Well, it’s finally December! For months now, you’ve been working hard to keep your students active, engaged, excited. You’ve put books in their hands, urged them to read about science, history, math. You’ve gotten them to enjoy silly stories and classic novels. And now, vacation hits. For a week, or a few days, what your students are doing is out of your hands (gasp!).
Fear not! Your friends at Scholastic Book Clubs are here to recommend some of our best-loved books (new and old) to keep your students reading during the holiday season:
Picture Book: Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
Whether or not your students have had the pleasure of meeting this lovable llama, we think kids will be thrilled to find someone just like them hiding behind these big, brown llama eyes! A perfect portrayal of the excitement before the big day, with fabulous illustrations and easy rhymes.
Other all-time favorites: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats; Merry Christmas, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt; It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon.
Early Chapter Book: The Santa Secret by Carol Wallace
This simple story with four chapters and adorable illustrations is perfect for younger students eager to brush up on their reading during the holiday season. Kari refuses to tell anyone (including Santa!) what she wants for Christmas, because she’s sure that Santa already knows. Will she get what she’s wishing for?
And for the scientifically, historically, and three-dimensionally inclined, check out: 3-D Thrillers!: The Ice Age and Incredible Pre-Historic Animals.
Middle Grades: The Christmas Genie by Dan Gutman
Dan Gutman is a hilarious, perennial favorite, and who wouldn’t love a genie named Bob? The plot revolves around an entire fifth grade that must agree on what single wish the genie will grant. This clever tale weaves in lessons about history, science, and ethics, and most importantly, it’s a lot of fun.
For quicker reads, we also love Who Is Stealing the 12 Days of Christmas? and The Year My Parents Ruined My Life, both best-selling mysteries by Martha Freeman, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.
Middle School/Young Adult: The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry
Winter break is a perfect time to introduce your students to classic holiday reads, and we think the all-around strangeness of O. Henry’s stories are a great place to start. The title story about a gift exchange gone awry is one your students will never forget.
Other classic winter and holiday favorites include A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Here’s wishing you a cozy, restful holiday season. And happy reading!