Books make great gifts for kids at the holidays. But with so many titles to choose from, it can be hard to find just the right one. The staff at Barrington Books put together a short list of teen fiction and picture book gift suggestions for Kidoinfo readers.


By Chris Colfer

Some readers are a little suspect of celebrity-penned books, but we can vouch that Chris Colfer (of Glee fame) is the real deal.  His books are well-written and compelling. Barrington Books recently featured Colfer’s first novel, The Land of Stories as the inaugural  reading selection for its Tween Book Club, and it received a thumbs up all-around from the group. Colfer’s sophomore effort, Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school.
 Sidenote: The film Stuck By Lightning is set to be released by Tribeca Film later this year and features Colfer’s own original screenplay.

By Madeline L’Engle

After Meg and Charles Wallace Murry and Calvin O’Keefe defeated evil and saved the universe in the Newbery Medal-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time, their adventures didn’t end. The other books in the Wrinkle in Time Quintet take readers to the deep past and distant future, to the far reaches of the galaxy and the inner workings of the human heart. A beautiful hardcover gift edition, complete with blue gilded pages and a slipcase, brings together the stories of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time for true fans of this iconic series.

By Grace Lin

Grace Lin’s books are perennial favorites on the Barrington Books gifts list. Starry River of the Sky is filled with Chinese folklore, fascinating characters, and exciting new adventures. Publishers Weekly said: “The lively mix of adventure, mystery, and fantasy, supported by compelling character development and spellbinding language, will captivate a wide swath of readers.”


By Mo Willems

We love all of Mo Willems’ books – but especially the ones featuring that lovable, silly Pigeon! In this case, the Pigeon really, really wants to finish this activity book! But that pesky Duckling keeps getting in the way. Oh, and there’s someone new on the scene causing all kinds of problems….  A fabulous activity gift book for fans of the Pigeon series!

By Steven Savage

Little Tug may not be very tall or very fast, but when the big ships in the harbor need help, they know they can count on him to be there with a push, a pull, and a ride to safety. But what happens when Little Tug gets tired? This simple, endearing book with a charming retro feel and an emotional punch is the first book for Roaring Brook Press by the acclaimed author of Polar Bear Night (New York Times Best Illustrated book) and Where’s Walrus?

By Lane Smith

With Steven Speilberg’s new film Lincoln, and the slew of fiction and nonfiction  titles on Abraham Lincoln that have come out in the last year, a picture book on the legendary president seems especially timely. From the bestselling author of “Its A Book” comes a funny, touching tale about the legacy of America’s greatest president. When a schoolgirl gets separated from her tour of the White House and finds herself in the Lincoln bedroom, she also discovers the ghost of the great man himself. Together they embark on a journey across the country to answer Lincoln’s questions and quiet his concerns about the nation for which he gave his life.

By Sam McBratney

An all new book from the bestselling author of Guess How Much I Love You. When Little Roo wakes up, he just feels grumpy. His mother tries everything to make him feel better, but nothing she does makes any difference. So how will a deep, wide, and muddy-at-the-bottom hole make Little Roo smile? From Sam McBratney and Charles Fuge comes a story that will guarantee a smile and a laugh from even the grumpiest reader.

By Eric Litwin

For those looking for a specifically Christmas-themed picture book, Pete The Cat Saves Christmas is our pick for this year. With a fun, silly twist on The Night Before Christmas, it’s a great read-aloud to get kids in a festive mood.  ‘Twas the day before Christmas and Santa was ill. 
In the cold winter wind he had caught a bad chill.
 Will Christmas be canceled? Will it come to that?
”Never!” cried Santa. “Let’s call Pete the Cat!” In this rockin’ new spin on the traditional tale, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.

What about eReaders?
If you want to support your local, indie bookstore, but prefer to read books electronically, KOBO is a new eReading platform for independent bookstores. It includes a full line of eReaders, eReading accessories, and ebooks from  a catalog of nearly 3 million titles. The all-new KOBO Glo and KOBO Mini eReaders are reasonably priced with all the functionality of other eReaders on the market today. Also, KOBO ebooks can be read on any device. Locally, Barrington Books is offering all the KOBO products. Check out their website to browse the catalog.