buyers all the time but seem to forget myself. You can’t judge a book by its cover and there’s something out there for everyone-it may not be your taste but there is a little boy out there clamoring for books like these! Thank you Bill Doyle! We can’t wait for Stampede of the Supermarket Slugs!!!- Dandy

One Candle I always think about this lovely, unique book each year as the holidays approach. Though Chanukah themed, One Candle has a universal message delivered in a painted photographic style that challenges the reader and enhances the story, as it skillfully juxtaposes past and present. The message is simple, and the sentiments are profound. It speaks to family, tradition, and courage… simply and beautifully.- Alan


Frederick I’m thankful for Leo Lionni and all of his lovely books. A special favorite is Frederick, his best known and loved story about a tiny mouse who is seen by his fellow mice as a bit of a slacker who doesn’t join in and help prepare for the long winter……but Frederick is preparing something just as important as nuts and berries, he has the gift of words and he shares these during the darkest longest time in Winter, helping his mouse friends get through the winter. A delightful book to read with a classroom and for a family read-aloud.

The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen is my favorite book from childhood. A gentle good night story with kittens Hush and Brush, painters who gently introduce readers to colors. – Kate

Tree Grows in Brooklyn There are so many books I’m thankful for, it’s so difficult to narrow it to just one. But if I have to choose, I’ll vote for the book that I remember first totally and completely falling in love with, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I re-read this book every few years, and I find Betty Smith’s story of little Francie Nolan and her family more honest, compelling and thoughtful as years go by. Even though I couldn’t exactly relate to Francie’s situation as a little girl growing up in a turn-of-the century Brooklyn slum, I identified with her sensitivity, her love for books and learning and her fierce loyalty to her family. It’s books like this that led me to my eventual career and passion. Though I can’t write like Smith, I can help books as lovely as hers’ find their way into young readers’ hands. – Erin

And finally,

I am thankful for first time authors. Discovering a new voice, a new character and new town is always a joy to me and without first time authors we wouldn’t have the vast variety of books that we do. First time authors take risks, do crazy things to promote themselves and the book they’ve written, plus they embrace the book community with such passion and exuberance – first time authors have kept me reading for over twenty years already and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!- Nic

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll see you back here next Monday.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    November 23, 2011 10:04 am

    With more children coming back to reading due to the Harry Potter books, I am thankful there are all the books by Kate DiCamillo…she is a masterful storyteller and every child should take the journey.

  2. November 23, 2011 12:17 pm

    I remember reading “The Little Prince” when I was in 3rd or 4th grade! Except it was a French school, so we read “Le Petit Prince”…

    It’s a very deep and moving story. I remember it had a kind of philosophical impact on me…

  3. November 25, 2011 8:46 am

    I don’t think I could pick just one book either. I’m thankful for too many books, too many authors and too many publishers to name. I hope you all had wonderful holidays!

  4. November 25, 2011 11:38 pm

    That was a really sweet and touching post! Enjoyed hearing what all of you are thankful for. I”m thankful for awesome sales reps, hard-working editors and agents, and especially for brilliant authors and illustrators who keep creating new and amazing children’s books to enrich our lives.

    Oh, and for The Phantom Tollbooth, which has lasted 50 years!


  1. 2011: A Blogging Year in Review « Random Acts of Reading

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