The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington
This is the time of year when we express gratitude for all of the things that we have received throughout the year. We give thanks for a bountiful harvest, loving friends and family, and anything else that may have blessed our way. The Red Ribbon is a story that will make the spirit of gratitude impress itself on your heart in a deeper, more meaningful way. Two girls struggle together to survive through the depravity of Auschwitz-Birkenbaum. The story is fictional, but the suffering is and was very real. At this time of year when we vocalize our thanks, take a moment to remember those who do not have, or who have not had, the blessings that we enjoy.
The Book Tree Author, Paul Czajak; Illustrator, Rashin Kheiriyeh
When you crack this children's book open, a lovely barrage of texture, warmth and motion envelop you. The illustrations are zesty—clamoring for your eye! Charmingly round characters with tiny paper hats bounce across scenes made of paper collage, perfectly setting the tone for a fanciful tale. The Book Tree is everything a picture book should be—smiles included!
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Lazlo Strange, war orphan and librarian, has been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep since he was five years old. When an opportunity arises for Lazlo to accompany a mysterious man called the Godslayer to visit Weep, his dream begins to come true. However, Weep is shadowed by mystery and a looming threat. Not everyone is who they seem to be in the lost city, and Lazlo's dreams begin to include visions of a blue-skinned girl who reveals an even more troubling danger to Weep than anyone could have imagined. Lazlo never thought of himself as a hero, but he just might have to step up and become one in order to save his beloved city of Weep. This dreamy fantasy features beautiful language, an even more beautiful world, and characters readers can't help but fall in love with. Fans of fairy tales, dreams, and adventure will devour this book as quickly as they can.
Age recommendation: 13+
In this season when we refocus and reflect on what we are grateful for, I ponder so many things that fill my life for which I would express deep gratitude. I am grateful for the amazing authors who provide so many wonderful stories for everyone to enjoy. So to celebrate my gratitude for these amazing storytellers, let me share with you some biographies of a few of my favorite authors.
E. B. White
Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet mixes personal letters and photos with Sweet’s artwork, giving a very personal tribute to this amazing author.
A Boy, A Mouse, and A Spider: The Story of E.B. White by Barbara Herkert, illustrated by Lauren Castillo, is a picture book biography that celebrates inspiration and shows how White was inspired to create one of his most beloved books: Charlotte’s Web.
John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, uses stunning pictures and words to give readers insight into the famous author’s life.
Beloved author, and one of my personal childhood favorites, L.M. Montgomery is honored with a candid look at her life in House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Julie Morstad.
Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Julia Sarda, is a longer picture book biography that was honored as one of Publishers Weekly’s best books of 2018.
Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge uses free verse poetry and illustrations to explore the pain and passions of Mary Shelley’s life.
Last but certainly not least for all of the Austen fans out there, take a look at Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel by Lisa Pliscou and illustrated by Jen Corace.
So in this season of thanksgiving, why not give thanks to all the amazing authors out there by reading a biography or two?