If you are reading this, then Winter Break is less than a week away! Kids everywhere are looking forward to a (hopefully) well-deserved break from their schoolwork.We know that Winter Break is important—kids and their grownups deserve two weeks to catch up on sleep, leisure, and time with their friends and family. However, two weeks away from school is plenty of time for academic skills to get a little rusty.
Reading for pleasure is a fun and effective solution to this problem. In the short-term, reading helps keep young minds sharp during breaks from school; in the long-term, reading for pleasure is linked to positive intellectual development, academic achievement, and higher levels of empathy.
So for those of you still shopping for Holidays, we’ve got you covered with a mix of classic and contemporary book recommendations for all ages.
Picture books (1+)
Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters — Michael Mahin. Illustrated by Even Turk (2017).
A tribute to legendary blues guitarist Muddy Waters, Muddy tells the story of an artist whose vision and virtuosity took him from the harsh fields of Mississippi to the juke joints of Chicago and finally a recording studio where he immortalized his contribution to the blues.
The Stinky Cheese Man — Jon Scieszka. Illustrated by Lane Smith (1992).
A childhood favourite for many of us in Laurus Crew, The Stinky Cheese Man is a satyrical reimagining of classic nursery rhymes.
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos — Monica Brown. Illustrated by John Parra (2017).
Renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was notorious for her love of animals. This book focuses on the artist’s relationship to her many beloved pets including a fawn, a cat, and two spider-monkeys.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway — Jeff Kinney (2017)
Your kids are probably already familiar with the wildly funny and popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid catalogue. In book twelve of the series, thirteen-year-old protagonist Greg Heffley faces his toughest challenge yet: a family vacation.
All’s Faire In Middle School — Victoria Jamieson (2017)
A heartwarming graphic novel starring Imogene, an eleven-year-old girl who’s parents work at a Renaissance fair. All’s Faire In Middle School depicts Imogen’s struggle to balance the social pressures of Middle School with her quest to become a squire.
Refugee — Alan Gratz (2017)
Refugee follows the plight of three kids separated by time and space: Josef is a Jewish boy faced with the threat of concentration camps in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl in 1994, is plagued by riots and unrest in her country; Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015 caught in the middle of a civil war. All three kids are linked together by a common mission: to escape.
Turtles All The Way Down — John Green (2017)
Aza Holmes is an 16-year-old girl determined to find a fugitive billionaire while simultaneously struggling to cope with multiple anxiety disorders. John Greene’s latest novel offers a fresh and compassionate illustration of mental health, friendship, and love.
Akata Warrior — Nnedi Okorafor (2017)
A gripping fantasy novel about Sunny Nwazue, an American-born Nigerian girl inducted into the magical and secret Leopard Society. As she develops her powers, Sunny is chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert a global apocalypse.
Animal Farm — George Orwell (1945)
George Orwell’s classic has encouraged young adults to ask big questions about the nature of power in politics for generations. In these times of political and social turmoil, Animal Farm remains essential to any teen’s literary upbringing.
Lincoln in the Bardo — George Saunders (2017)
Winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize, Saunders’s debut novel is a groundbreaking work of historical fiction. The narrative flows effortlessly between snippets of real historical documents and the supernatural realm of ghosts surrounding Lincoln’s late son’s crypt.
Eileen — Ottessa Moshfegh (2016)
Moshfegh’s chilling novel depicts the inner life of Eileen Dunlop, a young American woman in the 1960s trapped between her job as a secretary at boys’ prison and her role as caretaker for her alcoholic father.
Autobiography of Red and Red Doc> — Anne Carson (1998 and 2013, respectively)
Canadian poet and classicist Anne Carson radically re-imagines the myth of Geryon and the Tenth Labour of Herkles with her Red series. Moving and surreal, Carson’s genre-defining work incorporates poetry, prose and classical philosophy.
Got any reading recommendations for us? Be sure to hit us up!
Happy Holidays & Happy Reading,
Your Laurus Team
P.S. If you are looking for Holiday Activities - check out some ideas here!