This is the time of year when “Best Of” lists are everywhere. Although we at Kidsreads.com don’t have a “Best Of” list of our own, we’ve compiled a number of them for you here. See which of your top picks appear on these lists and which titles you feel should've been included but weren't. Perhaps you’ll even find some books to add to your reading list as we head into the new year!
Our December roundup includes I LOVE DOGS by Sue Stainton and New Yorker cartoonist Bob Staake, which celebrates canines of all shapes and sizes; the vibrantly illustrated VICTOR AND VIOLET WRITE THE BEST-EVER BOOKWORM BOOK by Alice Kuipers and Bethany Murguia, where a pair of twins are determined to write the best book in the whole world; and FIRST SNOW by Caldecott Honor-winning author-illustrator Peter McCarty, which features loving animal characters guiding Pedro through his first snow angel, sled ride and snowball fight!
In December’s Cool & New roundup, we have A PLAGUE OF UNICORNS by Jane Yolen, where the monks at Cranford Abbey must hatch a plan to stop the unicorns from eating all of their golden apples; THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES VOLUME 1: Young Readers Edition, an adaptation of Oliver Stone’s and Peter Kuznick’s groundbreaking book about some little known (and not-so-positive) events in America’s past; and HOUSE OF ROBOTS: My Brother, The Robot by James Patterson, the first book in a new illustrated series about an extraordinary robot in an ordinary fifth grade class.
The December paperbacks this month are HOW TO CATCH A BOGLE by Catherine Jinks, where ten-year-old Birdie assists Alfred the Bolger, a renowned monster-catcher in Victorian England; and THE CATS OF TANGLEWOOD FOREST by Charles de Lint, where Lillian Kindred is transformed into a kitten and must go on a perilous adventure through untamed lands to make things right.
To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere--but they aren't the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!
From courageous cavalry rides deep into enemy territory to harrowing covert missions undertaken by spies and soldiers, the events of the American Civil War were filled with daring figures and amazing feats. This exhilarating overview covers the biggest battles as well as captivating lesser-known moments to entertain kids with unbelievable (and totally true) tales of one of America's most fascinating conflicts.
When some people kill, they are jailed or even executed. When others do, they are celebrated as heroes. Though this example is extreme, it’s just one of many that author and lawyer Teri Kanefield explores in depth. From an examination of what constitutes a crime, why and how we punish people who commit crimes, how the government determines these rules, to how citizens have reacted when they feel laws aren’t fair, this book will challenge young readers’ thinking about law and order, crime and punishment, while giving them specific legal cases to ponder along the way. For ages 12 and up, this examination of the legal system will also include historical photography to help bring each legal case to life.
This is not the kind of history taught in schools or normally presented on television or in popular movies. This riveting young readers’ edition challenges prevailing orthodoxies to reveal the dark reality about the rise and fall of the American empire for curious, budding historians who are hungry for the truth. Based on the latest archival findings and recently declassified information, this book will come as a surprise to the vast majority of students and their teachers—and that’s precisely why this edition is such a crucial counterpoint to today’s history textbooks.
Uneducated as a boy, Thomas Paine grew up to become one of the most influential writers of the 18th century. He brought the world Common Sense, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason; simply written, verbal battles against political, civil, and religious ignorance.
Providing a historical perspective on all that is going on today, US CONGRESS FOR KIDS examines the major milestones in congressional history, including the abolition of slavery, extending the vote to African Americans and to women, and investigating misconduct in both government and private institutions. Kids will be engaged by the focus on dramatic stories, personalities, and turning points while also benefitting from the clear discussions of Congressional purpose, structure, history, and ongoing issues. Educational, hands-on activities that illuminate the workings of the U.S. Congress include making a House ceremonial mace, creating congressional money, making a capitol dome, and designing a Congressional Medal of Honor.
The kids who grew up to be president were like a lot of other children. Some struggled with schoolwork and got into fights; others pranked their teachers and infuriated their parents. William Howard Taft was forced to take dance lessons. Gerald Ford struggled with dyslexia. Teddy Roosevelt had a bedroom “museum” full of dead animals. Kid Presidents features 20 captivating true stories from the childhoods of American presidents, complete with lively text and more than 200 cartoon illustrations. Laugh-out-loud funny and packed with cool facts, it’s the perfect read for all young future leaders of the free world.
Minerva has been raised by her single mother after her father left them both. On her 17th birthday, she is shocked to discover that he has been trying to keep in touch, but her mother has been sabotaging his attempts. Furious at her mom, she begins to investigate her dad, a famous marine biologist, only to discover that he has a new family, including a beloved, and perfect, stepdaughter--a girl Minerva already knows and despises. As she makes her way, trying to build her performing and songwriting career, her jealousy takes over and threatens to derail her life completely.
Eleven-year-old Maddy loved working in her parents' bookstore... especially when joined by her pet flying toad Ralph. But that was before the mysterious Thimblewitch turned her mom & dad into kangaroo rats! Now Maddy's on the adventure of a lifetime. To save her parents, she'll need to sneak past an army of spider-goblins, scarecrow warriors, and much more... Fortunately, an assortment of new friends await, including the cloud cartographers Harry and Silvio, a bear and raccoon who explore the world in their moon-balloon. They'll help her along the way, but in the end, the fate of everyone will depend on Maddy's courage, compassion, and creativity.
Clod is an Iremonger. He lives in the Heaps, a vast sea of lost and discarded items collected from all over London. At the centre is Heap House, a puzzle of houses, castles, homes and mysteries reclaimed from the city and built into a living maze of staircases and scurrying rats. The Iremongers are a mean and cruel family, robust and hardworking, but Clod has an illness. He can hear the objects whispering. His birth object, a universal bath plug, says 'James Henry', Cousin Tummis' tap is squeaking 'Hilary Evelyn Ward-Jackson' and something in the attic is shouting 'Robert Burrington' and it sounds angry. A storm is brewing over Heap House. The Iremongers are growing restless and the whispers are getting louder. When Clod meets Lucy Pennant, a girl newly arrived from the city, everything changes. The secrets that bind Heap House together begin to unravel to reveal a dark truth that threatens to destroy Clod's world.
COOL ART, a neat primer on all things art, introduces all the key characters, moments, and movements in the history of art to the present day. From Caravaggio to Banksy, the Renaissance to Minimalism, young readers can explore the ideas, meaning, and techniques behind the world's masterpieces, with a hefty dose of fun along the way. Much more than a basic history of art, this fascinating book explains how color works, how to have a profound experience in an art gallery (and what not to say while you're there), and how to tap into one's own innate creativity and become an artist. Packed with intriguing and playful images, this is an ideal gift for all ages—not only will it engage young people in creative ideas, it will also provide a feast of useful facts for adults to impress their friends with at dinner parties.
Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?