Hi everyone, this week’s booklist post will give you my favourite Christmas stories for tweens!! These are titles that I have enjoyed from my younger years through to my years as a librarian. So why not put aside your decorating for a few minutes and have a read of this list and see if you have similar tastes…
Why don’t I start with the classics?
My all time favourite Christmas read is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I mean, at some point, I imagined myself as Jo and munched on apples while trying to pen down my first attempts at writing!! I’m sure everyone is familiar with this delightful story about four young sisters who grew up in New England during those civil war years or even watched the many adaptations onto screen. For me; the different sisterly bonds, the many adventures they have together, and the struggles they face play a major role in telling the story, but the beginning chapters of their Christmas really hooks me in. It was those early chapters of Christmas gifts and snowfall that helped me fall in love with something I only experienced once: a winter Christmas!!
The next favourite is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Yes, this is a fantasy story, but about four siblings. Filled with magic, mythological creatures and fantastical adventure, readers are transported alongside the Pevensie siblings from war-torn England into a winter-filled magical land of Narnia. At one point I found a compendium of all volumes of this series and read it from cover to cover!! I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve included this as a Christmas read; mainly because it’s mostly aired on television during the festive season!! However, the never-ending winter in the beginning does feature a reference to Father Christmas at some point, so I suppose it fits the bill!! If you like a little bit of action in your festive reads, this is one I highly recommend!
Over the years while working in public libraries I’ve found quite a few more Christmas stories, some historical and contemporary. I hope you enjoy these reads!!
Mistletoe & Murder by Robin Stevens
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong from the Murder Most Unladylike series are spending their Christmas holidays in snowy Cambridge where Daisy’s brother Bertie is studying. Two days before Christmas, a brutal accident takes place – but the Detective society suspect murder. Mystery, mischief and murder abound amidst the classic Cambridge university backdrop. I liked how Robin Stevens had used the actual place and just changed names!! If you’re after a historical mystery, this should be your first choice!!
Greenglass house by Kate Milford
It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smugglers’ inn is always quiet during this season, and Milo, the innkeeper’s adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. This delightful winter-themed story is filled with hidden clues and secret maps, old ghost stories and smugglers!! I’m not a hundred percent sure if Christmas is actually mentioned but would recommend it to everyone who likes an old-fashioned puzzle-solving read to sink into over the festive season!!
Home for the holidays by Heather Vogel Frederick
The Mother-Daughter Book Club gang head into Christmas in this instalment. Set in their hometown of Concord, New England, the girls continue their mother-daughter book club reading Maud Hart Lovelace’s “Betsy-Tacy” books. Vivid descriptions from unexpected blizzards to a sledding disaster, give excitement and adventure to this story. This Christmas episode was quite funny with some hilarious chapters involving pranks gone wrong and some ingenious punishment doled out!! I hope you enjoy this lively Christmas-themed read!!
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
At almost six-foot tall, twelve-year-old Truly Lovegood stands out in a crowd whether she likes it or not. So when her family moves to Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, Truly doesn’t stand a chance of blending in. While helping out at the family bookstore one day, Truly finds a mysterious letter inside an old copy of Charlotte’s Web and soon she and her new friends are swept up in a madcap treasure hunt around town. This delightful winter-themed blockbuster of a book by Heather Vogel Frederick was one I enjoyed immensely!! If you have read Frederick’s Mother-Daughter Book Club series, you’ll surely love this new character in Truly and her adventures in this winter-themed story!!
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
It’s five days before Christmas, and the Vanderbeeker children should be dreaming about sugar plums and presents. But when your curmudgeonly landlord mysteriously refuses to renew their lease, the five siblings must find a way to change his mind before New Year’s. This delightful story of a madcap mixed-race family will have you laughing and crying at the same time!! Funny, heartfelt, and as lively as any street in Harlem, this cozy family novel is about the connections we make and the unexpected twists and turns life can take.
Winterfrost by Michelle Houts
What should have been an ordinary Danish Christmas for twelve-year-old Bettina Larsen and her baby sister, Pia, quickly turns extraordinary when unexpected events take their parents away for a few days, leaving Bettina in charge of the house, the barn, and baby Pia. I really loved the simple fantasy story this book tells of Danish folklore and magic. I thought the character of Bettina was courageous and kind, and loved the family bond that touches each and every character in this book. The customs and traditions of the Danish were interesting to learn too!! A really fascinating read if you like fantasy for your Christmas TBR pile!!
Well, there you have my list of favourites for the festive season!! If you have a different list I would love to hear from you.
Stay safe this Christmas season and keep reading!