November 14, 2017
Do you have “books” written on your Christmas shopping list? If you’re looking for books as gifts for middle grade through YA readers this season, this post might give you some ideas.
We’re linking up today for Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish (above meme belongs to Broke and Bookish). Their prompt for this week is “Top Ten Books I want my Future Children to Read”…. that boat has already sailed, so I’m adjusting that to grandchildren….but this is a great top 10 list for any child in your life! Also linking up today with Modern Mrs Darcy for Quick Lit November 2017.
These 10 books are separated by age range but are in no particular order, and links to my reviews are included. These are books I recommend that parents/teachers/grandparents read alongside their children because of the rich discussion and teaching opportunities, and great literature can be enjoyed by all ages. Although specific themes are listed for each selection, the larger overarching themes for all selections include “diversity, building compassion, and understanding.” Follow links for full reviews.
“Top Ten Books I Want My Grandchildren to Read”
Middle Grades (grades 4-8, ages 9-13)
Wonder by R.J Palacio
Join hundred of thousands of other middle grade readers across the nation in reading this best seller!
Themes: kindness, compassion, friendship, acceptance, bullying, fitting in
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Read about the refugee/immigrant experience from a Vietnamese perspective. Beautifully written in free verse.
Themes: new culture, leaving your homeland, friendship, bullying, fitting in,
family loyalty, traditions, finding your voice
My Full Review Here (scroll down to second review on page)
Stella By Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
If you’re looking for an appropriate diverse and historical fiction selection for a middle grade reader (ages 9-12), I recommend this poignant story of Stella’s experiences with racism and finding her own voice as an African-American girl living in the segregated South (1932, Bumblebee, North Carolina to be exact).
Themes: prejudice, racism, finding your voice, writing, family loyalty,
(I did not do a full review of this book but you can check out the Amazon summary using the link below)
Mature High School through Young Adult
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
Historical Fiction selection for mature high school through YA which culminates in the Tulsa, Oklahoma race riots of 1921.
Themes: racism, prejudice, finding your own voice, determination, bravery
Refugee by Alan Gratz
In this mature middle grade through high school historical fiction selection, we live the refugee experience from three perspectives. (a note of caution: even though this is shelved as middle school, I suggest this selection for mature middle grades because of its difficult themes of war and survival)
Themes: refugee experience, survival, leaving your homeland, kindness of strangers, family support, children forced to make adult choices
Young Adult (YA)
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Young adults might find this poignant memoir of homelessness and neglect engaging. This book first came to my attention when my high school grandson shared with me that his class was reading it and that it was meaningful to him, and of course I wanted to share that reading experience with him. The movie was released in August and is now available on DVD.
Themes: homelessness, family dynamics, sibling support, overcoming difficult circumstances, survival
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
World War 11 historical fiction from a young German girl’s perspective. This is appropriate for older high school students through YA. An excellent movie was released in 2013. I have not written a full review of this book because I read it years ago, but you can find an Amazon summary by following the link below.
Themes: Holocaust, survival, kindness of strangers, sacrifice, friendship
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This very current and relevant read deals with difficult racial themes, and also allows us a glimpse into Starr’s life as an African-American teenager living between her mostly white private school and her poor black inner city neighborhood. (***caution: language) I recommend this book for YA or especially mature older high school students who might be interested in a story they could see on the nightly news involving a confrontation between a police officer and an African-American male. This book is currently in movie production.
Themes: racism, prejudice, friendship, family support, finding your voice,
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
For YA or mature older high school readers, an intense World War 11 historical fiction story from four different perspectives.
(note: serious survival themes)
Themes: World War 11, intolerance, survival, friendship, loyalty,
My Full Review Here (scroll down page to find review)
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
For YA or mature high school readers, a highly engaging and page turning story of a 14 year old girl who is on the Autism spectrum. Ginny Moon was recently listed on Amazon’s list of 20 top editor picks for 2017.
Themes: Autism, adoption, persistence, determination, differing abilities,
finding your voice
Happy Reading Bookworms!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
I’m on track to review The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper on Friday’s blog.
Sharing is Caring!
I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along, promote, and/or share my blog. We reached 2,000 views this week. Thanks! Every share helps us grow.
I’d love to hear if you’ve read any books from the Top Ten list? Do these look like reading selections your children or young adult would appreciate? Do you search out diverse reads when buying books for your children?