December 2016 Staff Picks for Young Readers

"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them." - Neil Gaiman. Our December staff picks make great gifts for the youngest of book lovers.

Books: 
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The Night Before Christmas in Ski Country Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781565796584
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Westcliffe Publishers - November 1st, 2013

I will say this bold and loud for all to hear; this is the book to give all ski bums some holiday cheer! It follows a story we all know ... no snow! But on Christmas eve, Santa does not grieve, instead he sends some gnar and a way to find the North Star! This book features Steamboat, which we all know is quite the dreamboat. A perfect book for your little shredder, the book is, indeed, quite clever.

-Recommended by Victoria


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Tek: The Modern Cave Boy Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316338059
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 4th, 2016

This book has the shape and feel of an iPad. Even the first page looks like a password screen. Cave boy Tek is spending too much time on his tech toys: iPad, phone, game box. The story illustrates the many disadvantages of too much “screen time.” Perfect book for “techy” kids … and adults!

-Recommended by Virgie


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Penguin Problems Cover Image
By Jory John, Lane Smith (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553513370
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - September 27th, 2016

Let's face it: penguins are some of the cutest survivors on the planet. From brisk Antarctic winters to braving sharks, penguins are the most adorable yet inspirational real-life creatures you'll ever find. And that's why Penguin Problems is one cute children's book that's sure to put your human life into perspective.

-Recommended by Adrian


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A Child of Books Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763690779
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 6th, 2016

This gorgeous picture book is the perfect gift from a lover of books to create a lover of books. Beautifully illustrated using text from classic literature, this is a must-have.

-Recommended by Kim


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She'll Be Coming Up the Mountain Cover Image
By Kim Norman, Liza Woodruff (Illustrator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781454916109
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sterling Children's Books - October 4th, 2016

The animals in the Land of the Midnight Sun anxiously await the return of their friend, Polar Bear. This entire story can be sung to the tune “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain.” What a light-hearted way to enjoy a fun story!

-Recommended by Virgie


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How to Build a Snow Bear: A Picture Book Cover Image
By Eric Pinder, Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780374300203
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) - September 13th, 2016

After a snowstorm, Thomas has big dreams to build a snowman in his yard. After struggling a bit by himself, he enlists the help of his sleepy, younger brother to complete not a snowman ... but a snowBEAR! This book is great to read to a set of brothers during the winter.

-Recommended by Victoria


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Nanette's Baguette Cover Image
By Mo Willems, Mo Willems (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781484722862
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 25th, 2016

This is a day Nanette will never forget! She becomes carried away with an important job. Oh dear, Nanette, we’ve all been in your shoes! I love the way Mo Willems plays with words. This is the kind of book that allows children to experience the enjoyment of reading!

-Recommended by Virgie


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How to Catch an Elf Cover Image
By Adam Wallace, Andy Elkerton (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9781492646310
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - October 4th, 2016

Can you catch one of Santa’s trickster elves? Santa’s best helper dodges and tries to avoid all the traps youngsters leave for him and Santa on Christmas Eve. Will Santa and the Elf succeed this December 24th? Read on to find out!

-Recommended by Victoria


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The Poet's Dog Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062292629
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 13th, 2016

This heart-warming story is told by Teddy, a dog who can talk, although not everyone can hear him. Teddy had been rescued by a poet, but now it’s Teddy’s turn to rescue two children stranded in a snowstorm. As they wait out the storm, they form quite a unique bond.

-Recommended by Virgie


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Skunked!: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet Cover Image
By Jacqueline Kelly, Teagan White (Illustrator), Jennifer L. Meyer (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781627798686
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt & Company - October 4th, 2016

Lovable character Calpurnia Tate helps her younger brother harbor and care for two baby skunks that have been abandoned by their mother! A fun story, larger text and pictures throughout this book make it a PERFECT first chapter book for newly independent readers.

-Recommended by Virgie


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Threads Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781484746905
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - November 1st, 2016

Clara and Yuming are 12 year-old girls leading completely different lives on opposite sides of the globe. Clara is mourning the death of her only sister, and Yuming has been kidnapped and works in a sweatshop in China. Their lives become connected by an invisible thread. One piece of paper, one photograph, and one act of bravery bind them together! An intriguing story!

-Recommended by Virgie


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The Wolf Wilder Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781481419437
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 6th, 2016

Set in Russia, in a time when noble families kept wolves as pets, Feo and her beautiful mother are wild women who live out in the woods and care for outcast wolves until they can be released back into the wild. Feo is tested when her mother is taken and she must face the cruelty of this icy world on her own.

-Recommended by Ella


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One Half from the East Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062421906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - September 6th, 2016

This modern-day story takes place in Afghanistan, where 10 year-old Obayda’s family has decided to transform her into a bacha posh, a girl being disguised as a boy. This age-old custom impacts Obayda in a surprising way!

-Recommended by Virgie


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Treasure Island Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781626862562
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Canterbury Classics - October 28th, 2014

Back to the classics: YO-HO-HO-what a fun read! This classic story is full of humor, sarcasm, and pirates! A young boy working at an inn discovers a map leading to buried treasure in a dead pirate’s belongings. The boy embarks on a journey to find the treasure but can he even trust his own crewmates?  This is a great book to read aloud to children. Our red leather bound edition will make a great Holiday gift.

-Recommended by Virgie


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Wolf Hollow Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101994825
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2016

The quiet life of twelve year-old Annabelle changes when a manipulative bully named Betty moves to her rural Pennsylvania town. The impact of a lie, the power of friendship, and the need to look beyond someone’s outward appearance are explored in this great coming-of-age story, which could be shelved proudly alongside To Kill a Mockingbird.

-Recommended by Virgie


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Between Shades of Gray Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780142420591
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Speak - April 3rd, 2012

This terrifying story is told through the voice of Elena, a young Lithuanian girl who is deported to Siberia in the dead of winter. As she refers to stories from before WWII, it becomes apparent how much her life has been disrupted. This story gives a powerful perspective on real suffering!

-Recommended by Virgie
 


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Salt to the Sea Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399160301
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - February 2nd, 2016

The lives of four teens from diverse countries/backgrounds converge as they each attempt to flee the advancing Russian army during WWII. They are heading to the coast, having nothing in common except a need to escape. This historical fiction, inspired by the greatest tragedy in maritime history, is a thriller!

-Recommended by Virgie


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Paper Hearts Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781481439848
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 6th, 2016

Two Jewish teens meet and become friends in Auschwitz. Since they have both lost their entire family, the girls vow to become each other’s family! This novel, written in verse with few but powerful words, is based on a true story.

-Recommended by Virgie