Christmas Book Gifts and Suggestions – December 2020

As I find time to sit and reflect on these busy past few weeks since blogging last, I am eager to share the books I have purchased as gifts, recommended to others, and received myself to enjoy very soon. I am absolutely delighted that books have found their way into the hands of my children, the children that access my school library prior to the term concluding for Christmas, and for colleagues that enjoy reading and sharing children’s books with their classes too. At a time when escapism is sought by so many – myself included – it is crucial that children have access to quality literature that provides just that, and I feel very fortunate to have knowledge of specific books, authors and series’ to share wherever I can, and play my part in getting the right books into the hands of the children that will cherish the story and adventure awaiting them.

At Home

My Children made specific book requests this year, which as a parent fills my heart with joy, so I delighted in purchasing those specifically. One of my children requested the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. An incredibly popular children’s book series, and consequently needing no introduction for the most part, this newest release marks the 15th book in the series – of which my child has enjoyed each and every one, like so many others. When in a local bookstore together before Christmas The Deep End was spotted by my daughter, who excitedly announced her need to have her own copy to enjoy – which I had of course already purchased! With the comic strip style illustrative content forming the bulk of the book’s contents these books are delighted by so many as they are more visually based then others.

If you like this look out for…

Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories is published in March 2021, and contains stories from the imagination of Rowley – best friend of Greg Heffley (main character in the DOAWK series). Children can expect to read fascinating tales of vampires, ghosts and zombies, and parents can delight in knowing that the book won’t scare readers – making this a suitable read any time of day! This second book in the new series from Jeff Kinney gives children the opportunity to see the wonderful world he has notoriously created, and from an entirely new perspective – that of Rowley.

Once by Morris Gleitzman is a book recently enjoyed by my book loving Son, who became curious about World War Two after learning about the topic in his final year of primary school, and came across this book at home. When I gave my Son a synopsis of the story of Felix and Zelda, he proceeded to take this book with him during his first term of high school to enjoy during DEAR – Drop Everything And Read. It was a great conversation that followed shortly after he had finished the book, one night at bedtime when we had discussed our day. My Son had found the story informative and interesting, with so much attention to detail as the story follows one boy’s search for his parents in Nazi Germany, and how he came across an orphaned young girl, and taking her under his wing too. The book details history we are all aware was filled with sadness, violence, fighting, and loss – and yet Morris Gleitzman has an incredible talent for taking a raw subject such as WWII and making it suitable in both content and context for the intended reader, doing the topic justice whilst not overwhelming the reader.

If you like this look out for…

The entire six book Felix and Zelda series is available to purchase – either as a series or through purchasing each of the books individually, allowing readers the opportunity to continue the journey Felix and Journey embark on within Nazi Germany. My Son was adamant that if any books did follow on from Once they had to feature Felix and Zelda because you come to know and love them, care and look out for them – and Once leaves you wondering what happened to them next. When I researched and found out that the following five books do stick with these two incredibly courageous youngsters I knew I had to get them as I would love to find out what happened to them just as much, and we still very much enjoy reading to one another and sharing books at home.

My eldest child is a huge fan of book series’ after he became someone that enjoys reading for pleasure back in primary school, and has devoured book collections ever since. At times I have struggled to keep ahead of his demand for more reading material, with me ordering books and hoping they would arrive before he finished his current read. As a fan of the Hunger Games titles by Suzanne Collins, it seemed only fitting for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes to find its way to my Son’s reading pile – and when he received this book he was absolutely delighted, particularly given how much he loves the writing style of this author.

At Work

A gift to a friend at work had to be Gargantis by Thomas Taylor, not least because we had discussed it so many times in passing, and she absolutely loved Malamander, the book which first introduces us to the mysteries within Eerie-on-Sea. This second book does not disappoint as we return to our favourite seaside resort, and the crazy antics of the fabulous duo that inspire readers with their bravery, cunning, and determination. My eldest became a massive fan of these titles after getting his hands on an early copy of the first book, which published last year.

If you like this look out for…

Nick Tomlinson titles feature strong characters and incredible adventures, with that sense of mystery that readers want, so as to keep themselves engrossed and curious throughout. The Ghouls of Howlfair is the first title to introduce Molly and friends to those that will undoubtedly enjoy this read, and Molly Thompson and the Crypt of the Blue Moon was published this October, and returns readers to the mayhem and madness in Molly’s world.

The Potkin and Stubbs trilogy by Sophie Green immerses readers within a Gotham style world of mystery and spooks as they join the incredibly diligent Lil as she takes on the role of a detective amongst the streets surrounding her home along with Nedly. The stories are so incredibly immersive and detailed that readers will delight in each of the three titles available, and become determined investigators along the way.

There are so many books to choose from in bookshops, on websites, in libraries and schools – and it often helps to have suggestions for other titles to read if you liked a certain title or author, and so I hope to be able to bring more of my book knowledge to my blog by doing just that in 2021 and beyond.

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