A Year In Review 2014

Final Reading Count for the Year:
Picture Books - 155
Nonfiction - 23
Middle Grade - 38
Young Adult - 23
Graphic Novels - 25
Total: 264

Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud: 
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Smek for President by Adam Rex
Space Rocks by Tom O'Donnell
This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris Book Review
New-To-Me Series That On One Hand I'm Glad To Have Found, But On The Other, I'm Seriously Horrified That I'd Missed Out On Until Now:
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Sequel Happiness:
The Battle for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
Smek for President by Adam Rex
Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs
Book That Made Me Crave Food:
Apple Days: A Rosh Hashanah Story by Allison Soffer
Most Enjoyable Bad Book:
Wild Boy by Rob Llyod Jones
Forgettable Plot Saved By a Fresh, Honest Voice:
Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look
Book(s) I Was Most Surprised By:
Space Rocks by Tom O'Donnell
Made of Pure Awesome:
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
Space Rocks by Tom O'Donnell
Best Book Hidden Under the Worst Cover:
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
More Adorable Than Sparkling Puppies:
Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale by Sally Lloyd-Jones
YA Book Most Likely to be Loved By Adults More Than Actual YAs:
Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Rapture Practice: The True Story About Growing Up Gay in an Evangelical Family by Aaron Hartzler
Biggest Disappointment:
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Books that Invoked Irrationally Violent Emotions in me:
Templar by Jordan Mechner
Road Rash by Mark Huntley Parsons 
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Books I Loved For Their Imperfect Heroines:
Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord
Best Book For Wimpy Kid Lovers:
Middle School: Ultimate Showdown (Middle School #6) by James Patterson and Julia Bergen
Game Over, Pete Watson by Joe Schreiber
Creature Keepers
Best Supernatural Book For Twilight-Haters:
Lockwood & Co.: The Whispering Skull by Johnathan Stroud
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Favorite Roadtrip Book:
Boston Jacky: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Taking Care of Business by L.A. Meyer
Best Action/Adventure Book:
Frostborn (Thrones and Bones #1) by Lou Anders
The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Books that were weird just to be weird:
Larklight by Phillip Reeve
Odd, Weird & Little by Patrick Jennings
29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy by Lemony Snicket
Sci-fi's that made me think there is still a future for this genre (future, get it):
Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Space Rocks by Tom O'Donnell
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Books that Just Had Way Too Much Going On:
Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart
Picture Books that are beautiful to look at:
Edward Hopper Paints His World by Robert Burleigh
With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School by Suzanne Buckingham Slade
Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski 
Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan
Books I lent out to people multiple times:
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Best Book of the Year:
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana
The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
Worst Book of the Year:
These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Annie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Help! We Need a Title! by HervĂ© Tullet

Have a question about this list. Wonder why I loved or hated a book? Leave a comment...let's discuss.

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs Book Review

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 16, 2014

Twelve-year-old Dashiell (Dash for short) Gibson is famous all over the world because he is one of the first humans to live on the moon. It turns out though that NASA may not have been completely honest about Moon Base Alpha. The food sucks, there is nothing to do, the toilets are always breaking, you can't go outside, the only kid his age is addicted to virtual reality video games, and now there may be a murderer loose on MBA. During a late night bathroom run (where the toilet breaks again), Dash overhears Dr. Holtz, a renowned scientist, discussing a big discovery that he will reveal in the morning. The next morning though, Dr. Holtz is dead after walking out onto the surface of the moon without properly sealing his helmet. Some people think it is accident. Dash is sure that it is murder. However, uncovering the truth behind Dr. Holtz' death is not so easy. No one was in the airlock, there is no record of him talking to anyone, and he seemed to have a lot of enemies. As the suspects list grows, even Dash begins to wonder whether Dr. Holtz was just crazy or was he really murdered?

Beginning like Feed, but a lot less dark, Space Case if a sci-fi middle grade mystery which are three words that are never combined together. Funny, with engaging characters in an interesting setting, I was completely sucked in by the story even if the pacing was a bit off-kilter sometimes. As happens in some mysteries, the killer isn't exactly the obvious choice, but it wasn't so far fetched (at least not within the confines of the book) and so I let it pass. The one thing that I did have problems with were the modern day intrusions that will instantly date this book. Not only does the story take place only twenty-five years from now, but there are various intrusions into the narrative regarding "some old singer named Lady Gaga" and how everyone is mixed race now (in 25 years?). Although these are funny asides for readers in 2014, they aren't all going to make sense in a few years and a few years really does matter for this age group.

On the whole though, I think this is a really solid book for this age group. Kids will love the mystery, the science, and the twist at the end.

The Princess In Black by Shannon & Dean Hale Book Review

The Princess In Black by Shannon & Dean Hale
Illustrations LeUyen Pham
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Princess Magnolia may look like your average princess. After all, she wears pink dresses, had a fancy crown, and has tea with Duchesses. but Princess Magnolia is keeping a secret. When her kingdom is in trouble she transforms into a monster smashing Princess in Black. The real trick though is not her crime-fighting persona but rather keeping it a secret from the nosy Duchess Wigtower who is sure that the Princess cannot be as perfect as she seems to be.

This is the kind of book I would have liked as a kid. When I was little, I loved climbing in trees as much as I liked my paper dolls. Since most girls and especially princesses were not like me in books, the characters I pretended to be were Belle Starr the female outlaw, a fighting elf from the Hobbit, the completely imagined sister in the Swiss Family Robinson. I wanted adventures and none of them involved falling in love with a Prince.

The Princess In Black is a simple chapter book with just the right amount of humor, adventure, and secrets. It is for this new generation of girls who need to know that it is okay if they wear pink, but they can also be a princess in black.

Hunters of the Great Forest by Dennis Nolan Book Review

Hunters of the Great Forest by Dennis Nolan
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: October 28, 2014

On a warm night, a band of hunters sets out on a journey. As they travel over hills, through thickets of trees, and around mountains, nothing will keep them from their ultimate goal. What that goal is may surprise you. Dennis Nolan's remarkable, imaginative illustrations lead the way in this wordless picture book about an epic journey.

This is not going to a regular book review, but rather a commentary on wordless picture books. I have long been a fan of the wordless picture book format, the first book I remember loving being Sector 7 by David Weisner. I would spend countless minutes poring over the cutout diagrams in Cathedral and analyzing the dinosaurs in Dinotopia. Since I was a child myself though, I was curious how a child reacts to a wordless picture book.

Now, I have no children. The librarian thinks I do based on the amount of children's books I check out of the library, but as of now the only guniea pigs I have are that of my niece and nephews. I am the book aunt. They know it. I know it. I buy them books, I read them books, and I even ask about other books they have read recently. When I walked in the other day and told them I brought some books for us to read, the five-year-old's eyes lit up and the two and a half-year-old didn't care. As I have mentioned in some previous posts, there were books they didn't care about (The Last Christmas Tree), some that they showed excitement for (Piggie & Elephant #21), and then there was this wordless picture book that I had only glanced through. The first time we "read" through it, my five-year-old nephew curled up beside (the two year old was stepping on the other books) we just looked at the pictures, commenting on what we saw. 

"Again," he said. "But this time we will read the story.
"But there are no words," I explained.
"No. You read one page and I will read the other."

So we went back through the book, this time we beginning with, "Once Upon a Time..." and us taking turns. The most important and adorable part of this story is how he would run his little finger across the page as if he was reading and following along with actual words. "Again," he said when we had finished. So we "read" it again, this time he taking the lead, "Once In a Time..." The fourth time he insisted on making up the story by himself. I think we would have read it again if I hadn't stopped it at this point.

What did I learn? I saw a readiness for reading, an affinity for storytelling, a book that helped spur the imagination of a kindergartener. I saw excitement, laughter, and everything that is necessary to tell a good story all rolled up in one beautiful picture book with no words.

My New Friend Is So Fun by Mo Willems Book Review

My New Friend Is So Fun by Mo Willems
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Gerald and Piggie are best friends. At first, he isn't too worried when Piggie makes a new friend. But what happens if Piggie becomes better friends with them and not Gerald? What if Piggie likes them better? What if--

Another solid Piggie & Elephant book that deals with the complex subject of fear, worry, jealousy and friendships in a simple and funny manner. I heard someone once refer to this series as morality tales and although that may be the case, I don't think these morals are the usual ones that are in most books such as hitting, sharing, being angry, etc. I cannot believe this is book #21 in this series, but all I can say is keep 'em coming. They are definitely not old yet. 

*When I pulled this book out of my bag, my nephew's eyes immediately lit up and together we chuckled our way through the book. I cannot wait to get my hands on the newest one.

The Red Pencil by Andrea David Pinkney Book Review

The Red Pencil by Andrea David Pinkney
Illustrations by Shane Evans
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 16, 2014

Amira is twelve, just old enough to wear a toob although not old enough, or rich enough, to go to school in Nyala. Her life in her serene Sudanese village is simple and full of love. Then the Janjaweed arrives. The murder her father, burn their homes, and Amira is forced to flee along with her mother and sister. Together they travel to a refugee camp where Amira's voice disappears. With the gift of a red pencil though Amira's world begins to open and she begins to dream and speak again.

It is difficult to create a book concerning the genocide in the Sudan. It is even more difficult to make such a topic child friendly. This middle grade novel in verse had some really strong points and some weaknesses, the result being an interesting important topic that didn't really do it for me. This is yet another novel written in free verse, which is a tricky poetry form as I am sometimes left wondering why the author chose to write in poetic form rather than prose. There were a few good poems in this book, but at almost 300 pages there were times when I thought the story would have been better served in prose. With the sparseness of the text, I felt a bit separated from the characters and cut off from the setting. Again, there were moments of beauty, but it wasn't a constant. This made the story itself feel a bit underdeveloped. There is so much attention paid to sheep, Amira's sister, and her mama not wanting her to read, but only two poems set aside for the raid on Amira's village and very little information about who the Janjaweed actually are. Like a too short action scene. I get that the topic is heavy, but you decided to write about the Sudan so embrace it and let us see. Shane Evan's illustrations are beautiful and perfect for the story, but weren't enough to give this story the emotional depth that it needed to make it great.

Tumbleweed Baby by Anna Myers Book Review

Tumbleweed Baby by Anna Myers
Illustrations by Charles Vess
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: October 7, 2014

A large, loving family in the 1930s Dust Bowl finds a wild baby in the tumbleweeds. In some ways she fits perfectly in their family and in others, she doesn't at all. The youngest daughter is especially wary of her. Eventually, the entire family warms up the the Tumbleweed Baby, but not before questioning whether they should return her.

The setting of this story was interesting and unique, written in a fun dialect and not something that you see every day. At first, the illustrations didn't draw me in, but I found them growing on me as the story went on. My real problem with the story was in the 'aboutness'. At first, I thought this would be a cute adoption folk-like tale. However, when the family starts to discuss whether they should just return the tumbleweed baby, I instantly knew this would not be an appropriate book to read to a child in foster care or who has been adopted. These kids already have a lot of abandonment issues and worry about fitting in with the family. The idea that their family, or even one sibling, would not like them and their behavior would make their parents think about returning them is no bueno.

Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers Book Review

Once Upon An Alphabet: Short Stories For All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Once Upon an Alphabet is a picture book with an identity crisis. Each letter has a short story that accompanies it, but the stories themselves are dark and twisted, some with terrible consequences. The various letter alliterations work if you are familiar with the alphabet, but if you were a small child just now learning your ABCs, it would be a bit confusing. There is a reason why we use things like 'I is for Ice Cream' rather than 'I is for Irreverant'. Which is why I would say the audience for this book is really for older elementary school kids and adults, even though both groups already know their alphabet. To test this theory though, I read this book to my nephew one weekend. He is five and is doing very well learning how to spell and read. Although he sat through this entire book, the only comment he made and the only laugh I got out of him was the dead frog in the F story. My sister-in-law on the other hand, kept chuckling at the stories as she folded the laundry.

Personally, I like the stories and thought they were some fun dark humor. The problem is though that this book by format and subject matter, isn't for adults.  

For the Love of Gelo! by Tom O'Donnell Book Review

Space Rocks! 2: For the Love of Gelo by Tom O'Donnell
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: October 30, 2014

Chorkle and its human friends, Hollins, Becky, Nicki, and Little Gus have been warped to a strange new galaxy far away from the human's parents and too close to their enemy. With their security shield on the fritz, the decision is made to go to the planet below, which they have identified as Kyral with supposed allies, to seek help. However, when Chorkle's originator doesn't return, Gelo is thrown into political turmoil from a power-hungry Xotonian named Sheln. It is up to Chorkle and its human friends to mount a rescue. Things quickly get out of hand though as an enemy fighter stows aboard and nearly gets them all killed. Their ancient allies after being conquered by the enemy are almost incapable of helping. Kalac is still missing. Chorkle isn't sure if they will ever find what they need to get off planet, let alone to reunite the humans with their parents.

I have made it no secret that Space Rocks!, the first book in this series, is one of my favorite books to come out this year. Full of action, an interesting (dare I say, unique) narrator, and some great sci-fi elements, it felt like the sci-fi books that made me fall in love with reading. For the Love of Gelo is a worthy sequel.

Although these are all the same characters from the first, a couple of new and interesting characters emerge who both frustrate and complicate the situations they are put in. O'Donnell has done such a good job with the world building that it was easy to get upset, frustrated, and despondent just like the characters do. The planet of Kyral is so sad, a conquered place where all their technological advancements were utterly destroyed, leaving the bird-like creatures there to live in relative squalor, fighting one another over traps and food. We are also given a bit of insight into their enemy the Vorem, a warlike race where the word peace doesn't exist. I also cannot express how much I love Little Gus. The youngest of the human group, he is funny, mostly confident, and an all-around cool guy. Also, bonus points for a red-headed boy being in the story. There aren't very many male red heads running around in fiction.

I don't have a whole lot of criticism. There were one or two preachy moments about everyone getting along, peace, and people being multi-faceted, but they were relatively short and weren't out of sync with what was happening in the context of the story. You will have to read the first book to know what is going on, but I promise this will not be a chore. All in all a very solid sequel. A definite go-to series for the reluctant reader.

My only question is, where is book 3?

Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead Book Review

Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: October 7, 2014

On a boring day, on a dull street, Sebastian sat high atop his roof dreaming of adventure. He finds it in his hot air balloon made of Grandma's afghans and patchwork quilts.

From the muted color palette to the "quietness" of the story, this tale reminded me of old books for the sixties and early seventies. There is a nonsensical whimsy about the story that made it feel magical, but int the end it wasn't about anything in particular. Beautiful to look at, but not much substance, I imagine this will be a book that adults will like a lot more than kids. An additional star though for Sebastian being darker skinned. We need more diverse picture books.

Star Stuff by Stephanie Roth Sisson Book Review

Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: October 14, 2014

For every child who has ever looked up at the stars and asked, "What are they?" comes the story of a curious boy who never stopped wondering: Carl Sagan. Many people know his name, but perhaps you didn't know that Carl Sagan's wonder and imagination began at the 1939 World's Fair. His quest to understand the world and the universe whether through non-fiction or science fiction led him to become the renowned scientist astrophysicist, astronomer, and cosmologist, respected in his field and remembered for his contributions to space exploration. Without him, we would not have such wonderful images taken from Voyager. 

I grew up in a very anti-evolution, anti-science environment. Carl Sagan, due to his outspoken atheistic worldview was seen in a rather dubious light. As if, by him not believing in God, his contributions to science were null and void or at the very least, biased and inaccurate. In those circles, Carl Sagan was a figure of scorn, to be ridiculed whenever the subject of evolution came up. As an adult, I have not lost my faith, but I have garnered a deep, wonderful, and passionate view of science, one that was not given to me as a child. Sure, I was never too good at mathematics, but my natural curiosity coupled with being named Venus, did give me a fascination with the stars. I finally took Astronomy in college and although it was one of the most difficult classes I ever took, I proceeded to take Astronomy II just because I loved it that much.  Yes, I can calculate the phases of the moon 100 years from now and I can also tell you that your astrological sign is most likely incorrect. Vaguely I remember wishing that I could be an astronaut when I was a child, but I was also aware that to be a scientist I would actually have to believe in the science. 

How I wish my parents had let me read books like this. Even if they had though, there would have been long discussions concerning the subject matter and what we did and didn't believe. Don't get me wrong, my parents were teaching me what they believed to be right, but it also kept my world small. My understanding of the universe and its workings even smaller. 

This book was great for young children who are just beginning to understand that not only is there an entire universe out there, but they can be a part of it. That what they love now could very well be their passion when they grow up. The illustrations were perfect and really captured  the beauty of the universe in a way that a small child can grasp. 

The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan Book Review

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrations by Hadley Hooper
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Release Date: October 14, 2014

Henry Matisse was once a little boy living in a very dreary town in northern France. His world was a world of color though. One of lines and dancing figures, creating beauty in whatever is around him.

Beautifully illustrated, as I have come to expect from artist picture book biographies, this book sings with creativity. The text is sparse and simple, but also the longest run on sentence you have ever seen. This is the third one of its kind that I have read in as many months (Edward Hopper Paints His World The Noisy Paint Box) I can just imagine how difficult it is to mimic an artistic style, a famous one at that, while still retaining your own stylings. Hooper does this with such finesse, although her color palette is a bit more muted than Matisse, I still loved the way it took on a Matisse-like quality without pretending to be Matisse. With all the wonderful artist biographies out there, I think kids can be given a very nice introduction to art, one that will hopefully fuel some creativity of their own.

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove Book Review

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: June 12, 2014

In 1799, for reasons that no one can fathom, the Great Disruption threw the world into different time periods. In Boston it is 1891. Other parts of the world are in the future, some in the past. Traveling between these periods can be dangerous as Sophia Tims learned when her parents went missing. Eight years after their disappearance Sophia's Uncle Shadrack also goes missing, but this time she thinks she knows why and where she needs to go next. Having never been outside of Boston before, Sophia teams up with a boy named Theo and soon is on an adventure that will cross the ages.

I loved the idea of this book. The beginning read like some of my favorite mystery video games like Myst and Siberia. A world that is split not by boundary lines and oceans, but by time periods. How easy to get lost when you can walk from the past into the future, or killed if you should stumble upon dinosaurs or glaciers. This is why there are adventurers, explorers, and mapmakers. People who dedicate their lives to creating not just paper maps, but memory maps. These maps allow you to see three-dimensionally into a specific time, allowing not just the place but the people to be mapped as well. What an awesome concept.

Sadly, the execution left something to be desired. Miss Sophia, who claims to be "wise beyond her years", is a rather boring childish character. There are so many great concepts here with her parents missing, the relationship with her Uncle, the inkling of her wanting to help others, Boston closing their borders (which made no sense in the context of the actual story), but in the end, she was just blah. A maiden archetype who wouldn't be worth beans if she didn't keep coincidentally running into people who were willing to help her. Theo, a mysterious boy from the Baldlands, also had a lot going for him and I kept expecting some great truth to be revealed and it never was. Theo is mysterious for no other reason than he has learned how to lie and manipulate over the years. This makes Sophia distrustful but not enough to part ways with him. This portion of the book drove me nuts because she is accusatory and distrustful, but seeing as nothing comes of it and he doesn't change, it felt more like a plot device than actual character growth. In fact, for all her hooting and hollering about not trusting Theo, Sophia is actually very trusting. She believes people when they say they want to help, she obeys when ordered to do things that go against her conscience, and it's a good thing these people are all who they say they are or she would be in some real trouble. Really, I am still trying to figure out why the men who kidnapped her Uncle didn't take her too. It made no sense to leave her behind and then have to go chasing after her later.

To be very frank, I found this book to be extremely confusing. I was constantly having to loo at the maps in the book. I have no idea why the book is even called The Glass Sentence instead of something like The Glass Map or Memory Map. I'm still confused by how these memory maps are made. Absolutely no clue. It must be magic, but I am still unclear as to whether people all lose their memories when making a memory map, or if it has to be done a certain way in order to remain sane. What time period is the Baldlands supposed to be? Do they not share information with other ages? This would have made for a rather amazing Steampunk novel, but with no one from a future age sharing technology with those of different ages, there was just missed opportunities.

There is a mixed bag of opinions about this book, but for me it just felt garbled and full of missed opportunities.

Kwanzaa Stories Book List

This was a difficult book list to put together. So many of these stories remind me of badly written issue books that I almost gave up making the list altogether. It was rather discouraging, because although I know this is not a widely celebrated holiday, I think all holidays and faiths deserve good representations through books and literature. Some are nice introductions to the basic principals of Kwanzaa, but I wouldn't necessarily count them as good Kwanzaa books or well-written. In the end, there are a couple dozen books on this subject, but very few are of the quality that I see in Christmas and even Hanukkah stories.

Hannukah Stories Book List

Can I tell you how many amazing Hanukkah books there are out there? This is only a small sampling of them.  

Also, because this song gets stuck in my head all the time....and I don't actually know the words to the original, I give you this video so it will be stuck in your head too.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

It's not the greatest quality, but this is by far one of my favorite Christmas movies. It is one of the few movies that was not available on DVD until recently and so I dig out my VHS player to watch it. I should add that I was a bit of a trouble child as a kid so I always related more to the Herdmans than I did to the other children.

The Last Christmas Tree by Stephen Krensky Book Review

The Last Christmas Tree by Stephen Krensky
Illustrations by Pascal Campion
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: October 1, 2014

Among the grand firs and pines at the Christmas tree lot, sits a little hunched tree that is missing some branches. Nevertheless, the little tree is filled with Christmas spirit and waits in great anticipation for his turn to be picked. As the weeks go by though, no one picks the little tree. No families want him. Some even make fun of him. By Christmas Eve he is the last tree in the lot. That is when a special visitor wearing a red and white outfit shows up to give the little tree a home for Christmas.

In the vein of The Tale of Three Trees, this anthropomorphized little tree story is full of heart. I may have teared up a little when that little tree was sitting there all alone in the lot after being rejected over and over. The sweetness of the ending, the idea that Santa takes home the little trees that are left over brought a tear to my eye. As I sometimes do with these books though, I thought I would run it through a child test. (aka read it to my nephews) I could not, for the life of me, get them to actually sit through this book. I started it over twice, we abandoned it, and then I tried to read it to them once with with the response being, "We don't want to read that one." Either my nephews aren't in the holiday spirit yet or something about it didn't appeal to them, so perhaps this one is a adults-will-like-it-more-than-kids book. If that is the case then I can at least guarantee that the parents will enjoy reading it.

Christmas in Young Adult & Middle Grade Books List

Obviously there are a lot of books out there with Christmas themes, but I am trying to keep this list short and not so obvious. Or at the very least, different. I would be interested in adding Hanukkah stories to this list if anyone knows of some I can add. It still amazes me the subjects that have not been written about or are included in middle grade and young adult books. 

My Favorite Santa Stories - Book List