Encouraging children to read can sometimes be a challenge, but it is essential to a child’s development. Reading expands vocabulary, boosts self-confidence, and helps children do better in school. Additionally, reading to your child builds the bonds between you and your little one!
In honor of Young Readers’ Day (November 14), we’re sharing some of our wonderful titles for children and young adults.
The Santa Thief by Alane Adams, children ages 4-8
It’s winter in Girard, Pennsylvania and the pond is completely frozen over―ready for a young boy to go skating!―but Georgie’s ice skates are too small. All Georgie wants for Christmas is a new pair of skates. But times are tough in 1920s Pennsylvania, and he gets the disappointing news Santa might not come this year. Follow Georgie as he decides to take matters into his own hands by stealing Santa’s identity―and discovers what Christmas is all about. The Santa Thief is a heartwarming tale of boyhood set in 1920s Pennsylvania.
The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball by Dori Jones Yang
A Chinese boy struggles to adapt to American life–and discovers baseball. Despite his impulsive and curious nature, twelve-year-old Leon is determined to follow the Emperor’s rules―to live with an American family, study hard, and return home to modernize China. But he also must keep the braid that shows his loyalty―and resist such forbidden American temptations as baseball. As Leon overcomes teasing and makes friends, his elder brother becomes increasingly alienated. Eventually, Leon faces a tough decision, torn between his loyalty to his birth country―and his growing love for his new home.
The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball is a lively, poignant, and nuanced novel based on a little-known episode from history, when 120 boys were sent to New England by the Emperor of China in the 1870s. This story dramatizes both the rigid expectations and the wrenching alienation felt by many foreign children in America today―and richly captures that tension between love and hate that is culture shock. It gives American readers a glimpse into what it feels like to be a foreigner in the United States and will spark thoughtful discussions.
The Raven God, the third book in the Legends of Orkney series, continues to follow Sam’s journey through the magical realm of Orkney. After defeating the Volgrim witches, life in Orkney is quiet. Too quiet. Before Sam Baron can catch his breath, an army of fire giants led by Surt gather in the Eighth Realm of Musspell, determined to destroy Orkney―and it’s all Sam’s fault. After all, he took Odin’s life with an ancient cursed dagger, and now, mankind has lost its protector. To make matters worse, the God of Mischief, Loki, is on the loose and determined to reunite with his evil wife, Angerboda, and their three children: Fenrir the wolf, Jormungand the sea serpent, and Helva, Goddess of Death.
Orkney’s only hope lies with Sam and his stalwart friends. As Surt prepares to launch his forces against Orkney, Sam and two of his fellow witches, Perrin and Mavery, set out on a journey to rescue Odin, aided by Skidbladnir, a magical ship of the gods that can fly over land and sea, and Geela, a Valkyrie who can transform into a battle-ready goose. Meanwhile, Leo and Keely travel north to stop Loki from starting a war between the Eifalians and the Vanir, while Howie is left to watch over Skara Brae. With time running out, our heroes try frantically to prove once again that they can find the courage to do what’s needed when the odds are stacked against them―even when the sacrifice asked is greater than any of them could imagine.
Colorblind by Leah Harper Bowron
The time is 1968. The place is Montgomery, Alabama. The story is one of resilience in the face of discrimination and bullying. Using the racially charged word “Negro,” two Caucasian boys repeatedly bully Miss Annie Loomis–the first African-American teacher at the all-white Wyatt Elementary School. At the same time, using the hateful word “harelip,” the boys repeatedly bully Miss Loomis’s eleven-year-old Caucasian student, Lisa Parker, who was born with cleft palate and cleft lip. Who will best the bullies? Only Lisa’s mood ring knows for sure.
Wendy Darling: Shadow is the thrilling final installment in Colleen Oakes’s Wendy Darling Trilogy. Wendy Darling has found herself once again in the arms of charming Peter Pan, the god-child who desires power above all things. This time, though, Wendy burns not with passion but with a secret: with Hook as her ally, she is there to defeat the evil that lies inside of Peter, the evil that holds all Neverland hostage―the Shadow.
To do this, Wendy must quietly undo Peter from inside his heart while at the same time convincing Tink to betray the twisted love that binds them together. This is a task made nearly impossible by the arrival of Booth, her sweetheart from London and a new pawn in Peter’s manipulative game―a boy whose heart she must break in order to save his life.
As all of Neverland prepares to fight, Wendy races to untangle Peter’s connection to the Shadow, a secret long buried in the Forsaken Garden. When the time comes, pirates, mermaids, Lost Boys, and the Darling family will all rise―but if Wendy can’t call the Shadow, they will all be destroyed by Peter’s dark soul. War has come to paradise, and Neverland will never be the same.