Easter means egg hunts, candy, and plastic grass in bright baskets, right?
Well what if you want to use this holiday as a time to sneak in a little reading for your kids?
What books are must-have’s for Easter baskets?
I have done all the hard work for you, friends, and I have your answer here. First, I’ll tell you which books you should have for the little guys, and then I’ll tell you which books you should grab for the bigger guys.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Must-Have Books for Easter Baskets:
For the little guys–cousins and friends:
These books, for the most part, focus on messages of appreciation, love, patience, growth, and awareness–all important concepts during the Easter season.
When God Made You, by Matthew Paul Turner and illustrated by David Catrow
This beautiful book forces young ones to think about their own special gifts and how they, as small as they may be, actually fit perfectly into God’s divine plan. Every, single illustration on each page of this book is worthy of a frame and a spot on the wall, and every, single word of this book is worth of being committed to memory by our children. It’s a beautiful and thought-provoking book with a message more important than most.
We’re All Wonders, by R.J. Palacio
A children’s book version of the amazing and best-selling Wonder by the same author, this book is beautiful and strong. I mean–WONDER. What’s not to love? And why wouldn’t we want every child to hear this story?
Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson
CJ learns that though he may not have all of the things that his friends have–like a car or an iPad or a million other things–he sure has a Grandma who loves him dearly. And readers will see that he has so much more.
Waiting, by Kevin Henkes
Everyone waits for something, right? This is a sweet book about taking a minute to think about others–and for young children who have a hard time waiting–a great way to look at and appreciate the peace in those quiet times.
For Cora, 10 years old and in 4th grade:
All three of my kids have been longtime fans of The Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies, which chronicles a sister and brother literally warring over who has the most successful lemonade stand. Not only are there a boatload of cool business ideas in this book, but there’s a bunch of math problems as well, as they work to figure out how to make a profit on this sweet drink.
Since we already have book two of this series, The Lemonade Crime (which is also a great read!), I ordered these books for Cora’s Easter basket:
The Bell Bandit (book 3 of The Lemonade War series), by Jacqueline Davies
The Candy Smash (book 4 of The Lemonade War series), by Jaqueline Davies
I think she’ll love them, and since she’s been talking about making money all winter long, I went ahead and grabbed this for her:
Better Than a Lemonade Stand!: Small Business Ideas for Kids, by Daryl Bernstain and illustrated by Rob Husberg
For Owen, 11 years old and in 5th grade:
The Kingdom Keepers, by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Tristan Elwell
Owen read the first book of the Kingdom Keepers after we received a copy in the mail a few months ago, and he’s been dying for the next few books ever since.
Since we’re big Disney fans to begin with, these books are totally cool, since the premise is that five teens have been transformed into holographic hosts at Disney World, so they’re like in between real and imagined. Very cool.
Anyway, since Owen has the first in this series, he’ll find Kingdom Keepers books II, III, and IV in his basket.
The Kingdom Keepers, Book II: Disney at Dawn, by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Tristan Elwell
The Kingdom Keepers, Book III: Disney in Shadow, by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Tristan Elwell
The Kingdom Keepers, Book IV: Power Play, by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Tristan Elwell
For Maddy, 13 years old and in 7th grade:
Admittedly, because Maddy is on the edge of Middle Grade Books and Young Adult reads, I often consult Common Sense Media for reviews on books.
This time, however, I reached out to the crazy-amazing bibliophile, movie-and-book-reviewer extraordinnaire, smarter-than-anyone-I know-friend, the beautiful and incredible Sandie Angulo Chen. Sandie writes Teen Lit Rocks and also runs The DC Moms, and she’s a regular reviewer for Common Sense Media.
I asked Sandie what she’d recommend for Maddy. Maddy’s an avid reader who loved The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The 5th Wave, and Percy Jackson but that she also loved Reign Rain, The Honest Truth, and The Family Tree series.
Sandie gave me a bunch of feedback on some titles I hunted down myself, but then she gave me these recommendations:
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Cinder is the first of the five books in The Lunar Chronicles. The Lunar Chronicles is a re-writing of fairy tales, but this time those familiar tales are set in the future. I really think Maddy will like them, but I wanted to be sure before I bought the whole set.
Cinder should be a good start.
Legend, by Marie Lu
Legend is the first book of the Legend Trilogy. The Legend Trilogy is a dystopian series like The Hunger Games or the Divergent series, but it’s supposed to be a little more relationship-focused and less edgy. We’ll see.
Since Maddy loved the other two series, I thought I’d introduce her to something similar.
And, because I know Maddy also is totally into realistic fiction right now, I went for this one:
Tell Me Three Things, by Julie Buxbaum
It’s a little bit of mystery, a little bit of romance, a lot of mixed emotion, confusion, and frustration. The main character, Jessie, is forced to move across the country after her mother dies and her father remarries. Starting school where she knows no one, she finds she begins to rely heavily on a mysterious, anonymous note-writer to help her navigate the halls of her new prep school.
Well? What do you think?
I’d love to hear what’s in YOUR kids’ Easter baskets this year! I’d love to hear it–and I’d love if you gave this post a share!
Cheers, and happy reading during this incredibly exciting journey!
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