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Delightful New Books for Everyone on Your Holiday List

From preschoolers to grown-ups, we’ve got book ideas for all your loved ones

Published on: December 08, 2023

Delightful New Books for Everyone on Your Holiday List


Picks for high-schoolers

The Spirit Bares Its Teeth” by Andrew Joseph White 

Historic Gothic horror featuring an autistic trans protagonist? Yes, please! Set in London in 1883, Silas is a young boy who the world sees as a girl who is sent away to Braxton’s Finishing School and Sanitorium after attempting to escape an arranged marriage. Silas soon starts to hear the pleading ghosts of the sanatorium, begging for help to expose the dark side of the school. At once a supernatural adventure and trans-positive teen thriller, this book indeed bares its teeth at the patriarchy in a way teenagers will revel in. 

Norse Mythology The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook” by Kelsey A. Fuller-Shafer Ph.D., illustrations by Sara Richard 

If your kids devoured Rick Riordan’s Asgard series in middle school or maybe can’t resist anything Thor, this is a must for their collection. A hardcover book packed with Norse gods, goddesses, heroes, deities and villains, discover each player in the lexicon including their names, roles, symbols and origin stories. 

Where to Start: A Survival Guide to Anxiety, Depression, and Other Mental Health Challenges” by Mental Health America, illustrated by Gemma Correll

“This book is for anyone who has struggled and felt alone. It’s for anyone who has felt unworthy. Or unloved. Or unlikeable. Or unsafe. This book is for anyone who has stared into the dark at 3 a.m., trying to stop the self-critical voice in their head.” The book begins with this message and carries it throughout, thoughtfully arranged beginning with signs and symptoms; talking about mental health; getting professional help; and DIY mental health suggestions. The illustrations keep the information digestible and the entire book helps to normalize and destigmatize mental health challenges. For teens who have struggled with this themselves, or who want to be more compassionate toward those around them, this is a beautiful addition to any bookshelf. 

Before the Devil Knows You’re Here” by Autumn Krause

Billed as Latin American surrealism woven with folklore and the bizarre, the historic fantasy novel centers around a Mexican American teen poet who is desperate to keep her father and brother alive in the harsh Wisconsin winter of 1836. If the winter doesn’t kill them, the Man of Sap just might. 

Writing in Color: Fourteen Writers on the Lessons We’ve Learned”, edited by Nafiza Azad and Melody Simpson

As a writer, I am always on the lookout for a good book full of writing advice, and this one is a refreshing and much-needed book aimed at aspiring teen writers. With essays written exclusively by writers of color, the book’s goal is to empower all young writers to discover their own path. Writers talk about their personal stories of being writers, offering perspectives as authors of color, and inspiring kids to trust their own story and experience. This book offers invaluable advice and eye-opening ideas that can enhance any teen’s writing experience in school and beyond. Quite frankly, it’s one that grown-ups can benefit from, too!  

Up next: Picks for grown-ups

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