Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Young Adult and Middle Grade Books

The New York Times has released several 2011 holiday gift guides. Among them is Notable Children’s Books of 2011, which is broken down into Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Between Shades of Gray. By Ruta Sepetys.
This haunting novel exposes the horrors of Stalin from the perspective of a 15-year-old Lithuanian girl, evacuated to a camp in Siberia. A “superlative first novel,” Linda Sue Park wrote in the Book Review.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone. By Laini Taylor.
“A breath-catching romantic fantasy about destiny, hope and the search for one’s true self,” according to our reviewer, Chelsey Philpot, this high-speed adventure involves love between angel and demon.

Level Up. By Gene Luen Yang. Illustrated by Thien Pham.
Smart, hilarious and affecting, this graphic novel tells the story of an aspiring gastroenterologist and video game enthusiast struggling between realizing his father’s dreams and understanding his own ambitions.

Okay For Now. By Gary D. Schmidt.
The lead from “The Wednesday Wars” returns in this tragicomic story about a struggling middle grader. Our reviewer, Richard Peck, read this book “about the healing power of art and about a boy’s intellectual awakening” through “misting eyes.”

Seriously, Norman! Written and illustrated by Chris Raschka.
This humorous first novel by picture book author Raschka describes life from the perspective of a less than stellar student. “Reading it is a visual, loopy, absurdist experience,” Meg Wolitzer, our reviewer, said.

Wonderstruck. Written and illustrated by Brian Selznick.
Telling the story of a boy who searches for his father in New York and the tale of a deaf girl in 1920s Hoboken, Selznick weaves the two into a seamless story that “teaches a respect for the past and for the power of memory to make minds,” Adam Gopnik wrote in these pages.

For the complete list of notable books, click here.

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