Books for Gifting: 10 Books Readers Will Welcome This Holiday Season

Discover stories that uplift and empower kids and teens.

Baby and Toddler Books

“Sleep, My Baby”
by Dr. Lena Allen-Shore with Jacques J.M. Shore, illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle

This endearing bedtime story celebrates caregivers and babies all over the world who love lullabies.

“One Patch of Blue”
by Marthe Jocelyn

Cuddle up with this wordless board book that follows the journey of a patch of blue denim as it escapes from a pair of pants and transforms into many other objects.
picture books

“Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem”
by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long

A young girl takes readers on a musical journey and calls all people to use their abilities to make a difference in the world, their communities and themselves. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman debuts her lyrical text to the world of picture books with rhythmic illustrations by bestselling illustrator Loren Long.

“Our Table”
by Peter H. Reynolds

Enjoy this sweet story about a girl named Violet who finds a way to help her family reconnect with each other after being distracted by technology.

Early-Reader Books

“Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend”
by Dawn Quigley, illustrated by Tara Audibert

This first book in an all-new chapter book series celebrates a spirited Ojibwe 7-year-old girl who loves who she is. Jo Jo also loves her No. 1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat) but is worried about making more friends now that her school friend, Fern, may not want to be friends anymore. This story full of pride, joy and humor welcomes all young readers.

“J.D. and the Great Barber Battle” (J.D. the Kid Barber #1)
by J. Dillard, illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts

Meet 8-year-old J.D. in this hilarious first book of an all-new illustrated chapter book series filled with unforgettable characters. A tragic home haircut turns into a thriving barber business for young J.D. who discovers that, unlike his mom, he is a genius with clippers. A great barber battle happens when the local barbershop tries to shut J.D.’s business down. Who will be the best barber in all of Meridian, Mississippi?

Middle-Grade Books

“Pax: Journey Home”
by Sara Pennypacker

In this long-awaited sequel to “Pax,” readers continue the touching story of the boy Peter and his pet fox, Pax. Told in alternating chapters, readers follow Peter as he searches for belonging and struggles with grief. Pax, now a father, goes to great lengths to keep his new kits safe. Moving, inspiring and filled with love, both “Pax” and “Pax: Journey Home” would make excellent gifts for young readers. “Pax” and “Pax: Journey Home” are available as e-books and e-audio books on Libby for Kids by OverDrive:

“Barb: The Last Berzerker”
by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson

“Barb: The Last Berzerker” is the first in a fun new graphic novel series that follows young Berzerker Barb as she attempts to free her comrades from the villainous Witch Head. Packed full of unexpected friendships, adventure and humor, “Barb: The Last Berzerker” would make a great gift for young readers who are fans of Dav Pilkey.

Teen Books

“The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities: New Stories About Mythic Heroes”
edited by Rick Riordan

Are you looking for gift ideas for the teens and tweens in your life? Then look no further than “The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities,” an exciting short story collection edited by Rick Riordan. This collection features new content starring well-known heroes, like Aru Shah and Zane Obispo, as well as a new story starring a surprise character from Rick Riordan himself. Middle-grade readers will be delighted by the chance to revisit the characters they already know and love from authors representing an international array of folklore and mythology.

“Ain’t Burned All the Bright”
by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

“Ain’t Burned All the Bright” is a collaboration between award-winning author Jason Reynolds and his best friend, artist Jason Griffin, that uses a unique combination of poetry and imagery to explore what it means to be Black in America today. Current fans of Reynolds will recognize his sparse and moving verse as he and Griffin tackle timely subjects such as COVID-19, family and race. Moving, poignant and unlike anything else, “Ain’t Burned all the Bright” would make a perfect gift for teens and young adults who are looking to better understand the world around them through the lenses of art and poetry.

These titles have been thoughtfully selected by Frederick County Public Libraries. You can find these books and more by visiting

Call your local library to request board books for in-library reading or curbside pickup.