But I do have a couple ideas here for gift books that I'd confidently recommend, since it seems there is a lot of book-gift-giving going on this time of year.
All You Get is Me, by Yvonne Prinz
Aurora and her dad take up organic farming in a community divided between the economically and socially powerful, and the unrepresented, quiet, and hard-working people we depend on for so much... the kind of people who much of society consider to be invisible and frequently undeserving. It's a powerful examination of what divides us, and what brings us together. Like her previous, The Vinyl Princess, Prinz's latest YA (out this week) is full of quirky and captivating characters who provide no shortage of great dialogue. Hard to put this book down. You'll fall in love with this world.
The Haunting of Charles Dickens, by Lewis BuzbeeMeg's brother, Orion, disappears in Victorian London. Who better than Charles Dickens to help solve the mystery of his abduction? Following his previous Steinbeck's Ghost, another tribute to a beloved author, Buzbee pulls his readers along for a very enjoyable, exciting, and frequently laugh-out-loud funny ride. A great book to introduce young readers to the wonderful universe of Dickens, full of subtle our-generation tricks and jabs. A beautifully enchanting story for everyone.
In the Path of Falling Objects, by Andrew Smith
Ghost Medicine, by Andrew Smith
I truly believe that if you have a teenage boy who hasn't "gotten into" reading yet, it may simply be due to the fact that he hasn't found any books that speak to him for who he is, what he knows, and give him the kind of stories that boys want to read.
These three books at the bottom of the page fit the bill for that kid.
That's why I write my books -- not that girls and adults and every other imaginable element in the population won't connect to them in some way.
And besides, you didn't really think I'd not recommend my own books, did you?