Giving Tuesday Spotlight

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Giving Tuesday Spotlight


Gifting Books With Meaning

Books given with purpose can become treasured memories. When I was in fourth grade my grandfather gave me A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. It wasn't my birthday or Christmas, just an ordinary day. At the time, I recall being happy because I was always in need of a new book. I didn't know then how much of an impact this story - picked just for me, just because -would make. There isn't a time when I see that book that I don't think of that otherwise regular day and of my grandpa.

There is a common thread with the subjects and main characters - persistence. Long before resilient, persistence and grit became buzzwords in the education community, characters  with those qualities have drawn in readers.

Gifts this year include The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright, Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp, Egg by Kevin Henkes, andLittle Penguins by Cynthia Rylant. A title given many times over the years is Herve Tullet's Press Here. While it doesn't have a character, much less a persistent one, this is a beloved favorite of ours.

Longer gift titles are The War I Finally Won, Some Kind of Courage, and Refugee. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley follows up last year's favorite The War that Saved My Life. Joseph Johnson's determination in Dan Gemeinhart's second novel keeps you awed and riveted. Alan Gratz's triptych, engaging to readers of all ages, chronicles fictional children facing harrowing odds during historic episodes of persecution. Past favorites: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements, and from the "If you haven't already read this, you really should!" category of books made into movies, Wonder by RJ Palacio.

The picture book biographies I'm giving this year are Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, and The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin. Other favorites include The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny) by Kathleen Krull and Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet.

I can't wait to give these books this year, and hope they conjure up treasured memories years from now.

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Blog Contributor

Laura Berry is an elementary teacher-librarian in the Seattle area. She is a member of the Washington Library Association and a National Board Certified Teacher.