I got into the Library Biz partly because I found myself compulsively recommending books to various friends, acquaintances, and random strangers in bookstores. So it's not exactly a shock that people tend to ask me about books now that it's actually my job. In the last several weeks a bunch of people have asked me a particularly varied and interesting set of book questions-- library patrons as well as personal friends and relatives. Some wanted holiday presents, some were doing school assignments, and some were just looking for suggestions for no particular reason.
I've been meaning to write about each of them for a while now, so here they are before the New Year, and the books I recommended (more coming soon, too):
1. Present for an 11-year-old boy who loves the Guinness Book for World Records:
- Ripley's Believe it or Not Special Edition 2009 (here's a great review)
- Top 10 of Everything, by Russell Ash
- Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty, by Joy Masoff
- How to Hold a Crocodile, by the Diagram Group. Want to learn how to vanquish a vampire? Teach a bear to dance? Calculate a birthday? This is the book for you!
2. Books for a 10-year-old girl who loves American Girl books and wants strong girl characters:
- The Doll People, by Ann Martin (Sequels: The Meanest Doll in the World, and another one coming out soon, The Runaway Dolls).
- Might be a little young for her, but I totally adored The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat, by Grace Lin.
- Millicent Min: Girl Genius, by Lisa Yee. (there are two companion books, too: Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, and So Totally Emily Ebers).
…and Jen Robinson's Book Page has a whole post full of books featuring, and for, Cool Girls.
3. Books for a 10-year-old boy, strong reader, and his mom to read together. Adventure's good, fantasy not so much, and he's already read Holes and Hatchet:
- Bud, not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis (tried and true: funny, engaging, serious underneath)
- The Wreckers, by Iain Lawrence (chilling! suspenseful! Edge of your seat the whole time!)
- Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett (a bit of mystery and whimsy, plus art)
- Hoot, by Carl Hiassen (Also sort of a mystery.)
Any more suggestions for these young readers and/or their parents?