Merry Christmas & a Happy (book-filled) New Year!

There’s now just a weekend between us and ‘the big day’ and so we find ourselves here we are with the final installment of this year’s Book Advent. This month, we’ve recommended sixteen titles (the last four are below!) from a variety of genres, all of which we think are worthy of your time. If you’ve missed any, you can find week one here, week two here and week three over here.

We’ll be taking our usual festive hiatus until January, but until then- thanks, as always, for reading our little blog and we hope you have a lovely break, whatever you may be doing!

Week Four: Family!

  • Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

This is a fabulous novel set in the Second World War, full of mystery and twists and turns. Heroine Olive is a quiet serious child who discovers a lot about herself and her family, and about the terrible effects of the war. Themes of racism, common humanity and compassion are woven into the story in a natural and authentic way, and can’t fail to alert the reader to events of today.

(Faber, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780571327584, find it at a Norfolk Library)

  • Hetty Feather’s Christmas by Jacqueline Wilson

This is a festive treat for Wilson fans, as Hetty, after some trouble, is treated to a very special Christmas. She doesn’t have a conventional family, as she is an orphan living in the Foundling Hospital, and life was normally very tough. There are some bonus facts about Christmas in Victorian times.

(Doubleday, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9780857535535, find it at a Norfolk Library)

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The BBC are dramatizing this classic novel over the Christmas period; yet again, you may think, but it is a great story and may encourage a new generation to read the original novel. These are not shrinking Victorian violets, but resilient girls with very different personalities and forms of courage. Jo’s famous opening complaint: “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents.” resonates with the modern child as much now as it did then!

(There are many versions of this classic available, but the picture version is Puffin, £9.99 hardback, ISBN 9780147514011. You can find others at a Norfolk Library)

  • Wenceslas by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Christian Birmingham

The familiar Christmas carol was based on the legends which grew up around the life of an early Christian duke of Bohemia, who was so loved in his time that he was made a saint. This is a fictionalised retelling by a great author, and given sumptuous illustrations by Birmingham. Just the ticket for reading aloud by the fire at Christmas.

(Corgi, OOP paperback, ISBN 9780552549097, find it at a Norfolk Library)

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