Christmas


My children, even the teenagers, re-read these books every year.  We put them away at the beginning of Epiphany and only pull them out at the beginning of Advent, and the family is always overjoyed to see them again.  On St. Nicholas' Day every year, I give them a new Christmas book. For those of you in the United States, you should be able to find these at your local libraries.  For those overseas, it may be hard to access as easily.  I would be glad to give you my top recommendations based on your ages of children if you can only purchase a couple. 

HAPPY READING!


A

  • Alcott, Louisa May

    • Little Women
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3

    • Little Men
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3

    • Jo’s Boys
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3

    • Eight Cousins
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3

    • Rose in Bloom
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3

    • Jack and Jill
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3
  • Alexander, Lloyd

    • The Pyrdain Chronicles Box Set
      Several books
      Gender: B
      Level: 3, 4
  • Alsburg, Chris Van

    • The Wretched Stone
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

B

  • Banks, Lynne Reid

    • The Indian in the Cupboard
      And sequels; one of them has some weird spiritual aspects—may want to skip that one
      Gender: B
      Level: 2, 3
  • Barker, Cicely Mary

    • The Lord of the Rushie River
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Barklem, Jill
    • The Brambly Hedge series

      • Poppy's Babies
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3

      • Summer Story
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3

      • Sea Story
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3

      • Autumn Story
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3

      • The Secret Staircase
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3

      • Winter Story
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3

      • The High Hills
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3

      • Spring Story
        The illustrations are exquisite
        Gender: G
        Level: 2, 3
  • Beatty, Patricia

    • Turn Homeward, Hannalee
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Bernadette

    • Varenka
      a Russian story of a delayed answer to prayer and the miracle that results
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4
  • Birdsall, Jeanne

    • The Penderwicks
      And sequels
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Blyton, Enid
     A British author born at the turn of the century who wrote around 800 books. She has a cult following; worth exploring.

    • The Famous Five Series
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • The Children of Cherry Tree Farm
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • Tales of Betsy Mae
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Brink, Carol Ryrie

    • Caddie Woodlawn
      My favorite chapter book growing up!
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

    • Magical Melons
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Brooks, Walter
    • Freddy series

      • Freddy goes to Florida
        Approx. 20 in the series; written in the 1920’s—about a poet detective pig--humurous and clever) some of our favorites:
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3, 4

      • The Clockwork Twin
        Approx. 20 in the series; written in the 1920’s—about a poet detective pig--humurous and clever) some of our favorites:
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3, 4

      • Freddy Goes to the North Pole
        Approx. 20 in the series; written in the 1920’s—about a poet detective pig--humurous and clever) some of our favorites:
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3, 4

      • Freddy, the Detective
        Approx. 20 in the series; written in the 1920’s—about a poet detective pig--humurous and clever) some of our favorites:
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3, 4

      • Freddy and Mr. Camphor
        Approx. 20 in the series; written in the 1920’s—about a poet detective pig--humurous and clever) some of our favorites:
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3, 4
  • Browne, Frances

    • Granny’s Wonderful Chair
      Fanciful stories
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Bunting, Eve
    • A Hanukkah story—very moving

      • One Candle
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3
  • Burnett, Frances Hodgson

    • The Little Princess
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

    • The Secret Garden
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

C

  • Cassanova, Maria

    • Moose Tracks
      and sequel
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Caudill, Rebecca

    • A Certain Small Shepherd
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Celenza, Anna Harwell

    • Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue
      C.D. incl.
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Cleary, Beverly

    • Henry Huggins
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • Henry and Ribsy
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Collington, Peter

    • A Small Miracle
      Wordless Christmas story—a family favorite
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Cooney, Barbara

    • Miss Rumphius
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • Eleanor
      About Eleanor Roosevelt’s life
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Cullen, Lynn

    • The Mightiest Heart
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

D

  • Dalgliesh, Alice

    • The Silver Pencil
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • deAngeli, Marguerite
     Many others of her books not listed are good as well

    • Door in the Wall
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

    • Thee, Hannah!
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Deedy, Carmen Agra

    • The Yellow Star
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Dicamillo, Kate

    • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

E

  • Eager, Edward
    • Tales of Magic

      • Knight’s Castle
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • The Well-Wishers
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • Half Magic
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3
  • Early, Margaret

    • Robin Hood
      Medieval looking illustrations—one plate per story
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Enright, Elizabeth

    • Gone Away Lake
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • Return to Gone Away Lake
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
    • The Melendy Quartet

      • The Saturdays
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3, 4

      • The Four-Story Mistake
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3, 4

      • Then There Were Five
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3, 4

      • Spiderweb for Two
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3, 4
  • Estes, Eleanor

    • The Hundred Dresses
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • The Moffats
      And all the sequels
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

F

  • Field, Rachel

    • Hitty
      I like the one rewritten by Rosemary Wells and illus. by Susan Jeffers—a cross betw. a picture book and a chapter book—lovely, full page illustrations
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3
  • French, Allen
     Excellent boy stories!

    • The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow
      Gender: B
      Level: 3, 4

    • The Red Keep
      Gender: B
      Level: 3, 4

G

  • George, Jean Craighead

    • My Side of the Mountain Trilogy
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
    • Julie of the Wolves

      • Julie of the Wolves
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • Julie
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • Julie's Wolf Pack
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3
  • Godden, Rumer

    • The Doll’s House
      Gender: G
      Level: 3
  • Goudge, Elizabeth

    • The Little White Horse
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • Linnets and Valerians
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Graham, Kenneth
    • The Wind in the Willows (2 Editions)

      • The Wind in the Willows
        I do like the one abridged and illustrated by Inga Moore. She doesn’t change the language, but does edit out lengthy description that for some children is cumbersome—including mine.
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3

      • The Wind in the Willows (Inga Moore)
        I do like the one abridged and illustrated by Inga Moore. She doesn’t change the language, but does edit out lengthy description that for some children is cumbersome—including mine.
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3
  • Green, Roger Lancelyn
     One of the Inklings; wrote great versions of these and many other classics

    • The Adventures of Robin Hood
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Gruelle, Johnny

    • Wooden Willie
      A little known one, but a family favorite
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • The Paper Dragon
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Guarnieri, Paolo

    • A Boy Named Giotto
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

H

  • Harrison, Michael

    • Don Quixote
      A retelling of the Miguel de Cervantes tale
      Gender: B
      Level: 3
  • Henry, Marguerite

    • Treasury of Horses Box Set
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Herriot, James

    • A Treasury for Children
      Great retellings from his veterinarian books
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4
  • Hest, Amy

    • When Jessie Came Across the Sea
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Hodges, Margaret

    • Merlin and the Making of the King
      Great retellings of many stories
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • The Kitchen Knight
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

    • Saint George and the Dragon
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

J

  • Jacques, Brian

    • Redwall
      21 books, all in the series. Great boy books!
      Gender: B
      Level: 3, 4
  • Jefferies, Richard

    • Bevis, the Story of a Boy
      Written in 1906
      Gender: B
      Level: 3
  • Jewett, Eleanore M.

    • The Hidden Treasure of Glaston
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

K

  • Konigsberg, E.L.

    • The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

L

  • Larson, Kirby

    • Hattie Big Sky
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • LeFeuvre, Amy

    • Teddy’s Button
      Written in 17th century? republished by Lamplighter Publishing. Great boy story!
      Gender: B
      Level: 2, 3
  • Lewis, C.S.
     All of his books as soon as children can read them, esp. The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce (L4)

    • The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Lovelace, Maud Hart

    • The Betsy-Tacy Treasury: The First Four Betsy-Tacy Books
      Gender: G
      Level: 2, 3
  • Lunge-Larsen, Lise

    • The Race of the Birkebeiners
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

M

  • MacDonald, George

    • The Princess and the Goblin
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

    • The Princess and Curdie
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

    • The Light Princess
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4
  • MacLachlan, Patricia
     I find her books painfully beautiful

    • Sarah, Plain and Tall
      and all the sequels—painfully beautifully
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • Edward's Eyes
      beautiful, but very heavy subject matter—a child dies
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Mains, David and Karen
     Christian fantasy for older children

    • Tales of the Kingdom
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • Tales of the Resistance
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Martin, Ann M. and Laura Godwin

    • The Doll People
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • McCloskey, Robert

    • Homer Price
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • McSwigan, Marie

    • Snow Treasure
      WWII
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Milne, A.A.

    • Pooh's Library: Winnie-The-Pooh
      Certainly this is one of the best children’s books of all time. Make sure to read the real version, not just all the picture book selections. The whole family can enjoy the different levels of humor.
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Montgomery, Lucy M.

    • Anne of Green Gables series
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • Emily of New Moon
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

N

  • Nesbit, E.

    • The Enchanted Castle
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • The Railway Children
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • Five Children and It
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • The Phoenix and the Carpet
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Norton, Mary

    • The Borrowers Series
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

O

  • O’Brien, Robert C.

    • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

P

  • Park, Linda Sue

    • A Single Shard
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Pearce, Phillipa

    • Tom’s Midnight Garden
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

    • Minnow on the Say
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Peck, Richard

    • Way Down Yonder
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • A Long Way From Chicago
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Philbrick, Margaret

    • Back to the Manger
      Lovely Christmas story with great local (Chicago) references & illus.
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Polacco, Patricia
     Great current children’s author who illustrates her own books; appeals to a broad range of children; celebrates family, miracle, and heritage. I do not like all of her books because they express attitudes or moral choices with which I disagree, but the ones listed below are excellent.

    • The Butterfly
      Heavy subject matter—Jews plight during the Holocaust
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3

    • Pink and Say
      For older children—a Civil War story
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

R

  • Ransome, Arthur

    • Swallow and Amazons
      And all in series, 12 books total
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Reilly-Giff, Patricia
    • Nory Ryan's Song Series

      • Nory Ryan's Song
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3, 4

      • Maggie's Door
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3, 4

      • Water Street
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3, 4

    • Eleven
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4

    • "R" My Name is Rachel
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Rylant, Cynthia
    • Cobblestreet Cousins

      • In Aunt Lucy's Kitchen
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3

      • Some Good News
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3

      • A Little Shopping
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3

      • Special Gifts
        Gender: Both
        Level: 2, 3

    • The Relatives Came
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

S

  • Seldon, George

    • A Cricket in Times Square
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Seredy, Kate

    • A Tree for Peter
      An amazing redemptive story; a generational favorite in our family
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Shemin, Margaretha

    • The Little Riders
      A WWII story about a girl who is very courageous
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Sidney, Margaret

    • The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (5 Book Set)
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • St. John, Patricia

    • Patricia St John Series
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Sutcliff, Rosemary
     Retells a lot of ancient classics very well

    • Black Ships Before Troy
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

    • Eagles of the Ninth
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

    • The Wanderings of Odysseus
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

T

  • Taylor, Sidney
    • All of a Kind Family Series

      • All-of-a-Kind Family
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • More All-Of-A-Kind Family
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • All-Of-A-Kind Family Downtown
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3

      • Ella Of All-Of-A-Kind Family
        Gender: Both
        Level: 3
  • Tolkien, J.R.R.

    • The Hobbit
      PLEASE do not let your children watch these movies until they have read the books!
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3, 4
  • Tudor, Tasha
     Mostly known for her lovely illustrations

    • Pumpkin Moonshine
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4

    • A Time to Keep
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4

    • A Doll's Christmas
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4

    • Wings from the Wind
      An anthology of poems
      Gender: Both
      Level: 1, 2, 3, 4

V

  • von Stockhum, Hilda

    • A Day on Skates
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3

W

  • Wangerin, Walter, Jr.

    • Peter’s First Easter
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

    • Mary’s First Christmas
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4
  • Wells, Rosemary

    • Lassie Come Home
      A retelling—beautifully illustrated
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • White, E.B.

    • Charlotte’s Web
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4

    • The Trumpet of the Swan
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3, 4
  • Wilder, Laura Ingalls

    • The Little House Box Set
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Winthrop, Elizabeth

    • The Castle in the Attic
      Gender: Both
      Level: 3
  • Wise, William

    • The Black Falcon
      From the Decameron, retold by Wise
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3
  • Wood, Audrey and Don

    • A Cowboy Christmas: The Miracle at Lone Pine Ridge
      Gender: Both
      Level: 2, 3