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California Life & Style Holidays

Holiday books: 24 wonderful new books for kids

Thrilling YA adventures, Harry Potter gets a makeover, and adorable picture books.

Skip to: YA | Middle grade | Picture books | Complete list


YA

Six of Crows

Leigh Bardugo

Henry Holt, $18.99

This bestselling book by Leigh Bardugo kicks off a new series in her fantastical world with a band of misfits undertaking a risky heist. (14 and up)

The Conjurer's Riddle

Andrea Cremer

Philomel, $18.99

A young woman leads a band of steampunk rebels in this alternate history, in which the British prevailed during the American Revolution; the sequel to “The Inventor’s Secret.” (12 and up)

Untwine

Edwidge Danticat

Scholastic, $16.99

The first YA novel from MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Danticat is about Haitian American sisters — identical twins — told from the point of view of one who’s hospitalized. (age 13-18)

The Rose Society

Marie Lu

Putnam, $18.99

The second novel in the “Young Elites” series by bestselling author Lu finds antihero Adelina, driven by dark emotions, forming an uneasy alliance to do battle. (13 and up)

Winter

Marissa Meyer

Feiwel & Friends, $22.99

The final installment in the “Lunar Chronicle” series remaking classic fairy tales pits a princess against her stepmother, the queen. (age 12-18)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Patrick Ness

HarperTeen, $17.99

Gently ribbing the tropes of bestselling YA — chosen ones, vampire crushes — this tells the story of a normal high school senior trying to make his way in the real world. (13 and up)

Library of Souls

The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs

Quirk Books, $18.99

The magical, odd children of the bestselling series, illustrated by eerie and surreal photographs, try to stop a madman and save their headmistress. (13 and up)

Black Widow

Forever Red

Margaret Stohl

Marvel Press, $17.99

A YA novel of Marvel’s Black Widow explains her backstory for Avengers fans old and new. (age 12-18)

Honor Girl

A Graphic Memoir

Maggie Thrash

Candlewick, $19.99

At 15, Thrash went to Christian summer camp and, contrary to its gentile Southern traditions, she fell in love with a counselor — a young woman. (14 and up)

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Middle grade

Crenshaw

Katherine Applegate

Feiwel & Friends, $16.99

Newbery Medal winner Applegate tells the story of a young boy who, when his family is threatened with homelessness, finds solace in his imaginary friend, a cat. (age 8-12)

It's Your World

Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!

Chelsea Clinton

Philomel, $18.99

The former first daughter urges kids to make a difference in their communities by working on issues such as education, poverty and climate change. (10 and up)

The After-Room

Maile Meloy, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr

Putnam, $17.99

The final book in a bestselling trilogy finds magical children Janie and Benjamin in the 1950s, fighting against nuclear weapons and trying to help friends in trouble. (10 and up)

House of Robots

Robots Go Wild!

James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Little, Brown, $13.99

The second in Patterson’s humorous kids series sees young Sammy’s invention, a robot named E, fill in for his sister at school — until it breaks down. (age 8-12)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The Illustrated Edition

J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

Scholastic, $39.95

A new lushly illustrated edition of the Harry Potter novel that started it all. (8 and up)

The Marvels

Brian Selznick

Scholastic, $32.99

Perfect for middle-school bookworms, this heavily illustrated 672-page novel by the creator of “Hugo” tells the story of an acting family in 18th- and 19th-century London. (10 and up)

Secret Coders

Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

First Second, $17.99

Yang, winner of the LA Times Book Prize and a former computer science teacher, pens this graphic novel about a coding school for kids that contains more than a few mysteries. (age 8-12)

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Picture books

Big Bear Little Chair

Lizi Boyd

Chronicle, $16.99

A stylish, playful book from bestseller Boyd that contrasts big and little for tiny tots. (age 3-5)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Board Book and Holiday Ornament

Eric Carle

Philomel, $19.99

This board book of the beloved colorful caterpillar comes with a cute wormy apple decoration for the Christmas tree. (age 1-3)

Mixed Me!

Taye Diggs, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Feiwel & Friends, $17.99

The “Private Practice” star’s career as as an author is off and running with his second children’s book, about an irrepressible mixed-race boy named Mike. (age 4-8)

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep

Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, illustrated by Irina Maununen

Crown, $15.99

Parents have made this book — newly translated from Swedish into English — into a worldwide bestseller over its reputation for putting kids to sleep. (age 3-7)

Pippi

The Strongest in the World!

Astrid Lindgren

Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95

For her 70th anniversary, everyone’s favorite pigtailed redhead returns in the complete paperback edition of these vintage comics. (age 4-8)

Mango, Abuela, and Me

Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez

Candlewick, $15.99

In a book that blends the two languages, Mia helps teach her grandmother English, and her abuela helps teach her Spanish, with a little help from a colorful parrot. (age 5-8)

The Little Tree

Muon Van, illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi

Creston, $16.95

A story about a tree and the seed she sends away, which works as a gentle allegory for migration and family. (age 3 and up)

The Story of Diva and Flea

Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi

Disney Publishing, $14.99

A French dog and street cat become friends in Paris. (age 6-8)

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More holiday book lists

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Fun Stuff

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