Home » First Lady announces Top 10 Winter Reads

First Lady announces Top 10 Winter Reads

Lexington writer Gwenda Bond on list

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 10, 2014) — In an effort to increase youth readership, First Lady Jane Beshear today announced her Top 10 Winter Reads as a part of the First Lady’s Reading Recommendations Initiative.

Unknown“Winter’s dreary weather provides a perfect opportunity for children to discover new lessons and adventures through reading,” Beshear said. “Students who enjoy reading are more likely to be engaged in the classroom, resulting in higher retention rates, positive test scores and an increased desire to pursue post-secondary education. Whether it be a selection on this list, or one your personal favorites, give the gift of literature this season to a young reader in your life.”

Winter Reading List:

1. “No Two Alike” by Keith Baker (Ages Infant – 5) — “Young readers will be enamored with the wondrous illustrations and simple nature of this story.  It follows two red birds as they explore a white, wintery land filled with snowflakes, trees, leaves and branches—none of which are alike. It teaches children about the beauty of being unique in nature, and as people.”

2. “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster (Ages 9-12) — “Ten-year-old Milo is bored with everyday life, until one afternoon he arrives home to find a mysterious tollbooth in his bedroom. Milo’s curiosity leads him through the tollbooth into a fantasy world, where he embarks on a journey to help return two princesses to their home kingdom. Follow Milo on his adventure filled with memorable characters, witty wording and inspiring satire.”

3. “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson (Ages 4-8) — “This story is the epitome of a classic fairytale, filled with themes of love, friendship and bravery against the backdrop of a magical land.  It centers on young Gerda’s quest to help her best friend, Kai, escape from the Snow Queen’s enchanted palace.  Readers will not be disappointed by this archetypal tale of good vs. evil.”

4. “Shiver” by Maggie Steifvater (Ages 13 and up) — “Young adult readers with an interest in the supernatural will enjoy this new take on the classic werewolf legend. It follows Grace, a human girl, and Sam, a half-human, half wolf, as they fall in love and fight to stay together despite outside influences and the inevitable transformation of Sam losing his ability to change back in to a boy. The author’s poetic imagery will give readers the chill of the narrative’s Minnesota winter and the warmth of a mystical, young love story.”

5. “Jack Juett – Portrait of an American Hero” by Martha Jane Hutcherson (Ages 8-12) —“Everyone is familiar with the famous story of Paul Revere, but he was not the only American hero to warn that ‘the British are coming.’ This story tells the amazing account of Captain Jack Juett’s midnight ride to warn Thomas Jefferson that the British were coming to capture him and the Virginia legislature in 1781. Readers will gain some revolutionary knowledge and learn about Kentuckian Jack Juett in this historical and exciting tale.”

6. “Girl on a Wire” by Gwenda Bond (Ages 12 and up) — “Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. But when her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, she must team up with her chief rival to solve a magical mystery. Bond lives in Lexington.

7. “Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson (Ages Infant – 5) — “This charming tale of kindness and sharing is about a group of woodland animals who, in an effort to escape the winter weather, gather in a bear’s cave as he sleeps. The animals cook, chat and throw a party in the cave until the bear suddenly wakes up and offers his uninvited guests a surprising reaction.”

8. “I am Malala:  How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)” by Malala Yousafzai (Ages 10 and up) — “As the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history, Malala Yousafzai is an international heroine for taking a stand against terrorists and spreading the message of change through peaceful protest. This version of Malala’s memoir is written specifically for young reader and offers a firsthand account of her near death experience and growing up in a once-peaceful community that was overthrown by the Taliban.”

9. “Llama Llama Holiday Drama” by Anna Dewdney (Ages 3-5) — “The ‘Llama Llama’ series continues with this winter-time, holiday-themed selection. Llama Llama’s mama becomes very busy with shopping, cooking, wrapping gifts and all of the hustle and bustle that tends to go along with the holidays. As the story concludes, it helps remind readers of the true meaning of the season.

10. “My Penguin Osbert” by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel (Ages 4 – 8) — “Young Osbert is very meticulous with his Christmas list requests; as Santa has been slightly off with his deliveries in the past. On Christmas morning, Osbert wakes to find exactly what he asks for under the tree:  a real live penguin. While delightful, the quirky penguin delivers Osbert, and young readers, the message of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ ”