By Ruth Atkinson
It’s nearly Christmas! Whether that fills you with anticipation or dread, you’ll doubtless be finding that with only a month to go Christmas seems to be everywhere. Is your library or classroom set up for the festive season, though? If you haven’t yet pulled out the trees and tinsel, these collections will help you to transform your reading areas into cornucopias of Christmas cheer.
Christmas books for older readers
There are a great many seasonal books for younger readers, but it can be difficult to find good quality books for older students. These books will enthral those who don’t normally reach for topical books.
A Christmas Carol (Unabridged) by Charles Dickens. In this classic story, Ebenezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas after being visited by three ghosts.
A Christmas Carol (Unabridged) | Wordsworth Editions LTD | 978-1-85326-121-3 | MY | BL 6.7 | Quiz #209495
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances contains three interconnected holiday stories of love, romance, and kisses in a small town. The authors are John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson.
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances | Puffin | 978-0-14-134917-6 | UY | BL 4.7 | Quiz #225270
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham is a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy of our holiday traditions. A weary couple is about to discover skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences and isn’t half as easy as they had imagined.
Skipping Christmas | Century | 978-0-7126-2004-8 | UY | BL 5.6 | Quiz #215986
The Christmas Rat by Avi. Alone in his apartment during the Christmas holiday, eleven-year-old Eric finds himself caught in a battle between a strange exterminator and the rat he wants to kill.
The Christmas Rat | Simon & Schuster Ltd | 978-0-689-83638-1 | MY | BL 3.7 | Quiz #208544
Nickolai of the North and Nickolai’s Quest are by Lucy Raby. The first story is about the orphaned Elf-boy Nickolai, who must destroy the evil Queen Magda to save the children of the world before fulfilling his destiny of becoming Santa Claus. In the second book, Nickolai has a mission: to deliver presents to all of the world’s children in one night. But someone is trying to stop him, with the help of a terrifying clawed creature.
Nickolai of the North | Hodder Children’s Books | 978-0-340-90300-1 | MY | BL 5.8 | Quiz #207932
Nickolai’s Quest | Hodder Children’s Books | 978-0-340-90303-2 | MY | BL 5.6 | Quiz #213680
Christmas-themed books in series
Christmas is a great time for reading. The nights have drawn in, it’s nippy outside, and (most importantly) there’s no school for a fortnight. Children like to read seasonal books, many of which act as gateways into a wider range of literature. These books are part of popular series; their Christmas theme could be just what your students need to get hooked on the whole series.
Christmas Chaos for the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog is by Jeremy Strong. Christmas is coming – and Streaker’s pups have gone missing! But who took them, and where are they? Trevor and Tina get right on the case with the ‘help’ of their two trusty dogs. Chaos is only too likely to ensue.
Christmas Chaos for the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog | Puffin | 978-0-14-132724-2 | MY | BL 4.2 | Quiz #217917
Christmas Crisis! by Steve Cole is the fourth book in the Astrosaurs Academy series. The cadets are set a Christmas challenge — to make the brightest, biggest festive decorations ever. But when Damona takes a giant tree from the Land of Secrets, she could doom Christmas across the galaxy.
Christmas Crisis! | Red Fox | 978-1-86230-886-2 | MY | BL 4.6 | Quiz #216668
The Goffins: Bubbies and Baubles is the sixth Goffins book by Jeanne Willis. The Goffins are moving, and George worries he may never see them again.
The Goffins: Bubbies and Baubles | Walker Books | 978-1-4063-2882-0 | MY | BL 5.1 | Quiz #223622
The Greek Who Stole Christmas is by Anthony Horowitz. The fifth Diamond Brothers mystery is set at Christmastime, and once again Tim and Nick are flat broke. Luckily for them, a famous Greek pop singer and film star, Minerva, has been getting death threats, and they are the detectives hired to solve the mystery.
The Greek Who Stole Christmas | Walker Books | 978-1-4063-0485-5 | MY | BL 4.2 | Quiz #215495
Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker is a festive treat in Francesca Simon’s highly popular series. In this edition, Horrid Henry acts up during the Christmas play, hates nearly all of his Christmas presents and ends up having pizza for Christmas dinner.
Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker | Orion | 978-1-84255-546-0 | LY | BL 3.8 | Quiz #211130
Festive picture books
There are lots of lovely picture books that help to bring the magic of midwinter alive for younger children – and more than a few adults. These are a few of the firm favourites among our quizzing team.
Laura’s Christmas Star is by Klaus Baumgart. It’s Christmas Eve, and Laura and her little brother, Tommy, are going to spend Christmas with Aunt Martha who has promised them a Christmas tree that glitters like a zillion stars. But things go wrong when the car breaks down.
Laura’s Christmas Star | Little Tiger Press | 978-1-85430-683-8 | LY | BL 3.1 | Quiz #206161
The Polar Express, by Chris van Allsburg, is an incredible children’s story about a young boy’s Christmas adventure. It is beautifully illustrated throughout.
The Polar Express | Andersen Press | 978-1-84270-949-8 | LY | BL 3.8 | Quiz #219964
Christmas at the Toy Museum is David Lucas’s tale set in a toy museum on Christmas Eve. All the toys hurry to the tree, but there aren’t any presents. What can they give each other?
Christmas at the Toy Museum | Walker Books | 978-1-4063-2459-4 | LY | BL 2.3 | Quiz #220975
Adam Hargreaves has continued his father Roger’s series of Mr Men books, with several popular titles focused on the Christmas season. In 12 Days of Christmas (Quiz #217350), Mr Muddle delivers presents to his Mr Men friends on the 25th of every month of the year. A Christmas Carol (Quiz #217351) is a Mr Men version of A Christmas Carol featuring Mr Mean in the role of Scrooge. The Night Before Christmas (Quiz #217352) is set on the night before Christmas while all the Mr Men are preparing for Father Christmas’s arrival. But Little Miss Late hasn’t even posted her letter to Father Christmas yet. Will she get a present? In A Christmas Pantomime (Quiz #220623), Little Miss Trouble is cross when she isn’t given a part in the panto, so she plays some tricks on the cast. Mr Christmas (Quiz #217193) sees Mr Christmas come to the aid of his uncle Father Christmas to help with the Christmas presents.
Christmas, of course, is celebrated for a reason. These non-fiction books focus on the reasons why and ways in which Christians celebrate the festival of Christmas. Informative books such as these are a great way to encourage reading across the curriculum as well as reading non-fiction for pleasure.
The Christmas Story by Anita Ganeri introduces the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.
The Christmas Story | Evans | 978-0-237-52468-5 | LY | BL 4.4 | Quiz #208836
Christmas by Saviour Pirotta discusses the historical and contemporary celebrations of Christmas.
Christmas | Wayland | 978-0-7502-5968-2 | LY | BL 3.9 | Quiz #222434
Christmas by Catherine Chambers examines the traditions and celebrations associated with the festival of Christmas.
Christmas | Evans | 978-0-237-52864-5 | MY | BL 5.0 | Quiz #208848
The Night Before Christmas
One of the most enduring Christmas tales is The Night Before Christmas. This well-known poem about an important Christmas visitor. This video, in which our star Senior Editor Laura Claridge reads the poem from a charming pop-up edition, would make a perfect bedtime story for children of all ages.
The Night Before Christmas | Walker Books | 978-1-4063-3864-5 | LY | BL 4.3 | Quiz #223469
|Posted on||26 November 2013 at 3:10 pm|