The bricks and mortar kind. On Sunday, I tried my local Borders, but the line was out the door and I gave up. A good sign for us booklovers? I hope! Today I'll visit "Florida's largest bookstore"- Haslam's- for the few gifts remaining on my list. If you're not finished shopping, check out these suggestions. Happy reading everybody!
Although right this minute, I can't think of anyone to give one of my new favorite holiday novels to, if you have a teen reader, or even older, may I suggest DASH AND LILY'S BOOK OF DARES. Told in alternating voices, these two teens send readers on an adventure that's great fun. A mysterious notebook! A girl and a boy! New York at Christmas! Here's Lily, on spending the holiday alone: "In the future, I decided I would tackle the solitude thing more enthusiastically, so long as solitude meant I could also walk in the park and pet a few dogs..."
Another book, already purchased and presented- Brian Lies' BATS AT THE BEACH. I've already written about this new picture book, but it was road-tested at our house this weekend. (When the grownup reading it continues the story even after the two-year-old lapchild wandered off, you know the book's a winner.)
I've read so many middle-grade novels this year that it's impossible to choose a favorite. But for gift-giving, I know just the kid who'd love The Red Umbrella, which I reviewed for The Christian Science Monitor this summer. Oddly enough, the only vacation my family ever took when my siblings and I were very young was to Havana, Cuba, pre-Castro. Although I was too young to remember many details, my mother's budding skills at the movie camera produced a record of the trip that we still smile about. Cuba made a big impression on me. I couldn't have imagined a more exotic place. Christina Gonzalez's account of the children whose parents sent them away from their homes to live in the United States, via "Operation Pedro Pan," is compelling and highly readable.
So Ho Ho Ho to all. I'm bundled up and off to shop!