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dear mr. hemingway’s 2018 holiday books & pairings 

Magnificent Middle Grade

raspberry tarts

Land of Stories:  The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Kids will gobble this series up starting with this first book.  Fairy tales and adventures mixed together make this pretty superb.

From the Publisher (Little, Brown Young Readers):  “Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.”

P.S.  Pair this book with this bright colored bookmark that keeps track of how long your kiddo has read!

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

This book has won my approval big time. My son read it twice and was in complete awe each time!

From the Publisher (Candlewick Press):  “Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost.

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hobos camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle: even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.”

P.S.  This color your own map pillow case goes splendidly with Edward’s adventure.

Grenade by Alan Gratz

Middle grade kiddos who love historical fiction will be all over this war time book.

From the Publisher (Scholastic): “It’s 1945, and the world is in the grip of war.  Hideki lives on Okinawa, an island near Japan. When he is drafted to fight for the Japanese army, he is handed a grenade and told: Don’t come back until you’ve killed an American soldier.

Ray, a young American Marine, has just landed on Okinawa. This is Ray’s first-ever battle, and all he knows is that the enemy is everywhere.

Hideki and Ray each fight their way across the island, surviving heart-pounding clashes and dangerous attacks. But when the two of them collide in the middle of the battle, the choices they make in that single instant will change everything.”

P.S.  This unique passport game will pair well with Gratz’s Grenade..

Theodosia and the Serpent of Chaos by R.L. Lafevers

An engaging fantasy series that is popular with Harry Potter fans.

From the Publisher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt):  “Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo—and only Theo—who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum.

When Theo’s mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt—a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb—Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won’t be easy . . . she quickly finds herself pursued down dark alleys, across an ocean, through the bustling crowds of Cairo, and straight into the heart of an ancient mystery. Theo will have to call upon everything she’s ever learned in order to prevent the rising chaos from destroying her country—and herself!”

P.S.  Fantasy friends will love this Harry Potter lego set with their new read.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

There is no way I could put together a holiday book shopping list without including #13 in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  This is a slam dunk gift for all those Greg Heffley fans

From the Publisher (Penguin):  “When snow shuts down Greg Heffley’s middle school, his neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights. And in the crosshairs are Greg and his trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson.

It’s a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighborhood meltdown. When the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes? Or will they even survive to see another day?”

P.S. You can’t have a snowball fight without making a snow fort with this kit!  

Dear Mr. Hemingway’s 2018 Holiday Books & Pairings

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