Library Column for December 17, 2018

@ Your Library

Books as gifts! They are slow to wear out, can be used over and over again and can create memories that last a lifetime. Give books this Christmas season!

Last week I talked about books for giving the adults in your life. If you have favorite titles, they are always a great idea as they come with a story about why they are special to you. Building connections with children is a great way to encourage them to read.

I often recommend non-fiction to children and teens as reading is a great way to explore the world without ever leaving home and there is so much to learn. One of the coolest books I read this year was The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid by Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco. Visit 47 countries and 100 extraordinary places, venturing high and low, hot and cold and more. I finished the book and wanted to put all 100 places on my ‘to visit’ list.

History and/or those with an interest in war will find plenty to keep them interested in Thirty Minutes over Oregon by Marc Tyler Nobleman about a Japanese pilot in World War II. The Grand Escape by Neal Bascomb is about the most dangerous POWs in World War I and the greatest prison break out.

Budding scientists will enjoy Backyard Bears by Amy Cherrix which explores the conservation, habitat changes and rise of urban wildlife focused around Asheville, North Carolina. The scientists studying these bears are working with local citizen scientists trying to figure out if humans and bears can live compatibly and what are the long term effects on the bears? And if being a scientist is exciting then start today with the book Citizen Scientist by Loree Griffin Burns which provides information about how to get involved in a variety of scientific studies today and help scientists solve problems and gather information.

Budding artists will enjoy exploring famous art styles through If Picasso Painted a Snowman or If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur both by Amy Newbold. Girls will delight to learn about women who broke the mold in books like Lights! Camera! Alice! by Mara Rockliff or The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman.

Fiction is a great way to escape, build empathy, and explore the world in ways that are difficult in reality. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is a fantastical horror story about writing and reality and more. Teens will find much to empathize with in Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman or We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss. Fans of True Crime or the podcast Serial will jump all over Sadie by Courtney Summers which has its own podcast series.

Elementary readers beginning to explore the world on their own will find plenty to love in Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood, Knights vs. Dinosaurs by Matt Phelan, Inkling by Kenneth Oppel, or The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty.

The youngest kids on your gift list will enjoy some terrific picture books including Winter is Here by Kevin Henkes, Potato Pants by Laurie Keller, Mukluk Ball by Katharine Johnson or Got to Get to Bears by Brian Lies.