Lea and Lydia share the books they’re giving this year

Still looking for gifts to give this holiday season? Look no further for than your local bookstore! Lea and Lydia share some recommendations, from nonfiction to children’s literature to historical romance—there’s something for every sort of reader here!

Lydia Melby, Communications Coordinator

For the literary, nature-lover who’s not quite gotten over H is for HawkHow to be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery
Sy Montgomery’s gorgeous collection of memoir essays about thirteen animals who have touched her life if a perfect, heart-tugging gift for an animal lover of any age. Montgomery’s wry wisdom pairs perfectly with Rebecca Green’s beautifully simple illustrations, making How to be a Good Creature a work of art they’ll want to hold close.

For the history buff who likes a good love story: The Loyal League trilogy by Alyssa Cole
Does your aunt own every copy of Beverly Jenkins’s books? Does your friend love nothing more than a side of historically-accurate intrigue with her romance novels? Alyssa Cole’s award-winning Loyal League series—a gripping, genre-defying series based on the accounts of real Black Union spies like Mary Richards Bowser during the Civil War—have a loyal following that any new reader would be eager to join.

For literally anyone who might like a beautiful coming of age story about family, friends, and first love: Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
With a scholarship to his first choice arts school and a place in a hip new studio’s exhibit, Danny Cheng’s final year of high school is perfectly on track, until he unearths a painful family secret that might throw all their dreams off course.
This is hands-down one of my favorite books of the year and makes my top ten all-time-faves list as well. I wish I could give a copy to everyone I know.


Lea Bogner, Outreach Manager

When the Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera
According to my mother, my first words were “touchdown” so I’ve apparently always been a big football fan, which is why I’m recommending When the Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera Lewis. When the Men Were Gone is such a great read for the person in your life who loves football—especially the ladies! Set during the heigh of World War II in Brownwood, Texas, we follow the story of Tylene, the Vice Principal of the high school, who steps up to coach in order to keep this football town together. Women are so often overlooked in our love for the sport and this book is such a breath of fresh air within sports based fiction. I’ve got several people on my list to give this book to, including my mother and future mother-in-law who love football as much as I do!

Mixed by Arree Chung
This has been one of my favorite picture books of the year! Arree Chung does a great job breaking down the idea of race and color for his young readers in an easy-to-understand way. This book is
not only sweet and entertaining: it will give you a way to talk to your kids about race, class, and
a lot of what they might be hearing in the news recently.

The Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne
I feel like my love of the Magic Treehouse Series might be preaching to the choir—but if you are
struggling to find a good gift for the 7 to 9 year old in your life, I highly recommend getting
them started with The Magic Treehouse (if they aren’t already!)