Sunday, December 8, 2013

Books for Under the Tree

My tradition at Easter is to always share my kid's book baskets to give you inspiration for your own baskets.  I thought, in that vein, I would share with you the books I am putting under the tree this year for my family.  Now in this family books are a necessity and not a luxury (yes, kind of like socks) so I can't say my kids are chomping at the bit to rip into those beautifuly wraped packages with same glee as say an American Girl Snack Cart or an ITunes Gift Card.  But when the madness of flying paper is over, they do pull out the new additions for a quieter moment and that always warms my heart.

If you would like to purchase any of the selections recommended here, simply click on the picture (or the bottom of each review if you are reading my regular posts.)  It will take you to Amazon where I will receive a portion of the selling price, at no cost to you.  If you enjoy the blog and have benefited from the reccomendations provided you can think of it as your gift to keep more great book reviews coming your way.  While this is certainly a labour of love, I pay for the books that I purchase, not to mention the time it takes to put these posts together and read hundreds of books a year.  So any dollars I receive go back into improving the quality of what I can provide.

Books for the 14 year old boy:

This year is about the graphic novel because there have been so many terrific new releases for this age group.

Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang is about the Boxer Rebellion in China.  In Boxers the story is told from the point of view of Little Bao, a Chinese peasant whose village has been plundered by Western missionaries.  In Saints we see the story from the perspective of Vibiana who is taken in by Christians when her village has no place for her.  These books bring history to life and I think my son will enjoy the conflict and the variying perspectives.

Battling Boy by Paul Hope.  This book has been described as bringing the themes of Superman, Batman and Hercules into a dystopian future.  Battling Boy is sent down for the Olympian lighting cloud in a test of manhood.  It has all the elements that a boy should love.

Mad Magazine Subscription.  I remember this magazine from when I was young, and my teenage son will love the irreverant humor.  Definelty not for the younger kids, but teenagers will eat this one up.

Books for the 12 year old boy:

Make no mistake, I have a son who is computer obsessed.  However, I have found that computers and books do not have to be mutually exclusive.  Let me explain:

Eye of the Minds by James Dashner.  In this latest series by the author of Maze Runner, readers are taken into a virtual world.  Michael is an expert gamer who is immersed in the addictive game of Lifeblood Deep.  His advanced hacking skills have gotten him recruited to look for someone who is holding players hostage in the game.  The rules between the seperation of the game and real life are changing.

Journey to a Different Dimension: An Adventure in the World of Minecraft by Stan Schatt.  While I think most parents will not find this book particularly compelling, kids who love Minecraft will really enjoy seeing their world as a setting for this story. It follows three kids stuck in the game who must essentially play the game from within to get themselves out.   Great pick for the most dedicated of Minecraft fans.

Sport Illustrated Kids Subscription.  My son loves sports.  That's all I've got.

Books for the 9 year old girl:

Strangely this one is the hardest for me because my daughter is an insanely picky reader!

Roald Dahl Magical Gift Set.  Roald Dahl is just a wonderful author and I like the idea of a set of books.  However, he has so many wonderful titles that just picking out a few favorites such as The BFG and The Twitts (two of my favorites) would also make a delightful gift for any child 7-12.  I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love his books.  This is as close to a sure bet that I can give you.

The Best of Archie Comics.  Ok, our secret is revealed.  We are Archie fanatics in this house.  I brought a few home because I loved them as a child, and my kids are now addicted.  We keep them in the car to read on longer rides and in a basket in the family room.  My kids pick them up for a quick read anytime.  They are enjoyed by both boys and girls in our family.

American Girl Magazine Subscription.  I think magazines are a great Christmas gifts for kids.  My daughter gets National Geographic Kids every year for her birthday.  The kids look forward to the mail and it gets them reading immediately when a new issue of their magazine comes in the door.  My daughter also has a subscription to Discovery Girls Magazine, which is an alternative to American Girl.


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