As promised, the first of three blogs this week on book recommendations. Even though my children are now teenagers, they still get a book or two in their stocking – I live in hope! In my experience younger kids are easy – you can just buy them a story or picture in some subject they’re vaguely interested in and they will love it. Older children are not so easy, especially if you don’t know them that well. Having said that, I don’t always get it right for the kids that live with me either! Oh well, it’s ALWAYS worth giving a book, in my view, and you never know, you might even spark a new interest – kids are notorious for sticking with what they know.
So, if you are looking for some ideas for the young people in your life, here are some fab non-fiction titles that I have spotted.
There Are Fish Everywhere – Britte Teckentrup and Katie Haworth
Stunning illustrations, informative, weird and wonderful facts about sea creatures. Beautiful.
Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present – Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins
Short biographies of towering figures in Black history, some you will have heard of and some less well-known, but equally important. Boldly illustrated.
The Human Body: A Pop up guide to anatomy – Richard Walker and Rachel Caldwell
Anatomical books make very popular gifts and the pop-ups in this one are wonderful. Has the added twist of presenting it from the perspective of a 19th century medical student, so something for those with an interest in history too.
Late primary/early secondary
Code Like a Girl: Rad Tech Projects and Practical Tips – Miriam Peskowitz
I’m all for a book that busts a gender stereotype – boys can like fashion, girls can like coding.
Unlock Your Imagination: 250 boredom busters – published by Dorling Kindersley
When you try to peel your children off their devices, how often do you hear them cry “But, I’m bored!”? There is an argument that our kids should be more bored, as this can stimulate creativity. This book may help and many of the activities are short and straightforward, so could be done whilst travelling. Suitable for younger kids too, so good if you have children of different ages to please.
An Anthology of Intriguing Animals – Ben Hoare
This is a beautiful book, taking a close-up look at 100 animals and their special talents and characteristics. Lovely short chapters with some off the wall facts, and a mix of stunning photographs and illustrations.
Many teenagers are happy with adult books, but we all know that they can also have some very unique and specific needs and interests. Thankfully, the book market in recent years has evolved to cater to this very special group, when interest in books can really fall off a cliff.
Zen Teen: 40 ways to stay calm when life gets stressful – Tanya Carroll Richardson
This book will be published on 6 December and I’ve already got one on pre-order! Many teens are interested in mindfulness now as a way of managing the pressures in their life, and this can only be a good thing. This title looks as if it will be a worth addition to any teenager’s library.
Cooking Up a Storm: The teen survival cookbook – Sam Stern & Susan Stern
Teenagers love independence and at some point that is going to mean cooking for themselves, so you may as well get them started sooner rather than later. This book dates back to 2014, but is a good one, with real food, and not just the sugary bakes that are often marketed at this age group, and particularly females. Boys need to know how to cook too!
Would You Rather Randoms: A collection of hilarious hypothetical questions – Clint Hammerstrike
My kids’ favourite dinner table conversation seems to revolve around such questions as would you rather eat the same thing for the rest of your life or never eat the same thing twice???? Hmm. They love it though. This little book could spark some similarly edifying conversation in your household.
I hope there is something here that is useful to you. I’d love to hear your suggestions too.
Look out for my fiction recommendations later in the week.
If you have enjoyed this post, I would love for you to follow my blog. Let’s also connect on social media.