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Books for my 11 year old nephew
My nephew is a voracious reader and it is really hard for me to find books he hasn't seen yet. But this year I have it in the bag (yes, I cheated and went over the list with his dad - what are you, the book police?)
Eye of the Minds by James Dashner. This is the latest from the author of Maze Runner and both my son and his cousin will love talking about the virtual world created in this book. This is about gammers who have to hack into the computer code to find a villain who has infultrated the game as the lines between real life and virtual worlds become confused. The ending is a great surprise that I think will have them both floored.
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. In this new series, ghosts have infiltrated London, and they can be downright viscious. Only kids are able to sense their presence so they are sent in to try and exterminate them. It is a dangerous job and when Lockwood and Co. finds themselves on the brink of bankruptcy, the three children who run the agency must take a case that no one has succesfully solved, and by that I mean no one has left the house alive.
Books for my 8 year old nephew
Ok, this kid is baseball obsessed. I love his birthday because all I have to do is renew his subscription to Sports Illustrated Kids and I'm a hero. Last year I gave him the National Geographic Weird but True books, which were ... well how shall I say it ... a dud. So this year I have wised up and I am going sports all the way.
Sports Illustrated Kids Full Count: Top 10 lists of Everything in Baseball. This is as close to a home run as I am going to get. This kid loves baseball facts and put the most fun ones in a top ten list and I am a hero again!
Sports Illustrated Kids Big Book of Why Sports Edition. My nephew gave my son a book about the obscure rules of baseball, so I know he will love learning about all the funky trivia associated with the sports he loves.
Books for my 6 year old nephew
Books for my 5 year old nephew
I love it when I can still buy picture books for kids. I love picture books. This year I getting my nephew some good ones:
Battle Bunny by Mac Barnett and John Scieszka. In this book, Mac and John take a sappy version of a book called Birthday Bunny and turn it into Battle Bunny. Alex, the books recipient, takes his pencil and makes this a book he would like to read about a bunny's secret evil plan, that only Alex is able to stop. It is the book most kids would like to write and allows kids to be the ultimate storytellers.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. Poor Duncan can't color anymore, all the crayons quit. However, they have left letters with their grievances. Peach is a little perturbed that Duncan has taken his wrapper off - he hates to be naked. Blue is flattered that he gets used so much, but now he is just a nub and Duncan really needs to start using some of the other colors. Pink insists he is not just a girl color and that Duncan should find places for him ... and the list goes on.
Books for my 2 year old niece
Yes there is a girl in the group! You weren't so sure there were you? Well this little one is getting more sturdy fare that covers the basics. This year I am going with alphabet and counting books. Usually I just go for the laughs, but these books are so creatively done, that I think I will shock her parents with something more cerebral.
Alphablock by Christopher Franeschelli. This book actually incorparates the letters into the peekaboo format where children can guess the word that begins with the letter. I also like the books retro feel - my niece is one cool cookie.
Circus 123 by Guido van Genechten. This is is a fun counting book where the ladybug performers take center stage. Once again, I am a sucker for the visuals and they are strikingly done in red and black. These ladybugs are daredevils and not afraid of the high wire!
Hope you enjoy all these selections and that they give you inspiration for your holiday gifts. Happy Holidays.