Holiday Book Guide 2014: Children & Y.A.


These tales include futuristic visions, historical adventures, poetry and the latest 'Wimpy Kid' installment.

These tales include futuristic visions, historical adventures, poetry and the latest 'Wimpy Kid' installment. See all our holiday books recommendations.

Young Adult

Bass Reeves

Tales of the Talented Tenth

Joel Christian Gill

Fulcrum, $25.95, ages 12+

This graphic novel tells the real story of the legendary Reeves, a former slave who became one of the first African American U.S. Deputy Marshals in the American West.

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

A.S. King

Little, Brown, $18, ages 15+

A young woman just out of high school gains the power to see into the future, when the U.S. has turned into a misogynistic dictatorship.

The Young Elites

Marie Lu

Putnam, $18.99, 13+

A teenage girl discovers she has supernatural powers after surviving a "blood fever" epidemic, attracting the interest of the despotic government and a band of rebels.

Egg & Spoon

Gregory Maguire

Candlewick, $17.99, 12+

The "Wicked" author returns with a mythology-steeped tale of two Russian girls, one poor, one aristocratic, who switch places.


William Ritter

Algonquin, $16.95, 12+

The perceptive Abigail Rook teams with the quirky paranormal investigator R.F. Jackaby to try to find a serial killer in 19th-century New England.

100 Sideways Miles

Andrew Smith

Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 14+

In this coming-of-age novel, California teenager Finn Easton turns to his friends to try to find meaning in life after the death of his mother in a freak accident.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

Isabel Quintero

Cinco Puntos, $17.95, 14+

Mexican American high school senior Gabi struggles with her weight, her drug-addicted father and her burgeoning sexuality in this debut from a Southern California writer.

Middle Grade

The Iron Trial

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Scholastic, $17.99, ages 8-12

Young Callum Hunt is chosen to attend the Magisterium, a school for magicians, despite trying to fail the entrance exam, in the first of a planned five-book series.


Jenny Broom, illustrations by Katie Scott

Big Picture/Candlewick, $35, ages 7-12

Part book, part virtual museum, this volume leads young readers through a tour of the animal kingdom, with more than 200 color illustrations.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The Long Haul

Jeff Kinney

Amulet/Abrams, $13.95, ages 8-12

The ninth installment in the immensely popular series follows Greg Heffley and family on a bizarrely eventful road trip.

House of Robots

James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Little, Brown, $13.99, ages 8-12

In this new series, Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez's brilliant mother insists he take his dorky "brother" E to school. One problem: E is a troublesome, talking robot.


Raina Telgemeier

Graphix/Scholastic, $10.99, ages 8-12

Siblings Raina and Amara don't have much in common but come to terms with each other after their baby brother is born in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed graphic novel "Smile."

Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson

Nancy Paulsen/Penguin, $16.99, ages 9-12

In this National Book Award-winning title, Woodson writes about growing up in South Carolina and Brooklyn during the last days of Jim Crow in this memoir told through poetry.

Picture Books

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

Mac Barnett, illustrations by Jon Klassen

Candlewick, $16.99, ages 4-8

Two boys and a dog search for buried treasure but keep missing chances to find it. Observant readers will be in for a surprise at the end.

Once Upon an Alphabet

Short Stories for All the Letters

Oliver Jeffers

Philomel/Penguin, $26.99, ages 3-5

The award-winning children's author and illustrator creates offbeat, funny stories for each letter, from A ("An Astronaut") to Z ("Zeppelin").

Flora and the Penguin

Molly Idle

Chronicle, $16.99, ages 3-5

Little Flora, last seen dancing with a flamingo, returns with a new buddy — a fish-loving penguin — in this wordless illustrated book.

Viva Frida

Yuyi Morales, photography by Tim O'Meara

Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99, ages 4-8

Frida Kahlo and her pet monkey discover a marionette in this bilingual book featuring a doll constructed by Morales and photographed by O'Meara.

The Mouse Mansion

Karina Schaapman

Dial, $18.99, ages 5-8

Julia and Sam are mice who explore a huge house together in this tale illustrated by photographs of an actual cardboard/papier-mâché dollhouse constructed by Schaapman.

Little Humans

Brandon Stanton

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99, ages 2-6

Inspired by his widely read "Humans of New York" photo blog, Stanton's latest book is a rhyming ode to urban kids (with plenty of photographs, of course).

See all our holiday books recommendations.