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HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS: READING RECOMMENDATIONS

If you need a gift idea, check out these suggestions for books suitable for teens, and some for adults too. Many thanks to our friends at Wellesley Books for offering suggestions in a range of genres:
 

Goodbye Again, Jonny Sun 

Cover of the book, Goodbye AgainTo read Sun’s work is to know that you’re not alone in your anxieties, worries, loneliness and burnout, and to feel comforted by this knowledge. Reading this book is like having a friend come over, give you a hug, and say, “I know how you feel.” Fans of his previous book, Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too are sure to love Goodbye, Again, as it’s filled with insights that harken back to “Aliebn”‘s core message of finding comfort through loneliness. With humorous and insightful musings on friendship, identity, plants, and scrambled eggs, this book is a must read.

 

Huda F Are You? By Huda Famy        

Huda F Are You cover pageHilarious and heartfelt, sometimes cringey, and always honest, this graphic novel asks the universal question: who are you? In her old town, Huda knew just who she was: the hijabi girl. But a recent move to Dearborn, a small town with a big Muslim population, has thrown Huda for a loop. In Dearborn, she’s not the only hijabi girl anymore. Huda tries on new personas-a fashionista, an athlete, a gamer; but none of these fit right. It’ll take finding out who she isn’t, to figure out who she is.

 

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger     

Cover of the book, Snake Falls to EarthNina is a Lipan girl in our world. She still believes the old stories and always felt there was something more out there. Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. He’s been cast out of his old home and found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.

Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries. And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.

 

Gilded by Marissa Meyer  

Cover of the book, GildedLong ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical, spellbinding, and entirely untrue. Or so everyone believes. When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders her to spin straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to aid her. He agrees to help…for a price. She soon realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the king’s tyranny forever.

 

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus

Cover of the book, You'll be the death of meIvy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close, but now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. So when the three of them unexpectedly run into each other, they decide to avoid their problems by ditching; just the three of them, like old times. Except the ride is awkward and they don’t have much to say to each other. So when they see another student skipping school, it’s a welcome distraction. The three follow him…right to the scene of his own murder. Secrets connect each of the three to the dead student. Was their reconnection really by chance?

Little Thieves by Margaret Owens     

Vanja wants just one thing. She wants enough money to escape the life of servitude her godmothers, Death, and Fortune have promised her. She has stolen many things–jewelry, clothes, money, and the identity of her former lady, the Princess Gisele. Cursed by a low god, Vanja only has a fortnight to return what she’s stolen before the jewels growing on her body will take over and kill her. Add in a looming wedding, another plot to kill her, a kind, nerdy prefect who knows more than he wants to let on, the daughter of the low god watching her every move, and the princess she left behind in the dirt, Vanja will claw her way out by any means necessary. A lifetime of isolation, Vanja knows that she’s the only person she can count on. A lifetime of isolation, Vanja knows that she’s the only person she can count on. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows, this Bavarian-inspired fantasy is a delightful adventure with found family, thrilling mysteries, and is full of heart. Maybe Vanja wants more than one thing, after all.

 

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang   

Cover of the book, Beautiful CountryBeautiful Country follows Qiang Julie Wang, aged 7, from Shijiazhuang, China to New York City in 1994. There her mother works in sweatshops in Chinatown, her father works under the table at a law office, and Wang attends public school, feeling separated from her classmates, unable to speak English, and unable to disclose the reality of her home life. Like a certain plucky Roald Dahl character, she finds solace at her local public library as she learns to read, getting lost in the worlds of characters who lead lives differently than her own. Wang’s clear, emotionally charged storytelling takes us through her childhood with such care and tenderness towards her family. You won’t want to miss this one. A new, critical addition to the literary memoir canon.

 

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