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On the Coast Magazine

Great Books For Great Kids!

11/04/2014 09:56PM, Published by Alexandra Brown, Categories: Kids & Teens



I know that gift cards are handy and easy, trust me - I use them a lot.  However, for the younger set in your life choosing a particular book as a gift can be a wonderful way to show them how much you care about who they are and what they like.  It can also be a way to steer them in a new direction, and it will always encourage their reading.  Matching the right book to the right child (or teen) can be difficult, so I hope this article gives you a little help.  My contact information is at the end of this article, I will always be happy to give a personal recommendation if you need extra help.


First, a book for the one who loves scary stories.  This is the kid that loves jumping out and scaring people all the time.  This is the kid that tells all the younger children as many scary stories as he or she can think of, or make up, resulting in many a sleepless night for many parent.  Do you know one of these kids?  If so, here is the book for him or her.  “The Night Gardener” by Jonathan Auxier has been described as “Little Shop of Horrors” meets “The Secret Garden.”  It is incredibly intelligent and very spooky, reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe.  The story follows two Irish siblings sent to work as servants at a crumbling English manor.  Quickly they learn that things are not as they seem and the tale immediately becomes an “edge of your seat” page turner.  In true Victorian ghost tale fashion, there is a moral to this story about the dangers of greed.  I would recommend this for boys or girls ages 10 and up.


Second, a book for the adventurer in your life.  This is the kid that is always swinging from the trees and looking for the quickest way to get into trouble.  Do you have one of these? If so, this is the book for your adventurer!  It is a series from renowned adult mystery author James Patterson and is co-written by Chris Grabenstein (author of “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library”).  The first book of the series is entitled “Treasure Hunters.”  The main characters are the Kidd siblings, homeschooled children who are traveling the world with their parents by boat helping them to recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean.  While on a mission, their parents disappear and the Kidd siblings decide to carry on their parents’ work.  The book is the beginning of the adventures of the Kidds and I promise it will not disappoint!  This book would be suitable for boys or girls ages 10 and up (I am far above that and I loved it).


Next, a book for the teen or adult animal lover in your life.  This book, “Good Dog” is a collection of essays just now being published by “Garden & Gun” magazine.  As a regular feature of the magazine, each issue has an essay by a famous author about his or her dog(s).  They are funny, warm and beautifully written.  The magazine has published them all into a book that was just released a couple of weeks ago (mid-October 2014).  The great thing about such a recent book is you can bet pretty safely that your gift recipient does not yet have it!  Anyone who loves dogs will love this book, and if you haven’t ever tried out the magazine “Garden & Gun,” well, it’s pretty great.


Finally, a book for that hard to buy for teen or young adult in your life.  Teens can be the most difficult, but if they unwrap this book, you will automatically go up a few notches in the “cool factor,” or whatever they call it these days.  This is one that I can not wait to read!  Marie Lu is a much celebrated author of teen and young adult fiction.  Her recent “Legend” series was fantastic.  This book begins a brand new series and the first book is being published almost simultaneously with this article.  It is entitled “The Young Elites.”  The main character is Adelina, a survivor of a blood fever that has ravaged a future world.  Most of the infected perished, but some survived and those who survived were left with strange markings.  These survivors become thought to have mysterious gifts and are called “The Young Elites.” Unfortunately, upon the deadline time for this article full advance copies were not available so I have not read it.  While I have not read it in its entirety, I have read all of her other series and I could not put them down.  They are reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Divergent, but they have a uniqueness that sets them apart.  


I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.  As always, I truly welcome any book suggestions you may have so if you have read something great let me know!  Email a short paragraph with the title, the author and what you liked about the book to Alex Brown care of kidzonthecoast@aol.com.  Be sure and let me know who you are and how to get in touch with you – if we decide to include your suggestion, I would love give you a “shout out” in the article (with permission of a parent). 


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