sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 11, 2010

weekly geeks: readers’ advisory, part 2
posted by soe 3:48 am

weekly geeksThe second part of this week’s Weekly Geeks meme, asks participants to give their readers some book recommendations.

Since I asked you for your holiday book suggestions yesterday, I thought I’d share five of mine today, with a focus on those that will appeal to the child in all of us:

As many of yesterday’s commenters noted, Let It Snow!, which is a trio of interconnected stories/novellas by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, is a great modern book for fans of well-written young adult fiction. The overarching premise: A blizzard strikes the mid-Atlantic on Christmas Eve, stranding a train heading to Florida just outside Gracetown, Virginia. Included on the train are a horde of high school cheerleaders headed to a competition and two other solitary teenagers, Jeb and Jubilee. Independently, they all head to the Waffle House they can see from the train window through the night’s snow. The stories are what happens next on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (My review is here.)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is older than I am, but it still resonates. Told from the perspective of a young girl whose mother is suddenly recruited to direct the church Nativity play, this is the story of the Herdman family, six mean, tough, bullying siblings growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. The Herdmans learn of the pageant and decide they want to be involved. And by involved they mean take over the lead roles. But because no one has ever told them the story of the first Christmas, the Herdmans interpret it on their own terms.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a beautiful picture book that tells how a young boy beginning to doubt the true spirit of Christmas catches a ride on a magical Christmas train heading to the North Pole.

The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins is a melodramatic children’s book about young Carol Bird, who is born on Christmas day. Beloved by all around her, she is especially idolized by her young, poor neighbors, the Ruggles children. Bed-ridden and ailing, the beatific Carol asks her parents to bow to her whim of throwing a Christmas party for the local kids. This one always makes me weep and I can’t see how it wouldn’t have a similar effect on anyone whose heart is not made of icicles.

Babar and Father Christmas by Jean de Brunhoff follows the world’s favorite elephant king as he attempts to locate St. Nick and bring him to Celesteville after his children learn he traditionally brings presents on Christmas Eve.

Category: books. There is/are Comments Off on weekly geeks: readers’ advisory, part 2.