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 Book giving

Young Adult novels are some of my favorites, from the ones that are old friends to new ones that I can hardly put down. The following are some of my favorites from this year that you could give to anyone without worry or concern. I've made sure to only include books which are at the beginning of the series or standalones so you don’t have to worry about giving someone an entire series.

12.22 Traitors GameTHE TRAITOR’S GAME
By Jennifer Nielsen
(2018)

After three years in exile, Kestra Dallisor has been summoned back to Antora by her father, right-hand man of the seemingly immortal king, Lord Endrick. She is intercepted and kidnapped by the Coracks who want to use her to get the Olden Blade, which they believe can be used to kill the despot. Simon, one of the rebels with his own grudge against the Dallisors, is assigned to accompany her, but Kestra has her own plans and does not intend to let anyone get in her way.

 

12.22 Children of Blood and BoneCHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
By Tomi Adeymi
(2018)

Zelie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. Ever since the reaping, which killed her mother and many of the sorcerers, Zelie and her people have been living on the outskirts of society, praying for survival. That is until Zelie, her brother, and a runaway princess get the opportunity to change the fate of the world.

 

12.22 Cruel PrinceTHE CRUEL PRINCE
by Holly Black
(2018)

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

 

12.22 The Wicked DeepTHE WICKED DEEP
by Shea Ernshaw
(2018)

Three sisters, drowned as witches in Sparrow, Oregon, in the 1800s, return each summer for revenge, but Penny, seventeen, is determined to stop them to save the boy she loves.

 

12.22 Sea WitchSEA WITCH
by Sarah Hennings
(2018)

Rendered an outcast in town after her friend Anna's death, Evie befriends a newcomer with an uncanny likeness to Anna. When the girls pursue romances with two charming princes, Evie has a chance at happiness until her new friend reveals a secret.

 

12.22 SkywardSKYWARD
by Brandon Sanderson
(2018)

When a long-term attack against her world by the alien Krell escalates, Spensa's dream of becoming a pilot may come true, despite her deceased father being labeled a deserter.

 

12.22 To Kill a KingdomTO KILL A KINGDOM
by Alexandra Christo
(2018)

Lira, a famous siren, must prove herself by stealing the heart of the man, a prince, threatening her race. Will she be able to overcome the obstacles placed before her?

 
Looking for other holiday giving ideas? Check out our recommendations for adult fiction, more adult fiction, nonfiction, more nonfiction, and picture books.

Book giving

Have you been following along with our 2018 book giving guide? We've shared our favorite picture books, nonfiction, fiction, and a little more fiction. Today we have a few more nonfiction titles to share, but be on the lookout for our teen book suggestions soon!

Dressed up as Bond for Halloween-

12.20 The Spy and the TraitorTHE SPY AND THE TRAITOR: THE GREATEST ESPIONAGE STORY OF THE COLD WAR
By Ben Macintyre 
(2018)

A thrilling spy story about Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian KGB officer whose secret work with MI-5 helped hasten then end of the Cold War.

 

Participates in Civil War reenactments-

12.21 Women of the Blue and GrayWOMEN OF THE BLUE & GRAY: TRUE CIVIL WAR STORIES OF MOTHERS, MEDICS, SOLDIERS, AND SPIES
By Marianne Monson
(2018) 

These micro biographies tell the stories of wives, mothers, sisters and friends whose purposes ranged from supporting husbands and sons during the wartime to counseling President Lincoln on strategy.

 

Is considering their first marathon in 2019-

12.21 Killing OurselvesNATURAL CAUSES: AN EPIDEMIC OF WELLNESS, THE CERTAINTY OF DYING, AND KILLING OURSELVES TO LIVE LONGER
By Barabara Ehrenreich 
(2018)

Offers insight into healthcare practices, identifying the cellular sources of aging and illness and revealing that aggressive treatments provide an illusion of control and survivability at the cost of life quality.   

 

Likes to psychoanalyze people at parties-

12.21 How to Change Your MindHOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
By Michael Pollan
(2018) 

An investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs with a dive into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists.

 

Needs to be a little less critical of herself-

12.21 Girl Wash Your FaceGIRL, WASH YOUR FACE: STOP BELIEVING THE LIES ABOUT WHO YOU ARE SO YOU CAN BECOME WHO YOU WERE MEANT TO BE
By Rachel Hollis 
(2018)

By the founder of TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel shares tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own.

 

Cried when the last episode of Fixer Upper aired-

12.21 Magnolia TableMAGNOLIA TABLE: A COLLECTION OF RECIPES FOR GATHERING
By Joanna Gaines 
(2018)

A collection of over 100 classic recipes for meals, snacks, desserts, and small plates from the popular HGTV star.  And (bonus book!) don’t overlook Joanna’s new book HOMEBODY: A GUIDE TO CREATING

 
Merry Christmas!

 Book giving 1

So far we've shared some great reads that came out this year for adults (Fiction, More Fiction, Nonfiction), but we can't forget about the kids! Here are a few of the best new picture books for the little readers you love.

For the kid (or kid at heart) in your life who:

 

Is a master at bedtime avoidance-

12.20 Dont BlinkDON’T BLINK
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by David Roberts

Have you ever tried that trick of trying NOT to close your eyes as a way to feel sleepy? This clever picture book is built on that idea. Every time you blink, you have to turn the page, and soon enough, you (and any reading buddies) will be fast asleep. 

 
 

Is working through big feelings-

12.20 The Rabbit ListenedTHE RABBIT LISTENED
By Cori Doerrfeld
(2018)

When tragedy strikes, Taylor’s friends have all kinds of suggestions on how to feel better – shouting, hiding, rebuilding – but Taylor doesn’t need suggestions. What he needs is company and a listening ear. With sweet illustrations, this picture book is a great primer on helping others (and ourselves) in hard moments. 

 
 

Is secretly an artist (and doesn't even know it)-

12.20 SquareSQUARE
By Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
(2018)

Barnett and Klassen are a beloved picture book duo, and for good reason. Their spare pictures and text are deceptively simple and always hilarious. SQUARE will have you laughing out loud and wondering what it really means to be an artist. 

 
 

Sometimes wonders how to make friends-

12.20 Drawn TogetherDRAWN TOGETHER
By Minh Lê
Illustrated by Dan Santat
(2018)

A young American boy has a hard time relating to his Thai grandfather; they like different shows, eat different food, and can’t even speak the same language. When they discover their shared love for drawing, however, a whole new world of communication opens up to them. 

 
 

Loves to chat (but not always listen)-

12.20 Wordy BirdyWORDY BIRDY
By Tammi Sauer 
Illustrated by Dave Mottram 
(2018)

Wordy Birdy has lots to say, so much that she doesn’t let anyone else get a word in. When there’s a bear on the loose, that chattiness gets her in trouble. This picture book’s a great reminder that talking is great, as long as we listen too.  

 
 

Doesn’t usually see their life in picture books-

12.20 LoveLOVE
By Matt de la Peña
Illustrated by Loren Long
(2018)

You might expect a picture book called LOVE to be saccharine, but this new release is honest as well as touching. De la Peña and Long show that love has a million faces (some expected, others surprising) and that sometimes it’s pain that reveals them. 

 

Book giving

Previously I recommended twelve  books to give those readers in your life that love to escape into imaginary worlds both fantastic and realistic. This post leaves the fiction behind and provides twelve more titles for those wanting to learn a little something.

For your nonfiction reader who:

Loves an inspirational memoir about overcoming trials-

12.17 EducatedEDUCATED: A MEMOIR
By Tara Westover 
(2018)

Tara was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom.  Born to survivalists who isolated themselves from mainstream society, Tara had to fight for an education that ended up costing her more than she could have imagined.

 

Likes feeling nostalgic about a good neighbor in a sweater-

12.17 The Good NeighborGOOD NEIGHBOR: THE LIFE AND WORK OF FRED ROGERS
By Maxell King 
(2018)

Drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents, the author traces the iconic children’s program host’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work.

 

Loves celebrity memoirs with the inside scoop-

12.17 My GirlsMY GIRLS: A LIFETIME WITH CARRIE AND DEBBIE
By Todd Fisher 
(2018)

Todd Fisher was the son of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds and the younger brother of Carrie Fisher.  He offers a frequently hilarious and too often heartbreaking story of life with the women he called my girls.

 

Looks for new perspectives from political icons-

12.17 Fascism A WarningFASCISM: A WARNING
By Madeleine Albright 
(2018)

The former U.S. secretary of state presents a timely, considered, and personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom, prosperity, and peace.

 

Loves learning about the American Revolution-

12.17 Founding MartyrFOUNDING MARTYR: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF DR. JOSEPH WARREN, THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION’S LOST HERO
By Christian Di Spigna 
(2018)

Dr. Joseph Warren may be the most influential revolutionary figure you have never heard of.  Since he was martyred at Bunker Hill, his essential role in the early colonial rebellion is often forgotten.  But here, he is given some of the recognition he rightly deserves.

 

Wanted to be an astronaut when they grew up-

12.17 Rocket MenROCKET MEN: THE DARING ODYSSEY OF APOLLO 8 AND THE ASTRONAUTS WHO MADE MAN’S FIRST JOURNEY TO THE MOON
By Robert Kurson 
(2018)

Shares the inside story of the dangerous Apollo 8 mission, focusing on the lives of the astronauts involved, while illuminating the political factors that prompted the decision to risk lives to save the Apollo program and define the space race.

 

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