Maybe you like to read. Or maybe you understand you can entertain yourself with video games and remote-control cars and dolls and snow boards and new clothes for only so long. Or maybe you know your aunt is going to get you a book anyway, so you might as well suggest one you've got a good chance of actually enjoying.
Anyway, here's a list of new books, recommended by Bridget Warren, co-owner of Vertigo Books in College Park. She's a big reader herself, but even more important, she's the mother of 12-year-old Sophie, who checks out nearly everything that comes into the store. These books, says Sophie, are cool.
"Taking Liberty: The Story of Oney Judge, George Washington's Runaway Slave," by Ann Rinaldi (fifth grade and up). Martha Washington's favorite slave musters her courage and leaves the only family she knows.
"Vampire Mountain," by Darren Shan (fifth grade and up). Book four in the Cirque de Freak vampire series. Scary, funny stuff.
"A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie 'Peanut' Johnson," by Michelle Y. Green (fourth grade and up). Non-fiction. Never heard of Peanut Johnson? She played pro baseball in the last days of the Negro Leagues, competing with some of the best male ballplayers in the country. This is her story.
"Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes," by Wendelin Van Draanen (fourth grade and up). Sammy is a girl detective, but this latest book in the Sammy series is good for boys and girls who like detective tales.
"Pictures of Hollis Woods," by Patricia Reilly Giff (fourth grade and up). Hollis Woods has never had a family, until an art teacher takes her in. But soon, she is taking care of the kind teacher.
"Island Boyz," by Graham Salisbury (fifth grade and up). Short stories about growing up in Hawaii.
For Younger Readers:
"Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder," by Barbara Park. Readers well past first grade will enjoy this sparky kid.
"George Speaks," by Dick King-Smith. He's only 4 weeks old, but already he can talk, read the newspaper and help his sister with her math homework.