Category Archives: Christmas gifts for kids.

3 weeks until Xmas Eve!

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Hard to believe, but there are only three weeks before Christmas Eve.

I confess: I like Christmas Eve better than Christmas Day. There’s something about the magicalness of anticipation: gifts wrapped waiting to reveal what’s inside, the tree sparkling at night with lights and ornaments with presents stacked at its base. And by the time Christmas Eve comes along, whatever you didn’t get done for Christmas, you may as well just resign to the fact that you missed the deadline and enjoy the evening – with a cup of spiked eggnog.

For those of you who are still trying to get Christmas done – and have the habit of putting things off until the last minute – have I got a book for you. The Night Before the Night Before Christmas is a children’s picture book, but it appeals to all ages. It’s about a family who’s rocket-sledding into the holiday while Mom has the flu. All appears to be total chaos until the family realizes what’s most important about Christmas.

Holiday Humor

Holiday Humor

Here’s a fun read for after the Christmas chaos where the overwhelmed mom is saved by Mrs. St. Nick.

christmas_cover-copy

To make you feel better, even Santa is under pressure at Christmas! How would you like to find out that you missed a whole city of kids and had to work your elves overtime to make toys? That’s what happens when Santa learns of the merchildren in The Legend of Christmas Island.

Kindle edition

We all start off the season with a Norman Rockwell or Martha Stewart image of how we’d like Christmas to turn out. But let’s get real and enjoy the holidays however we can with a sense of humor.

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What’s your child’s reading pleasure?

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Something for every 3-8 year older

Dinosaur lover? Artist? Baker? Check, check , check. Going to school? Missing a tooth? Double check. I’ve got a book for the young ones on your list.

The Eleventh Book of Christmas

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This is the eleventh day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like sci-fi, you’ll love…

First in a series

Sixteen years ago, Waverly and Kieran were the first children born in space. Now a perfect couple, they are the pride and joy of the whole spaceship. They represent the future. The ship is their entire world. They have never seen a stranger before.

Old Earth is crumbling, and the crew is hoping to reach (and colonise) New Earth within fifty years. Along with their allies on the second spaceship – who set off a year before them and whom they have never met. One day, Kieran proposes to Waverly. That same morning, the ‘allies’ attack – and Kieran and Waverly are separated in the cruellest way possible. Will they ever see each other again?

Amy Kathleen Ryan

Amy Kathleen Ryan is the acclaimed author of VIBES, ZEN AND XANDER UNDONE, and GLOW, the opening salvo in the SKY CHASERS series, which has been chosen by School Library Journal as a Best Book of 2011.

The Eighth Book of Christmas

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This is the eighth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like true heart-warming story collections, then you’ll love…

Actual kids' letters from Fort Collins

Letters From Katrina is a coffee table book that draws inspiration from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi children share their Katrina survival stories and are inspired by thousands of pen-pal letters from students around the United States. Peek over the shoulder of our children, read their heartwarming letters, and discover the magic that occurs when we ask life’s most magical question…Will you be my friend?”

Note: Another wonderful book about Hurricane Katrina to pair this book with is Two Bobbies. It was written by my writer friends, Mary Nethery and Kirby Larson, and is true story about a cat and dog orphaned in the hurricane who help each other survive.

Mark Hoog

Mark Hoog is the author of the Growing Field children’s leadership series, a sought-after motivational speaker, the Executive Director of the Children’s Leadership Institute and a Captain with United Airlines. Speaking throughout the world, Mark is inspiring youth, business organizations and corporations to live life without limit through his message of Conscious Leadership.

The Seventh Book of Christmas

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This is the seventh day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like stories set in the American West, then you’ll love…

For mature young adults

Twenty-two-year-old Libby works at a small grocery store in a luckless town in the rural West. Endlessly daydreaming, she sees herself becoming an artist, moving out of her mother’s house to have her own, learning to play guitar. When her younger sister Tess becomes pregnant, Libby convinces her not to have an abortion by promising to raise the child, a promise she never really imagines she’ll have to keep.

Thrust into instant motherhood when Tess gives birth and then promptly leaves, Libby finds herself caring for a crying infant and overwhelmed by the task. The colorful cast of characters who rise up to support her from the hippie beekeeper, Ed Mongers, to Miguel Mendoza, a single father widowed by suicide, and various other folks from the small ranching community–round out this spirited story. Libby’s lucid, painfully honest observations and her complex interiority comes with a fresh perspective on what it means to inhabit a world that has little room for optimism.

Pritchett’s characters deal with the hidden underbelly of rural life the drug trafficking, the people who make a living driving “illegals” over the border, the litany of low-wage jobs. As Libby struggles to make sense of the world, she discovers humor and courage in unlikely places. As the beekeeper Ed Monger says to Libby, “I think we should all be living more dangerous lives. We have to be careful, yes. But when we get too fearful, we become small.”

Publishers Weekly calls Sky Bridge a “compassionate, finely observed first novel” and Booklist writes, “In this spare yet haunting portrait of the American West, Pritchett’s powerful, poetic voice speaks with clarity, wisdom, and passion about country, family, and one young woman’s majestic spirit.” Library Journal calls it a “captivating novel” that “offers a gritty but redeeming picture of a family that never quite lets go of hope, and characters who are not soon forgotten.”

Laura Pritchett

Laura Pritchett is the author/editor of six books. Her fiction includes the novel Sky Bridge and Hell’s BottomColoradoher three anthologies include Pulse of the RiverHome Land, and Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers. Her newest book, about bears and their relationship with humans, is due out this Spring.

The Sixth Book of Christmas

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This is the sixth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like comic books, you’ll love…

Book 4 in the Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel Series

Back at school after summer vacation, Aldo meets Danny—a deaf boy who will be a new student at Aldo’s school. Danny challenges Aldo from day one, and it will take a lot of back-and-forth to figure out if they can get along. But Danny’s not the only new fly in Aldo’s bacon grease. Aldo soon meets his cute new art teacher and finds himself doing crazy things, like losing the ability to speak when she’s around. Embarrassed about his artistic abilities, Aldo has always underplayed his talent at school, but there’s something about art class this year that spurs him to go all out in a brazen attempt to win the school art contest. All this and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dungeons & Dragons, Dagwood sandwiches, the continuing adventures of Bacon Boy, oodles of divine D words, and so much more YOU might just find yourself dumbstruck. In a good, laugh-out-loud kind of way.

Karla Oceanak, Karla Spanjer

Author Karla Oceanak is a public speaker for childhood literacy and has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years. Illustrator Kendra Spanjer is a studio artist and cartoonist. They both live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The Fourth Book of Christmas

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This is the fourth day of my “The Twelve Books of Christmas” blog series. Each day through December 12 I will showcase a book written by a Colorado author who lives in the Fort Collins area. Please spread the Support Local Businesses love by purchasing a book by a local author at a local bookstore. That way your purchase will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Two independent bookstores that I recommend in Fort Collins are: Old Firehouse Books in Old Town, and Reader’s Cove on Harmony Rd. You can also find books at JAX Outdoor Gear on North College, Clothes Pony in Old Town, and the Northern Colorado Writers Studio at 108 East Monroe Dr. (Across from Tres Margaritas). Ask if they have any autographed copies in stock.

If you like multicultural stories, you’ll love…

For ages 12 to adult

Co-written with Maria Virginia Farinango, this novel based on a true story begins in an impoverished Andean village where seven-year-old Virginia is taken from her indigenous family to be an unpaid servant in a mestizo household. For the next eight years, she struggles to hold on to her spirit. After escaping as a teenager, she must build a life for herself and reclaim her identity.

* “[A] riveting tale… by turns heartbreaking, infuriating and ultimately inspiring.” – Kirkus, STARRED
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2011

Maria Virginia Farinango, Laura Resau

With a background in cultural anthropology and ESL-teaching, award-winning author Laura Resau has lived and traveled in Latin America and Europe. Her experiences inspired her novels for young people– What the Moon SawRed GlassThe Indigo NotebookThe Ruby NotebookStar in the Forest, and The Queen of Water. She lives with her family in Colorado.www.LauraResau.com