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  • Jenny Shank 3:00 pm on 2019/05/08 Permalink
    Tags: abby geni, andrea barrett, bonnie jo campbell, Books You Need to Read, delia owens, , gabriel tallent, karen russell, must readalikes, my absolute darling, once upon a river, ship fever, swamplandia!, the wildlands, where the crawdads sing   

    5 Books to Read Next if You Loved Where the Crawdads Sing 

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    Delia Owens’ debut novel Where the Crawdads Sing zoomed up the bestseller list last year and continues to attract more readers, thanks to Reese Witherspoon’s selection of it for her Hello Sunshine book club, stoking word-of-mouth praise. The novel tells the story of Kya Clark, who grows up almost completely on her own in the coastal wetlands of North Carolina in the 1950s and 60s after her family abandons her. Kya, known to townsfolk as “The Marsh Girl,” spends her days collecting and cataloging the wildlife of her surroundings, until she becomes the suspect of a murder investigation. The novel, with its poignant theme of loneliness, is at once contemplative and suspenseful as Owens sets the developments in the murder case against the story of Kya’s desolate upbringing. Where the Crawdads Sing has sold more than 1.5 million copies across all formats and should garner even more readers now that Witherspoon has signed on to produce a movie version. If you loved this novel, what should you read next? Here are five suggestions.

    Once Upon A River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell
    In Where the Crawdads Sing, Kya Clark depends on her boat to survive, using it to gather mussels and escape to safety. In Bonnie Jo Campbell’s 2011 novel set in the 1970s, the heroine is 15-year-old Margo Crane, who sets out on her boat to find her wayward mother after her father is killed. Campbell expertly conveys both Margo’s inner life and the natural world of her surroundings in Michigan. While Kya fishes for food, the Annie Oakley-influenced Margo hunts, shooting well enough to hit a muskrat through its eye, so as not to damage its pelt. Margo and Kya are both extremely beautiful, attracting unwanted male attention. And both are determined to survive, despite the challenges that nature and disappointing humans throw their way.

    Swamplandia!, by Karen Russell
    Karen Russell’s 2011 novel, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, also features a girl growing up in a wetland environment. In this case, Ava Bigtree lives with her family in the Ten thousand Islands off the coast of Florida, where they run the alligator-wrestling theme park after which the book is titled. When Ava’s mother, the theme park’s most accomplished alligator wrestler, dies, the family is imperiled, with Ava’s father becoming despondent, her sister developing a strange obsession, and her brother leaving to work at a theme park called The World of Darkness. Ava embarks on a quest to save her family and Swamplandia! in this novel that is as full of aquatic life as is Where the Crawdads Sing, but is funny and quirky instead of serious and melancholy.

    The Wildlands, by Abby Geni
     Abby Geni’s winning second novel, 2018’s The Wildlands, features a family of orphans and a keen interest in nature, just like Where the Crawdads Sing. When a tornado ravages the home and farm of the McCloud family of Mercy, Oklahoma, killing their father, the eldest sister Darlene abandons her plans to go to college and instead focuses on raising her three younger siblings. She agrees to any media appearance that pays money, earning enough to buy a trailer and keep the family together, but also acquiring for them the title of “the saddest family in Mercy.” Darlene’s brother Tucker chafes under the media spotlight and leaves, after becoming increasingly obsessed with the animal kingdom and angry about humanity’s role in nature’s imperilment. When the youngest sister turns up missing, and Darlene begins to hear reports of an environmental vigilante making his way across the country, she suspects her siblings are involved. The Wildlands is moving, funny, surprising, and it invites the reader to ponder humanity’s connection to the natural world, just as Owens’ novel does.

    My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent
    Like Kya, 14-year-old Turtle in Gabriel Tallent’s 2017 debut novel suffers terrible abuse at the hands of her father and escapes into the wilderness for safety and solace. In this case, the wilderness is the Pacific coast of Mendocino, California, where Turtle lives in the woods, off the grid, with her frightening and dominating father. Turtle, like Kya, knows nature and its creatures intimately, and Tallent details her connection to nature with lavish prose. When Turtle meets two teenage boys and develops a crush on one, she realizes she’s got to escape her father, and relies on all her survivalist training as she attempts to do so.

    Ship Fever, by Andrea Barrett
    Although Where the Crawdads Sing was Owens’ first novel, it wasn’t her first book. For years Owens, a trained zoologist, lived in Africa studying wildlife and co-wrote several books about nature with her husband. If you were entranced by Owens’ precise and loving descriptions of nature, you’ll love this 1996 National Book Award winner by Andrea Barrett. In “The Behavior of the Hawkweeds,” Barrett takes the reader inside Gregor Mendel’s famous studies of plants that transformed the field of genetics. In the title novella, a Canadian doctor must contend with an outbreak of illness among Irish immigrants in 1847. And in “The English Pupil,” Barrett catches up with the aging Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who gave science its system of nomenclature for organisms. Try this collection even if you normally don’t read short stories—each tale give the reader a novel-like immersion in a fascinating and detailed world.

    What readalikes would you recommend for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing?

    The post 5 Books to Read Next if You Loved <i>Where the Crawdads Sing</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jenny Shank 2:00 pm on 2019/05/02 Permalink
    Tags: Books You Need to Read, claiming ground, , francisco cantu, heavy: an american memoir, if the creek don't rise: my life out west with the last blak widow of the civil war, , laura bell, mean, , myriam gurba, rita williams, river house, sarahlee lawrence, searing memoirs, , the line becomes river   

    6 Memoirs to Read Next If You Loved Educated 

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    Tara Westover’s memoir Educated is a blockbuster by any standard. Those who read it early sensed that this story, of Westover’s evolution from growing up scantly homeschooled in a family of rural Idaho survivalists and then earning her PhD in history from Cambridge, had the elements of a classic-in-the-making. Educated was lauded by Bill Gates and President Obama, became a finalist for many literary prizes (including the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award, the LA Times Book Prize, and the PEN America Jean Stein Book Prize), and has endured for months on bestseller lists across the globe. There’s a good chance that you’ve already read it. So if you’re hankering for a memoir just as good as Educated, here are six stellar choices to read next.

    If The Creek Don’t Rise: My Life Out West with the Last Black Widow of the Civil War, by Rita Williams
    If you loved the way Educated took you inside a family living as though they were in a prior century, this memoir will inspire the same awe. Williams was born in Denver in the 1950s. Her father left her mother for another woman, and her mom died from carbon dioxide inhalation in a boarding house when Rita was four. Rita was given to the nearest relative, her aunt Daisy, who lived a hardscrabble, subsistence lifestyle in the mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Daisy, incredibly, was the last surviving black widow of a Civil War veteran. In the early 1900’s, when she was a teenager in a family of Tennessee sharecroppers, she married a 79-year-old Civil War veteran to escape the KKK-ridden South. They came West, where Daisy eventually took Rita in, raising her in poverty, with tough love—with an emphasis on the tough. Daisy is verbally abusive and the kind of woman who reminds a child to “urinate or move your bowels” before leaving the house, but also made an arrangement to wash a private school’s floors so Rita could attend. Williams’ rise in life is perhaps even more astonishing than Westover’s—she became a writer for the Los Angeles Times, O Magazine, and the television show “Queen of the South.”

    River House, by Sarahlee Lawrence
    While Westover grew up on a mountain in Idaho, Sarahlee Lawrence grew up on a high desert ranch in central Oregon with her parents, 70’s back-to-the-landers who raised her to be self-sufficient. She writes of her mom, “Her philosophy on mothering was one of release: a bow that shoots an arrow into the world.” And Sarahlee left to become a world-traveling river guide. But as the book opens, she’s running a river in Peru when she’s gripped with a powerful urge to return home. She does, and sets herself the task of building a log cabin, by hand, during the frigid winter months so she can continue to make her living as a river guide in the summer. Lawrence’s tenacity and stubbornness help her as she struggles to build a life and a home she’s proud of.

    Claiming Ground, by Laura Bell
    If you loved the passages of Educated where Westover tenderly described the western landscape, check out Laura Bell’s arresting Claiming Ground. Bell, like Westover, considered herself the black sheep of her family. A preacher’s daughter, Bell graduated from college in Kentucky in 1977 and decided to find her own religion, pursuing her “childhood’s private world blown larger than life, with a horse, two dogs, a rifle, a wilderness.” Bell came west with her sister and began working as a sheepherder in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin. Each chapter is a lyrical snapshot from her life and work as a sheepherder, ranch hand, forest ranger, and masseuse.

    The Line Becomes A River, by Francisco Cantú
    Over the course of Educated, we see Westover’s eyes open and her mind expand as she learns lessons about the world that her isolated family never could have taught her. Westover also shares her struggles with mental instability as she tries to break free from them and start a new life. Cantú, too, begins The Line Becomes A River as a smart, sensitive young man, and has an awakening—and an unraveling—as he works for the U.S. Border Patrol. Cantú grew up along the border, speaking English and Spanish with his mother, who worked in National Parks. In college, he distinguishes himself as a scholar of the border, but feels his knowledge is too theoretical, and decides to learn firsthand about the situation at the border by joining the patrol, against the cautions of his mother. Searching, searing, and beautifully written, this book captures the complexities of life along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Heavy: An American Memoir, by Kiese Laymon
    Tara Westover’s relationship with her parents was complicated, to say the least. Her father, whom she suspects has bipolar disorder, dominated her and subjected her to abuse. Yet Westover still loves her parents so much that breaking with them was heart-wrenching. In one of the most celebrated memoirs of recent years, Kiese Laymon likewise lays bare his fraught relationship with food, his body, and his mother, to whom he addresses the book. Laymon’s mother, an accomplished, loving, brilliant, black college professor in Jackson, Mississippi, raised him right and wrong at the same time. As Laymon pores through his past in this unflinching book that in the end casts no blame on his mother, he makes it clear that the abuse he suffered—from the beatings his mom gave him, to sexual violation by a babysitter, to his own disordered relationship with food—are the consequences of growing up in a society that acts as though poor black people are not fully human.

    Mean, by Myriam Gurba
    If you came away from reading Educated with a great admiration for Tara Westover’s pluck and knack for self-reinvention, here’s another indomitable memoirist to meet: Myriam Gurba. In Mean, Gurba tells the story of growing up in California in the shadow of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, the daughter of a Mexican-American mother and a Polish-American father—she calls herself a “Molack.” Gurba writes with tremendous potency and wit about how people reacted to the Mexican side of her heritage—including a hysterical chapter in which she stays at a neighbor’s house and is served a disgusting, gloppy casserole the woman describes as “Mexican” food. As a young adult, Gurba is assaulted by a stranger who then goes on to rape and kill another woman, but this memoir does not follow the standard structure of a victim’s tale. Instead, it’s a heroine’s story, an account of how Gurba became the bold, hilarious artist, poet, and writer she is today. “Art is one way to work out touch gone wrong,” Gurba writes.

    The post 6 Memoirs to Read Next If You Loved <i>Educated</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Nicole Hill 4:00 pm on 2019/04/26 Permalink
    Tags: , Books You Need to Read, , , , , , , love medicine series, , , , thank you mom, , the house of the spirits, , , the rules of magic   

    The 10 Best Moms in Fiction 

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    There are lots of lists out there about literature’s worst mothers. The Mrs. Bennets of the world seem to suck up all the oxygen. (Something with which Elizabeth Bennet likely would agree.) But what of fiction’s fine motherly figures? What of those who try their best to do right by their children—whether they gave birth to them or not? The following ten characters, while never perfect, prove the virtues of motherhood in all its messy, complicated, astounding glory.

    Molly Weasley
    Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling

    Where else to start but with the harried matriarch of the unruly Weasley brood? A mother of seven and the wife of a moony Muggle enthusiast, Molly keeps her household running and her children awash in fine knitwear—and she still takes time to lavish the same maternal affection (and sometimes consternation) on her children’s wayward friends. She’s the unsung hero of the Order of the Phoenix whose bravery caused me (and all of you) to cheer aloud when she faced off with Bellatrix Lestrange.

    Mrs. Murry
    A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

    Mr. Murry often gets the credit for being brilliant, but Katherine Murry is an accomplished microbiologist whose professional accomplishments do not get her sucked through the space-time continuum. With her husband gone missing for years, Mrs. Murry keeps her family together, even the strange genius who is her youngest son. Meg leaves her mother behind as she goes on her tesseract adventures, but my secret hope always has been there’s an unwritten epilogue out there where Kate Murry gets to go on a vacation.

    Lulu Nanapush
    Love Medicine series, by Louise Erdrich

    Lulu is not a perfect woman or mother, but life hasn’t exactly treated her, or the Ojibwe reservation she calls home, with the utmost kindness. She encapsulates the challenges of both mother- and womanhood. We’re introduced to her in Love Medicine, in which she’s entangled in a decades-long love triangle with the man she’s always loved and the woman he married. In a story, and series, that spans generations, we see Lulu move on to other relationships and amass a family of nine children in the process. All the while, she’s remarkably unabashed in her strength and independence.

    Lisa Carter
    The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

    The Carters are a modern fictional family, and Lisa is the glue that holds them together. Lisa got pregnant as a teenager and dealt with her mother’s rejection. A nurse, she raised her children, Starr and Sekani, to be strong and well-aware of the racial injustice of their neighborhood and the world they live in. She’s forged a strong marriage despite her husband’s incarceration and affair, and she treats Seven, the product of that affair, with love. The Hate U Give is a story of strength in the face of adversity, and Lisa is one of the strongest characters in Garden Heights.

    Margaret March
    Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

    Raising four daughters on your own in the middle of the Civil War and your own dire financial situation would be enough to crumple anybody’s spirits. But Marmee not only carries on, she does so with aplomb. The anti-Mrs. Bennet, Marmee puts her focus on treating her daughters with love and kindness and providing an example of how they should apply those same qualities to their own interactions with others. She’s no shallow perfect character either; her charity and compassion ring true, even 150 years later.

    Miss Honey
    Matilda, by Roald Dahl

    Look, mothers come in all packages, and Jennifer Honey proves to be more of a mom to whiz-kid Matilda than her biological mother ever was. As Matilda’s teacher, she’s the first person truly to recognize the unbelievable talents of a small, neglected girl. Not only does she encourage her, Miss Honey fights for her, too. (And Matilda returns the favor in spades thanks to her telekinesis, the oldest trick in the book.) Their shared happy ending makes them an adoptive family, but Miss Honey was a mother to Matilda way before those final pages.

    Suyuan Woo, An-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-Ying St. Clair
    The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan

    The relationships between mothers and daughters are never simple and rarely conflict-free. The beauty is in the way those bonds, when strong, are able to mend any tear. The four Chinese immigrants who get together each week to play mahjong in this novel, and the four daughters they raise, are perfect examples of this simultaneous tenderness and turbulence. In a story spanning 40 years, we see it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And still there is mahjong, and gossip, and storytelling, and the stitching together of generations.

    Lilith Iyapo
    Dawn, by Octavia Butler

    Lilith did have a biological son before the start of this novel, but her place on this list is because of a slightly different role she’s tasked with playing: mother to a new species. You see, Lilith is one of the few survivors of an Earth apocalypse, one human saved from extinction by an alien species. For centuries, Lilith and the other remaining humans have been asleep and their rescuers have worked to rehab Earth. Now, the Oankali, a, let’s say, tentacle-forward race, are ready to repopulate the planet … together … with humans. (You know.)

    Clara del Valle Trueba
    The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende

    In a sweeping story of family history, Clara is an otherworldly focal point. Her innate clairvoyance blossoms into broader abilities as she matures, abilities intimately tied to the fate of her family through the decades. In a story aswirl with chaos and trauma, Clara is a calming center, protective of her children, particularly when it comes to her volatile husband. Her presence imbues every aspect of the life of the Truebas, even after her death. Sometimes her powers make her dreamy and distanced, but her heart’s in the right place and she grows into her starring role.

    The Aunts
    Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman

    Again, circumstances beyond biology can forge some of the greatest mothers. The Owens family is decidedly non-traditional: two aunts raising two nieces, all witches. Also, there’s that whole family curse that spells doom for the unfortunate man who might fall in love with any Owens woman. While the hijinks that occur in Practical Magic may make you wonder about supervision Sally and Gillian’s aunts provide, their enduring encouragement to embrace the weird and witchy—and to give zero flips about what anyone else thinks—is an inspiration.

    The post The 10 Best Moms in Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jen Harper 4:00 pm on 2019/04/17 Permalink
    Tags: believe: a pop-up book of possibilities, Books You Need to Read, for every one, , gmorning gnight: little pep talks for me and you, , , graduation day, in conclusion don't worry about it, love the fur you're in, the happiest tree: a story of growing up   

    7 Fun New Gift Books for Graduates of All Ages 

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    We can almost hear those opening notes of “Pomp and Circumstance, as everyone rushes to wrap a new copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! for their favorite grad. But if you’re looking for something a little different to give the graduate on their big day, we have some awesome options. Whether you know a graduate who is getting ready to make the leap from kindergarten to first grade, or one who is finishing the last exam before they get their college degree, we have rounded up a few perfect new gift books that might just give the perennial Dr. Seuss favorite a run for its money.

    The Happiest Tree: A Story of Growing Up, by Hyeon-Ju Lee
    For those who loved Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, The Happiest Tree tells another heartwarming and tear-jerking tale of taking root and branching out. A gingko tree outside an apartment building narrates this sweet and emotionally poignant story. As it grows, the gingko gets to know residents on different floors of the building—a piano class on the ground floor when it is 10; at 14, an artist on the second floor whose muse is the tree itself; a family as it gets older still; and ultimately a lonely elderly woman. The book offers a beautiful message all about the transitions between sadness and joy that come with growing up.

    Love the Fur You’re In, by Random House
    In celebration of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary comes this colorful picture book filled with important advice to keep in mind whether you’re graduating from preschool or college. Help your grad to find a sunny day to sweep the clouds away with wise and witty wisdom such as “Get out in the rain and dance,” “Don’t hide your light under a trashcan lid,” “Be someone’s Super Grover!” and more. Full-color pictures of beloved characters like Big Bird, Grover, Oscar, Ernie, Bert, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Count, and others will have everyone feeling nostalgic and asking, “Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?”

    In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It, by Lauren Graham
    Lauren Graham may be best known for talking as fast as she could on the show Gilmore Girls, but she’s also a bestselling author of both fiction and memoir and an all-around wise and witty woman, which made her a perfect pick to deliver the commencement address at her alma mater, Langley High, in 2017. In this expansion of her funny, grounding, and inspiring speech, Graham conveys such pearls of wisdom as, “If you’re kicking yourself for not having accomplished all you should have by now, don’t worry about it. Even without any ‘big’ accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough,” making her book an awesome gift for grads.

    Believe: A Pop-Up Book of Possibilities, by Robert Sabuda
    Proof that we never outgrow the delightful whimsy of a pop-up book, paper artist Robert Sabuda’s new book offers a magnificently designed reflection on moving from dreaming to achieving. Flat images representing possibilities—a pinecone, an egg, a paper airplane—accompany simple text on one spread, and each is followed up by an amazing 3-D pop-up image representing a successful coming to fruition—a towering tree, a flight of birds, a rocket blasting off. Readers of all ages will appreciate the intricate engineering of the paper works and the message of following your dreams.

    For Every One, by Jason Reynolds
    Bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s For Every One was originally performed at the Kennedy Center’s unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and thankfully, it was also turned into a beautiful volume that can be gifted to any grad dreaming of something big. In a collection of short poems, Reynolds writes of his own struggles, hopes, dreams, insecurities, and more: “At sixteen / I thought / I would’ve made it / by now. / Now / I’m making up / what making it / means.” His uplifting message of perseverance will truly resonate with anyone and everyone.

    Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You, by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonny Sun
    Who couldn’t use a little motivational pick-me-up in the morning and some comforting and calming words of reassurance before bed each night? That’s precisely what creator and star of Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda and illustrator and acclaimed artist Jonny Sun deliver in this 200-plus–page tome. Miranda has been offering up these original sayings and aphorisms to his Twitter followers for quite some time, and they resonated so deeply with so many people that Miranda collected the best of his beginning- and end-of-the-day messages, accompanied by Sun’s black-and-white drawings, in this grad-gift–worthy book.

    Getting There: A Workbook for Growing Up, by Mari Andrew
    Instagram artist Mari Andrew gave readers a candid and vulnerable look into her own winding path to adulthood, which involved a breakup and the death of her father in 2015, with Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood. And now, this new guided companion to her first book gives those on their own journey some imaginative and inspiring prompts and questions and plenty of space for recording their own trials, tribulations, and celebrations as they move into adulthood. This is a perfect gift for grads as they venture out into the world.

    What are your favorite new books to gift to graduates?

    The post 7 Fun New Gift Books for Graduates of All Ages appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Erin Jones 6:00 pm on 2019/04/16 Permalink
    Tags: advice from my 80-year-old self, always wear sunscreen, Books You Need to Read, , make your bed, the dangerous book for boys, the double-daring book for girls, the graduate survival guide: 5 mistakes you can't afford to make in college, the tao of pooh, , whatever you are be a good one: 100 inspirational quotations hand-lettered   

    11 Great Books for Grads 

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    If you think May should be renamed May-hem, you are not alone. It’s graduation season! Gowns are donned, caps are flung, diplomas are dispersed, and shoppers everywhere are searching for that special grad gift. Look no further than these eleven book picks. With options from preschool (the cutest), to elementary, middle, and high school graduates, we have all ages and stages covered. A book is a smart gift for encouraging lifelong learning.

    Edmund Unravels, by Andrew Kolb
    Edmund is a bright ball of turquoise yarn. He loves to unravel and explore the world, always returning home with a helpful reeling in by his parents. At first his adventures are close by, but as he gets older and bigger, his journeys become more distant. Little readers will cheer as Edmund decides to ravel his way back home when he tires of his exploits. Parents will be happy to share a message about exploring with a safe place to land when the corners of the world become unwelcome.

    Kindergarten, Here I Come!, by D. J. Steinberg and Mark Chambers
    Preschool graduates will love this charming tale. With detailed illustrations and simple, rhyming text, the expectations of a day in the life of a kindergartener is covered from start to finish. From first day jitters, to lunch, to recess, and celebrating the 100th day of school, little ones will have a better sense of their school days to come after reading this story. Pick up a copy now and start sharing with your child to help them ease into that first day of kindy.

    The Wonderful Things You Will Be (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Emily Winfield Martin
    This recently released Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition features a new, original print. It’s easy to see why this book is a bestseller, as it resonates with parents and children alike. With beautiful illustrations and rhythmic text, the author-illustrator cleverly imagines what parents think of when they look at their children. With its encouragement of character qualities, such as kindness and helping others, kids of many ages can identify with the messages in this book. A perfect gift for graduation time.

    Whatever You Are, Be a Good One: 100 Inspirational Quotations Hand-Lettered, by Lisa Congdon
    With enlightening words and snippets of encouragement, this book is filled with wise words for graduates. Equally appropriate for elementary, middle, or high school grads, each page is lovingly illustrated and provides a frame-worthy inspiration or call to action. With more than 100 quotes from history’s wisest individuals, this book is a great pick for those with a creative side, an aspiration for the arts, avid writers, or students with an appreciation for timeless wisdom.

    The Double-Daring Book for Girls, by Andrea J. Buchanan, Miriam Peskowitz, and Alexis Seabrook
    A follow-up to the bestselling The Daring Book for Girls, this book packs a punch, doing double duty as both educational and fun. From exploring history, to learning about customs, providing educational insight, and offering guides to activities, this book offers something for everyone. Topics range from surfing to April Fool’s Day, and cowboys to croquet. Aimed at older elementary age students, this makes a memorable graduation gift that will certainly inspire (and enlighten) any young reader.

    The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
    Chock full of life skills and useful information, this book is for outdoorsy kids of all ages. Learn how to tie a knot, find true north, identify a tree, or make a periscope. Stimulating curiosity, exploring education hands on, and encouraging parent-child activities, this tome captures something for everyone. Taking kids away from the temptation of technology and luring them into the great outdoors, this book will keep them busy long after graduation.

    I Will Always Write Back, by Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda, and Liz Welch
    Oftentimes, graduation equals separation from friends and peers. As students transition on to new schools, keeping lines of communication open can be grounding and provide reassurance. This book explores the true story of a girl from America and a boy from Zimbabwe and their pen pal relationship. Young readers will appreciate how correspondence can keep you connected, and marvel at just how big the world is and how important new connections can be. Kids will want to share this one with parents, making this a graduation gift for the whole family to enjoy.

    The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff and  Ernest H. Shepard
    Short on words yet deep in meaning, this book explores the idea of needing to be ourselves. With Pooh and a cast of Hundred Acre Woods characters throughout the story, readers will encounter a range of philosophical views and personalities. Students will be able to better understand the religions and beliefs of other cultures, as well as begin to comprehend their place in the world. In the end, everyone will ask if they can be more like Pooh—calm, reflective, and utterly in tune with themselves.
    ean9]Advice from My 80-Year-Old Self: Real Words of Wisdom from People Ages 7 to 88, by Susan O’Malley and Christina Amini
    O’Malley has taken the question, “What advice would your 80-year-old self give you?” and transformed the responses from people of all ages and from all walks of life into this vibrant book. The result is a range of simple, complex, and heartwarming responses; from advice to listen to your mom, to the reassurance that it’s ok to put sugar in your tea.

    The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College, by Anthony ONeal and Rachel Cruze
    High school graduates heading off to university will appreciate this useful and insightful book. Authors ONeal and Cruze identify five mistakes to avoid in college, with a focus on making healthy money habits a high priority. This primer will keep a college-bound student thinking about their financial success as much as their educational success.

    Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World, by William McRaven
    Admiral William H. McRaven introduces ten principles from Navy Seal training to students with this small yet smart book. With insight, wisdom, wit, and grit, this book explores the military-inspired ways to get more out of life, including values that go well beyond starting your day with a well-made bed. This small, punchy book offers gift-givers an excellent opportunity to share pragmatic advice with students heading out into the world on their own.

    Check out our Gifts for Grads page for more gift ideas for new graduates!

    The post 11 Great Books for Grads appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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