KidsPost and Book World reviewers share their picks. Read Newbery-Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander’s recommended books for the holidays.
By Brian Selznick
640 pages. Age 10 and older. $32.99.
Pictures and words tell the mysterious tale of a shipwreck, a family of actors and a house full of marvels. Like the 13-year-old main character, you’ll wonder what you may be missing as you examine the illustrations for clues.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
304 pages. Ages 8 to 12. $16.99.
On a visit to the South, the three Gaither sisters discover secrets that can help and hurt their family. This is the final novel in a fascinating series about growing up in the 1960s and early ’70s.
By Pam Muñoz Ryan
592 pages. Ages 10 to 14. $19.99.
In this fast-paced, fantastical tale, a magical harmonica appears to three kids in danger during World War II.
By Rebecca Stead
304 pages, ages 10 and older, $16.99.
Three characters deal with middle-school friends and frenemies in separate stories that weave together in surprising ways. Like the author’s Newbery-winning book “When You Reach Me,” this extraordinary novel moves back and forth in time.
By Lane Smith
288 pages, ages 8 to 12, $16.99.
Augie works at a shabby amusement park that becomes a lot more interesting — and weird — when a supernatural creature shows up. Is it trying to communicate with him? Suspense builds through words, pictures and zany comics.
By Steve Sheinkin
384 pages. Age 11 and older. $19.99.
Daniel Ellsberg has been called everything from a patriot to a traitor, and this book shows how he became such a controversial figure. Fast-paced and full of twists, “Most Dangerous” tells a dramatic story about government lies, the Vietnam War and presidential power.
By Duncan Tonatiuh
40 pages. Ages 6 to 10. $18.95.
This out-of-the-ordinary picture-book biography of a Mexican artist shows not only the sort of work he produced (including skeletons inspired by the Day of the Dead holiday in Mexico), but how he made it.
By Susan Campbell Bartoletti
240 pages. Age 12 and older. $17.99.
Explaining the science and scandal behind a famous 1906 case, “Terrible Typhoid Mary” offers a great look at the evolving nature of medicine and the way deadly diseases scare us.
By Phillip Hoose
208 pages, Age 12 and older, $19.99.
This compelling book tells the little-known story of a group of young Nazi resisters in Denmark during World War II. The book contains plenty of tense moments along with a few funny ones as it describes the Churchill Club’s brave acts of resistance.
By Matthew Burgess. Illustrations by Kris Di Giacomo.
64 pages, Ages 5 to 8, $17.95.
This picture-book biography conveys poet Cummings’ lifelong ambition to capture the world in words. It also shows how his boyhood adventures made their way into his poetry and how he was able to deal with people who didn’t believe in his talent.
By Philip C. Stead. Illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
40 pages. Ages 4 to 7. $17.99.
It’s not practical to mail an elephant, so Sadie plans to deliver it to Aunt Josephine herself. But when their plane runs out of gas, Sadie and the elephant need help from an alligator, a gang of monkey bandits eating beans and a man with an ice-cream delivery truck. Look for dozens of silly postage stamps on the endpapers.
By R. Gregory Christie
32 pages. Ages 3 to 7. $16.95.
Going to the lively dance in a country barn means walking past the watchful owl. Music and bright lights fill the city train station, but then there’s a cat. Mouse cousins discover that being away from home can be both exciting and scary — and that it’s good to come home again.
By Julia Sarcone-Roach
40 pages. Ages 3 to 7. $16.99.
The sandwich has been eaten, that’s certain, and not by the person who wanted it. All that’s left is a bit of lettuce. The story of just how it got eaten is pretty amazing (and possibly unbelievable)!
By Jon Agee
32 pages. Ages 5 to 8. $17.99.
Busy Stanley, the family dog, keeps the household up all night long with his noisy tinkering. Is he really fixing the drain and the old TV — or does he have plans of his own? Though the family thinks they know what’s going on, Agee’s hilarious illustrations tell a different story
By Sergio Ruzzier
32 pages. Ages 3 to 6. $12.99.
How can two mice share three cookies? Or row a boat with oars enough for only one? Two good friends can share one great adventure. There are just a few words in this book, which is just right for new readers. The funny, lively pictures tell a cheerful story of friendship.