Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Gift Suggestions Part One

Doing Your Holiday Shopping?

One of my favorite sayings is: "A book is a present you can open again and again." It's so, so true. If you're looking for book ideas to give as gifts, please check out part one of my list below, for books I loved lately. Today’s list features three books that are classified as “young adult” but were fantastically enjoyable to this adult (and several other adults I know...um...I am allowed to call myself an adult, right? Even though I sometimes eat cake for breakfast?)

WONDER by R.J. Palacio is a book I can’t stop raving about. Since the main character is a fifth grader, this is an obvious choice for the middle grader on your list, but honestly, I believe this book should be required reading for every human being! August Pullman opens his story with, “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” Auggie was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. He wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past his extraordinary face. WONDER begins from Auggie’s point of view, but switches to include his classmates, his sister in high school, her boyfriend, and others. Auggie must be extraordinarily brave and change and grow to embrace the world, but the world must also change and grow and be brave to embrace Auggie. This is a beautiful book about empathy, compassion, and acceptance…and how difficult all those things are.

I also recommend Kristina McBride’s new novel ONE MOMENT. Kristi blew me away with her debut novel, THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES (if you haven’t read that one, put it on your list, too). The opening chapter starts off with a cliff diving accident that leaves Maggie’s boyfriend dead...and she can’t remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive. As Maggie’s memory returns in fragments, each piece leads to more questions. This is a mysterious, searing look at secrets and how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you. Warning: This book make me stay up until 3 AM!

For any age (another book I tend to be evangelical about) I’d gift
THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. Oh, this book... It was first published in 2006, but I only recently found my way to it. Now I’d like to go door to door handing it out to people. Narrated by Death, this story is set in Nazi Germany (a time and place, our narrator notes, when he was very busy). I can tell you the plot (a young girl’s relationship with her foster parents and a Jewish boxer who hides in her home), but you gotta trust me: no description can do it justice. Every single sentence made me want to be a better writer. Every single page made me want to be a better human being. Although it’s often shelved in young adult, I’d recommend this to any age.

The only thing better than receiving a book as a gift is receiving a book that is personalized to you and signed by the author.

So…if you're considering buying one of my books as a gift, not only would I be eternally grateful, but I'd happily personalize it for you. If you’re local, email me at katrinakittle (at) gmail.com and we’ll make arrangements.

If you’re in another state, please check out the wonderful bookstore Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, MI. They have all my titles, already signed, and will ship anywhere!


  1. Katrina,

    Wonder is such a wonderful book. Ms. Ren and I both read it and loved it. My son loved the Book Thief and Ren loved One Moment. All wonderful suggestions. Can't wait to see the rest of your list! :)

  2. Thanks, Katrina! I've read the last two, but not the first. I always look forward to new suggestions. Looking forward to Part Two. Hope all is well with you! BTW, our little writing group is still alive and well, thanks to your cultivating! Thank you.

  3. Yay, Christina! Glad to hear it!

  4. Thanks, Cathy. Wish I could give WONDER to everyone on the planet. :-)