This time of the year makes many of us feel like a kid again. So I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite reads and listens for the younger set.
A few seasonal favorites:
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'connor & Robin Preiss Glasser
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
How Santa Lost His Job by Stephen Krensky
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
A few series:
Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Percy Jackson & the Olympains by Rick Roirdan
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
A few good reads:
Ida B by Katherine Hannigan
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Holes by Louis Sachar
Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Having trouble navigating the holiday hub-bub? The following books will restore your love, joy and peace on earth.
In Hundred Dollar Holiday,
Bill McKibben frees us from the tyranny of Christmas present by taking a look at celebrations from Christmas’ past, and suggests a more creative Christmas by setting self-imposed limits on what you will spend during the holidays. Unplug the Christmas Machine
by Jo Robinson & Jean Coppok Staeheli is a workbook for combating holiday commercialism. It includes Q & A sections and chapter-end exercises that will help you understand your own values regarding the holidays, sort through the competing possibilities and establish family traditions accordingly. Startling Joy,
by James Calvin Schaap is a collection of short stories, each with a moment of Christmas epiphany, where love and light are revealed in odd ways to odd people in odd places. My favorite may be the woman pondering her daughter’s unplanned pregnancy while enduring a presentation on how to make the perfect present with used panty hose and empty Kleenex boxes.
Perhaps the best Christmas story ever is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
In this classic by Barbara Robinson, the incorrigible Herdman children take over the church Christmas pageant - Imogene (Mary) smokes cigars in the girls room, Ralph (Joseph) wants to burn down the inn, Gladys (Gabriel) shouts “Shazam!” and Leroy (a Wise Man) shows up with a ham instead of frankincense. You’ll want to make this hilarious and unorthodox but completely authentic retelling of the Christmas story a part of your own family traditions.
Submitted by Laurie Bell, Pomfret Public Library
You can easily change the setting of this story from New Mexico to our very own orchard abundant quiet corner. The Year Money Grew on Trees is a romantic coming of age story about a thirteen year old boy, Jackson, who has an opportunity of a lifetime to take over an abandoned orchard. If he works hard enough and can convince his sisters and cousins to be his crew, the orchard could someday be his. The only problem is Jackson doesn’t know the first thing about growing apples or the work involved in tending an orchard. What I wouldn’t give to be thirteen again working along side Jackson who seems to have as much to prove to his father as he does to himself. This story did make me feel an emotion I wasn’t expecting, guilt. Guilt over not attending my own apple trees with the determination, care and hard work Jackson tended his. This story even taught me some tricks of the trade I intend on using starting this February. Although this book can be found in the new Junior Fiction section at your local library, it is a wonderful read for children and adults. It’s a fantastic book which made me appreciate even more the apples I picked and the pie I baked as well as inspiring me to work harder and do better for the nature I tend.
Kristin Lavitt, Pomfret Public Library
Villager Papers, October 15,, 2010