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GIFT GUIDE 2020: For the Smallest, Small, Medium, & Young Adult Bookworms

I firmly believe that books make the best gifts. Is there anything more exciting than opening the cover for the first time, eagerly anticipating the treasures that lay inside? 

To those of you who have instilled that same giddy excitement in the children in your lives, this list is for you. I've created some general categories for you to peruse. In each category the books have been broken down by age range - board books, picture books, early readers and middle grade books, and young adult books. 

One of the best ways to change the world is to instill a love of reading and learning into the children we're lucky enough to know and care for. 

 

ABCs/COUNTING/COLORS/LITTLE LEARNER:

Board Books:

Indestructibles:  Big & Little by Carolina Búzio AND All Year Round by Carolina Búzio AND Things that Go! by Stephan Lomp

Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell

Our World: A First Book of Geography by Sue Lowell Gallion

My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith

Picture Books:

Gyo Fujikawa's A to Z Picture Book

Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

 

 

EARLY READERS: (Great for kids who are starting to read on their own)

Lola Levine Is Not Mean! by Monica Brown

Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds by Elise Gravel

Pea, Bee, & Jay SERIES: Stuck Together AND Wannabees by Brian "Smitty" Smith

The Dragon Masters SERIES: Rise of the Earth Dragon AND Saving the Sun Dragon AND The Secret of the Water Dragon by Tracey West

 

 

WINTER/HOLIDAY:

Picture Books:

Little Santa by Jon Agee

A Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett

Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper

Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle

The Snow Beast by Chris Judge

Hershel & the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear

Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol

Between Us & Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins

Olive, the Other Reindeer by J.Otto Seibold

Mice Skating AND Sugar and Spice and Everything Mice by Anne Silvestro

Middle Grade:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

 

 

PURE SILLINESS:

Picture Books:

Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-El

The Skunk by Mac Barnett

The Wolf, The Mouse, & the Duck by Mac Barnett

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

The Lost Cousins by B.B. Cronin

In the Half Room by Carson Ellis

The Great Indoors by Julie Falatko

The Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO by Tamara Pizzoli

Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems

Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli

Middle Grade Books:

Premeditated Myrtle: A Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery by Elizabeth C. Bunce

InvestiGators AND InvestiGators: Take the Plunge by John Patrick Green

 

 

POETRY:

Picture Books:

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

Frederick by Leo Lionni

Middle Grade:

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

Finding Langston AND Leaving Lymon by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Young Adult:

The Poet X AND Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

 

HISTORICAL FICTION:

Middle Grade:

The War That Saved My Life AND The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Jem SERIES: A Girl of London AND A Fugitive from London AND A Foreigner in Philadelphia by Delaney Green

Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth by Sheila O'Connor

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

 

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS:

Middle Grade:

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Mac B, Kid Spy SERIES: Mac Undercover AND The Impossible Crime AND The Secret Smackdown AND Mac Cracks the Code AND The Sound of Danger by Mac Barnett

New Kid AND Class Act by Jerry Craft

The Olga SERIES: And the Smelly Thing from Nowhere AND We're Out of Here! AND Out of Control! by Elise Gravel

Aster & The Accidental Magic by Thom Pico

 

 

PEACEFUL BEDTIME:

Picture Books:

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

Just Because by Mac Barnett

Time for Bed, Miyuki by Roxane Marie Galliez

The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi

This is Sadie by Sara O'Leary

  

 

ANTIRACISM:

Picture Books:

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World AND Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe

Most People by Michael Leannah

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story Kevin Noble Maillard

Tía Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina

The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson

The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang

Middle Grade:

This Is Your Time by Ruby Bridges

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds

Trailblazers: Jackie Robinson: Breaking Barriers in Baseball by Kurtis Scaletta

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Front Desk AND Three Keys by Kelly Yang

Young Adult:

With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Green Card Voices: Immigration Stories from a Minneapolis High School edited by Tea Rozman Clark & Rachel Lauren Miller

Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People by Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz, Jean Mendoza, & Debbie Reese

This Place: 150 Years Retold, A Graphic Novel Anthology

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Family Conversation Kits

Slay by Brittany Morris

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award -Winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

Running by Natalia Sylvester 

 

 

FANTASY:

Picture Books:

Chirri & Chirra by Kaya Doi

Margaret's Unicorn by Briony May Smith

Middle Grade:

Pages & Co. SERIES: The Bookwanderers AND The Lost Fairy Tales AND The Map of Stories by Anna James

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline Ogburn

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorofor

Young Adult:

Children of Blood and Bone AND Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

The Mirror Visitor Quartet: A Winter's Promise AND The Missing of Clairedelune AND The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos

The Afterward by E.K. Johnson

 

 

EDUCATIONAL/NONFICTION:

Picture Books:

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown

How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Guglielmo & Jacqueline Tourville

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy

Everything & Everywhere: A Fact-Filled Adventure for Curious Globe Trotters by Marc Martin

Middle Grade: (some of these titles would also likely be appropriate for high school-aged children)

Whales: An Illustrated Celebration by Kelsey Oseid

Planetarium: Welcome to the Museum Raman Prinja

How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure by John Rocco

Trees: A Rooted History by Piotr Socha & Wojciech Grajkowski

What's the Difference?: 40+ Pairs of the Seemingly Similar by Emma Strack

Young Adult:

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

Lifting as We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne

 

 

CLASSICS: OLD & NEW:

Board Books:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Picture Books:

Mooncake by Frank Asch

The Birchbark SERIES: The Birchbark House AND The Game of Silence AND The Porcupine Year AND Chickadee AND Makoons by Louise Erdrich

Fern & Otto: A Story About Two Best Friends by Stephanie Graegin

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mr. Rogers - Lyrics by Fred Rogers

Middle Grade:

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Young Adult:

Pride: A Pride & Prejudice Remix by Ibi Zoboi

 

 

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: LEARNING TO ACCEPT YOURSELF & OTHERS, KINDNESS, & EMPATHY

Picture Books:

Unplugged by Steve Anthony

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino

Jabari Jumps AND Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

Edmond: The Thing AND Edmond: The Moonlit Party by Astrid Desbordes

Birdsong by Julie Flett

Big Boys Cry by Jonty Howley

What We'll Build: Plans for Our Together Future by Oliver Jeffers

What's My Superpower? by Aviaq Johnston

Lift by Mihn Lê

Julián is a Mermaid AND Julián at the Wedding by Jessica Love

Saturday by Oge Mora

Pilar's Worries by Victoria M. Sanchez

We Are Grateful: Ostaliheliga by Traci Sorell

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom

Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler

Middle Grade:

The Line Tender by Kate Allen

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus AND Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Young Adult:

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson

Darius the Great Is Not Okay AND Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz