It is that time of year again – the time of year to think about
giving books as holiday gifts. A good book is a wonderful
gift - it is thoughtful in that you must consider the
personality of the recipient and it is challenging because you
must attempt to match a book to the recipient’s taste. For
this article, I have tried to make suggestions for books for
several different personalities, so hopefully one of these will
match either your children or gift giving needs for the lucky
children in your life.
First is a book for the science fiction fan in your life. “Bot
Wars” by J.V. Kade is a futuristic book that tells about a time
when robots have become so sophisticated that they revolt
and demand workers rights, and thus a war between humans
and robots ensued. The main character, 12 year old Trout St.
Kroix is searching for his father, who went missing in the war.
This book has been described as “Percy Jackson meets
Transformers” so if you have a boy or girl who likes this type
of adventure, then this book is a good choice. I recommend
it for boys or girls ages 11 and up.
Next is a book for the budding chef. “Stir It up” by Ramin
Ganeshram is about a 13 year old girl who lives in New York
but her family is from Trinidad. She loves to cook and her
grandmother teaches her dishes based on authentic dishes
from her native country. The book is intriguing because it
includes such interesting tidbits about the heritage of
Trinidad and it also includes recipes between every chapter
that are simple enough for an older child to try. My 12 year
old daughter, Ellen, loved this book and is anxious to try
some of the dishes that were included.
For the fashionable girl on your list, but one who likes
adventure, I recommend the Gallagher Girls series by Ally
Carter. Ally Carter has been called by the NY Times as the
“queen of clean” with regard to early teen authors. The
series consists of six books, the last one just being released
in September. The Gallagher Girls books are about girls who
attend an elite spy training school, the main character being
Cammie Morgan. The books are: vol. 1 – “I’d Tell You I Love
You But Then I’d Have to Kill You;” vol. 2 – “Cross My Heart
and Hope to Spy;” vol. 3 – “Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover;”
vol. 4 – “Only The Good Spy Young;” vol. 5 – “Out of Sight
Out of Time;” vol. 6 – “United We Spy.” The series has just
been optioned by Disney for a potential movie so what a
perfect opportunity for your child to read the books before
the movies are made. I highly recommend these for girls 11
If you have a sports fan, Mike Lupica is the author for you.
He specializes in fiction books about various sports aimed at
middle school age kids. His recent release is “QB1” about
Jake Cullen, a freshman quarterback trying to make it in the
high pressure world of Texas high school football. To make it
even more stressful, his older brother quarterbacked the
team to the state championship so all eyes are on him to do
the same. Sports lovers with enjoy reading this book and the
many others about sports that Mike Lupica has written.
Finally, for the history buff is “The Legend of Bass Reeves:
Being the True and Fictional Account of the Most Valiant
Marshal in the West” by Gary Paulsen. This one may be a
little hard to find – you may need to order it – but it is worth
it. The hero, Bass Reeves, was born into slavery but when
he became a free man he served the United States with such
courage and honor that he became a legend. He was known
as the most successful US Federal Marshal in his day, and he
was renowned for never once drawing his gun first. Anyone
who enjoys history and reading about true heroes will like
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that you
find many opportunities to sit down and enjoy a good book
during the holiday season. Happy reading!!!