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Books for Grandparents — November 2011

We've teamed up with the editors of Publishers Weekly to scour the latest titles — from books for babies to cutting-edge fiction for teens — to help you find that perfect book for your grandchild.

 

Complete
Book List

Bumble-ardy by Maurice Sendak

Bumble-Ardy

By Maurice Sendak
(HarperCollins/Michael di Capua Books, $17.95; all ages)

After too long a hiatus, Maurice Sendak returns with a tale that has the same impish and subtly subversive tone of his earlier classics, including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There. Based on a Sesame Street animated short from 1970, Bumble-Ardy is the story of an orphaned piglet who throws a wild birthday party for himself in the home of his Aunt Adeline.

Love, Mouserella

Love, Mouserella

By David Ezra Stein
(Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, $15.99; ages 3-5)

This book just might spark a good, old-fashioned written correspondence between grandparent and grandchild. In an epistolary story that unfolds on faux lined stationery, Mouserella pens a letter to her Grandmouse, recounting her daily adventures and filling the pages with doodles, photos and mementos.

The Man and the Moon

The Man in the Moon

By William Joyce
(Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $17.99; ages 4-8)

Joyce — of Rolie Polie Olie fame — embarks on an ambitious venture with this first book in the Guardians of Childhood series of books and films, which reimagine such iconic childhood figures as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. In this richly illustrated offering, the Man in the Moon gathers the guardians to protect children from Pitch, “the King of Nightmares.”

Grandpa Green

Grandpa Green

By Lane Smith
(Roaring Brook, $16.99; ages 5-9)

In this poignant story, a boy wanders through his grandfather’s magnificent topiary garden, whose sculptures help the boy recount the story of his grandfather’s life. It’s a moving reminder of the power of the stories, memories and passions that get passed down from one generation to the next.

The Bippola Seed by Dr Seuss

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

By Dr. Seuss
(Random House, $15; ages 6-9)

Maurice Sendak isn’t the only classic children’s-book author with a new book out this season. This blithe compilation collects seven Dr. Seuss stories that appeared in Redbook magazine in the 1950s but never became books. Filled with Seuss’s beloved brand of whimsical rhymes and irreverent artwork, it’s sure to hit the spot for kids (and adults) who would not, could not read Green Eggs and Ham a single time more.

Every Thing on It by Shel Silverstein

Every Thing On It

By Shel Silverstein
(Harper, $19.99; all ages)

Completing the trio of big-name authors with new books out this fall is the late Silverstein and this collection of never-before-published poems and artwork. Fans of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic won’t be disappointed by the eccentric and off-kilter verse in these pages.

Secrets at Sea

Secrets at Sea

By Richard Peck, illus. by Kelly Murphy
(Dial, $16.99; ages 8-12)

Writing with dry humor and gentle social commentary, Newbery Medalist Peck offers a rousing tale of a 19th-century family of mice that (secretly) embarks on a nautical journey to Europe along with the human residents of their home. Witty, delightful fun from start to finish.

Ten Rules for Living with a Sister

Ten Rules for Living with My Sister

By Ann M. Martin
(Feiwel and Friends, $16.99; ages 9-12)

The relationship between nine-year-old Pearl and her eighth-grader sister, Lexie, reads much like a 21st-century version of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Beezus Quimby. In this entertaining and often touching novel, the girls’ life in a New York City apartment changes dramatically when their grandfather, whose memory is in decline, moves in.

Wonder Struck

Wonderstruck

By Brian Selznick
(Scholastic Press, $29.99; ages 9 and up)

Like Selznick’s Caldecott Medal–winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret (which hits theaters Thanksgiving weekend as Hugo), this novel relies heavily on his intricately detailed pencil drawings, which make up a significant portion of the storytelling. Silent movies, Deaf culture and family secrets all play their parts in a story that traverses miles and decades.

Apothecary

The Apothecary

By Maile Meloy, illus. by Ian Schoenherr
(Putnam, $16.99; ages 10 and up)

Adult author Meloy’s first book for children brilliantly combines history, science and magic in the story of 14-year-old Janie, who flees Hollywood for London with her TV writer parents when they are targeted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The move thrusts Janie into a fantastical, alchemical adventure with the world’s survival at stake.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

By Rae Carson
(HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $17.99; ages 12 and up)

Carson’s first novel is a smart and richly imagined fantasy in which 16-year-old Princess Elisa — plain, overshadowed and overweight — finds her inner strength after she’s kidnapped by enemies of her kingdom. It’s an engrossing adventure that offers intrigue, wit and a complex, dynamic heroine.

Brooklyn Burning

Brooklyn, Burning

By Steve Brezenoff
(Carolrhoda Lab, $17.95; ages 12 and up)

The real-life burning of an abandoned warehouse in Brooklyn helped inspire this story of Scout and Kid, two teenagers who fall in love while living on the street, creating music and a life together. The twist: Brezenoff never reveals either character’s gender, letting readers imagine (and reimagine) them as they see fit.

Variant

Variant

By Robison Wells
(HarperTeen, $17.99; ages 13 and up)

Wells offers a thrilling update on the classic boarding-school genre, injecting his story with dystopian and science fiction elements. At a school that no one can escape, students divide themselves into factions and try to keep up with the harsh, ever-changing rules that guide their daily existence.

The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races

By Maggie Stiefvater
(Scholastic Press, $17.99; ages 13 and up)

On the island of Thisby, residents live in fear of the vicious fairy horses that rule its waters. In Stiefvater’s gripping fantasy, teenage Puck Connelly tries to become the first female rider in the annual Scorpio Races, pitting her ordinary horse against the water horses to gain respect and keep her family together.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By Laini Taylor
(Little, Brown, $18.99; ages 15 and up)

In this confident and inventive story of angels, demons and star-crossed love, 17-year-old Karou, an art student in Prague, has a secret: She was raised by monstrous “chimaera.” When she falls in love with an angel and discovers her true nature, the consequences are far-reaching and devastating.

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