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We Ask a Book Blogger: What Books are on Your Holiday Wish List?

December 7, 2012

Each month, we present a panel of book bloggers with a question relating to children’s books and we share their views here on the blog.  If you missed last month’s post on backlist books our bloggers think kids should revisit, you can check it out here.

This month, I asked our bloggers what books they would most like to give and to receive this holiday season. I think you’ll find some gems on their lists to add to your own!


What books do I want to give most this year? For grown-ups I am recommending Debbie Harkness’ Discovery of Witches (in paperback) and Jonathan Evison’s Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (in hardcover). For children, it’s anything by Bonny Becker (go Bear and Mouse!)and Jon Klassen and his sociopathic bear and fish. Liar and Spy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Wonder… I loved discovering them and hope others will love them as much as I did.

For myself? What do I want someone to give me? Gift cards to my very own bookstore so I can get the next Laini Taylor book, the next Maggie Stiefvater book. I can’t wait for the next Jordan Sonnenblick or Gabrielle Zevin, the newest Jeanne Birdsall. I’d love to have someone give me the time to read straight through all of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books by Laurie King, one right after the other.

Oh, wait! How about Age of Miracles and Ready Player One? And Beautiful Ruins, Prairie Evers, Boy 21? There were so many great books this year- Aren’t we happy that there are just as many readers? A little something for everyone!

– Rene, Notes from the Bedside Table


A wonderful book to share this holiday is The King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi.  After the success of the movie of the same name, many people are familiar with the story of King George and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue.  The movie just skims the story, though, and the book fills in many of the fascinating details.  If you know someone who loves audiobooks, the audio version of this book is expertly narrated by Simon Vance.  It might even be fun to give someone the book and the movie so they can compare the two.  This would be a great gift for history lovers and those who are fascinated with the British monarchy.

It’s very difficult for anyone to buy a book for me since I have so many and generally buy any that I want.  The one exception is graphic novels – for some reason they feel like a splurge to me.  Maybe because I can read them so quickly?  I’ve been wanting the Maus graphic novels, by Art Spiegelman, for a while and think they would make a great gift because I could learn something and enjoy the artwork as I read them.

– Kathy, Bermudaonion’s Weblog @bermudaonion


The book I’m most excited to give this year is Outcasts United by Warren St. John. It’s enthralling, informative, and emotionally engaging nonfiction for kids. It is appropriate for a wide range of ages (I’d say 8 and all the way up, because I loved it). But most importantly, this story about Luma Mufleh, a Jordanian woman who moved to the US and started coaching a soccer team of refugee kids, is inspiring. I like to gifts that bring out the best in people and give hope for the world; this is one of those books.

I’d love to receive Puppyhood: Life-sized Portraits of Puppies at 6 Weeks Old by J. Nichole Smith because 1) I don’t buy myself coffee table books and 2) this way I’d get all the cute puppies I ever wanted without having to train them, clean up after them, feed them, or worry about how big they’ll get.

– Tegan, TSquared Blog @ttigani


I hope to receive Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder, which comes out this December. I read the first book in the trilogy, Touch of Power, last year and can’t wait for the next installment.

I would love to give Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson to the right person. Not only does the book play with less commonly utilized mythology, but the novel proves that the concept of “strong woman” still has plenty of room for exploration. The story also surprised me again and again and made me feel at all the right moments.

– Rachel, Rachel Ann Hanley


Even though it was first published 15 years ago and its availability may be limited, I’ve always adored Caroline B. Cooney’s What Child is This? I would definitely give this book to any teen for Christmas. It’s a sweet story about a foster child’s secret wish and it explores the true meaning of family, and the true spirit of Christmas. The way the different characters’ lives intersect is breathtaking! Do you like books that send a chill of recognition down your spine during the big reveal? This is one of them.

For any winter holiday, if you’re looking for a new book from this season, I’d give Son by Lois Lowry to any teen who’s read and loved The Giver and its companion books. Taken as a quartet, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Lowry has created a stunning world that’s deeper and richer now that we’ve come full circle and learned the truth of Gabriel’s origins.

As for me, I’m hoping that someone in my family (hint hint) gives me The World of Downton Abbey!  I’m totally in love with this show.

– Joanne, My Brain on Books @booksnbrains


This holiday season I would love to give the following books out – To young readers I would give away Little Cub by Olivier Dunrea – I fell in love with this little bear and the old crotchety bear that finds him and takes him in.

For Middle Grade readers  (and maybe everyone), I want give out copies of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.  I love Ivan and his story and think all children should read it.

For Young Adult Readers, I loved Every Day by David Levithan.  This is a story that can appeal to a wide audience and Levithan’s main character A has some amazing insights on life.  I know that I can’t lose in giving this one out as a gift.

As for me, this is probably the first time, I can honestly say I don’t know what book I would want to receive.  I am thoroughly blessed to be surrounded by books and to have easy access to them.  So maybe the best gift of a book to me would be to give a book to a child who doesn’t have one.  Wondering which one to give?  Try one of the ones above.

– Alyson, Kid Lit Frenzy @alybee930

What books are you excited to give and to receive this holiday season? We’d love to hear!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2012 9:21 am

    I didn’t think about Wonder but it is a fantastic suggestion – I adored that book!

  2. December 7, 2012 12:55 pm

    I loved GONE GIRL. For kids. I like classics…WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS, etc. Picture books: anything by Keiko Kasza.

  3. December 7, 2012 5:40 pm

    Alyson, what a sweet thought — telling your loved ones not to give you a book but to give one to a child who doesn’t have one. Excellent idea!

    And I totally forgot to recommend picture books for the younger ones, but I would give OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW by Kate Messner.

  4. December 7, 2012 5:52 pm

    Great choices. I really want to read Scent of Magic too. If I hadn’t read the ARCs of Prophecy by Ellen Oh and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, I’d want these too. So many books I’d love to read.

  5. December 13, 2012 2:39 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read Every Day by David Levithan. It sounds like a tough premise to pull off well, but I trust him as a writer and think he can do it!


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