Read All About It: It’s the Holidays!

Librarians are ready to help you enjoy the holidays with book, movie recommendations.

LIBRARY: Last year, as we all celebrated the holidays at home, we at Alive! thought you might be looking for recommendations for things to read and watch. Librarians stepped in to help, and we thought we’d do it again this holiday season.

Below is a selection of books and movies reflecting some of the Library’s most popular loans for the winter holidays. If your favorite holiday isn’t represented, feel free to email, and the Librarians can help.

Happy Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa to all, and to all a good night!

(Special thanks to the Librarians and to Susan Lendroth, Public Relations Specialist, for her assistance.)

Younger Readers

Vegetables in Holiday Underwear
Jared Chapman

Pea declares that December is the best time of year because of… the holiday underwear! Every vegetable wants new underwear, even… Santa?! Prepare for festive fun!

Ming’s Christmas Wishes
Susan L. Gong; illustrated Masahiro Tateishi

When a Chinese-American child living in 1930s California feels left out of all the Christmas celebrations around her, her family finds a way to celebrate that honors their cultural and religious traditions.

Twelve Days of Christmas
Lara Hawthorne

This new picture book version of the traditional carol has lively illustrations of a green Christmas, perfect for those of us who live far away from the snow!


For Young Adults

Carols and Chaos
Cindy Anstey

If you like cozy holiday mystery romances, look no further. It’s 1817 and the holidays have descended upon Shackleford Park. A counterfeiting scheme invades their life, and lady’s maid Kate and valet Matt are swept up in the adventure along with their growing feelings for each other.

Snow in Love: Four Stories
Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone and Kasie West

What’s better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story? Four of them! Enjoy this collection of short stories from bestselling authors Melissa De La Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, and Kasie West. Grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love.

Hot Glue Hacks and Crafts: 50 Fun and Creative Decor, Fashion, Gift and Holiday Projects to Make With Your Glue Gun
Angie Holden

Have fun making easy-to-follow crafts with your hot glue gun! Ornaments, wreaths, cards and specialty items perfect for gifts can be found with step-by-step instructions. Great for solo work or fun as a family!

For Grownups

1,001 Ways to Celebrate Christmas and Create Lasting Traditions
Cider Mill Press

This lovely book will spread the joy of the holiday in 1,001 different ways, from the simplest to the more complex activities: recipes, crafts, decorating ideas, reading suggestions and gift ideas. Interspersed are quotations highlighting the beauty and spirit of the season. It can be read sequentially or opened at random.

Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy
Beth Kempton

During this hectic time of year, here is a book that will inspire all of us to celebrate the meaning of the Christmas and New Year holidays, and not get frazzled or worn out. The book has suggestions for gifts and ways of observance that should make everyone ready to rejoice and welcome a beautiful holiday season.

Movies Based on Books

A Christmas Story
Adapted from In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd

Jean Shepherd’s best-selling book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash is a collection of short stories adapted from Shepherd’s childhood antics growing up in Indiana. Originally performed on the radio, these stories tell the tale of Ralph, a man who has returned to his hometown and spends the day reminiscing about the past with an old friend. Funny and heartwarming, these stories evoke small-town life in a bygone era. Four of the stories inspired the beloved 1983 Christmas film A Christmas Story, for which Shepherd served as the narrator.

Die Hard
Adapted from Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Christmas setting? Check. Christmas music? Check. A heartwarming family reunion? Check — all the makings of a classic Christmas film. Even the book it is based on is set during Christmas. Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp pits retired Police Officer Joe Leland against a group of German terrorists who take over the office Christmas party Leland’s daughter is attending. Armed with only his gun, Leland takes on the heavily armed criminals one by one and will do whatever it takes to save the day (and the holiday) from their evil intentions.

For Young Readers

The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol
Arthur A. Levine; illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Nate Gadol is a generous spirit who can use magic to make things last, like keeping flowers fresh or helping a tiny bit of oil last for eight days and nights. When the Glaser family has no money left for Hanukkah sweets after helping their neighbors, Nate Gadol works his magic and partners with his old friend Santa to stretch the holiday spirit and make a memorable holiday season for all.

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah
Erica S. Perl; illustrated by Shahar Kober

A family moves to a new apartment right before Hanukkah and they can’t find the box that has all their special holiday items! Happily, their neighbors help them find a creative solution.

For Grownups

The Hanukkah Anthology
Edited by Philip Goodman

Everything anyone needs to know about Hanukkah is in this book: covering stories going back 2,000 years; biblical and post-biblical information; citings from the Talmud and Midrashim; laws, customs from different countries, stories, poems, art and recipes. Readers will find works from well-known writers including Emma Lazarus, Sholom Aleichem, I.L. Peretz, and many others

The Matzah Ball: A Novel
Jean Meltzer

A Hanukkah rom-com? Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl who loves Christmas, which is perfect for her career as a Christmas romance novelist. Hanukkah does not thrill her. When her publisher insists that she write a novel about it, Rachel attends the Matzah Ball to fire up her inspiration. She gets more than material for a novel, as she reconnects with someone from her past, Jacob Greenberg


For Young Readers

The People Remember
Ibi Zoboi; illustrated by Loveis Wise

This beautiful poem weaves the seven principles of Kwanzaa into the broader context of African American history and culture. Thought-provoking and empowering.


For Grownups

Between Father and Son: An African-American Fable
Eric V. Copage

A coming-of-age tale about 13-year-old Jordan Garrison who has issues: lectures from his widowed father about how to be a man; becoming distanced from his younger siblings; entering high school; and then the sudden death of his father. Jordan’s hip, warm grandmother seems to be his only support, until a shopkeeper, Snackman, provides guidance by giving the young man a frayed, stained piece of kente cloth. This brings knowledge of his rich African-American heritage that culminates in a Kwanzaa ceremony.

Grace Hansen

Color photographs and diagrams accompany this concise explanation of the reasons for the longest and shortest days of the year, culminating in a dramatic image of celebrants gathered at Stonehenge.

For Young Readers

Fox Versus Winter
Corey R. Tabor

If you dislike the cold and dark days of winter, you might identify with Fox in this “I Can Read” book. Bored and lonely without his friends to play with, he declares war on the season.

Once Upon a Winter Day
Liza Woodruff

In this celebration of nature and storytelling, a child follows a mouse’s tracks in the snow and creates an adventure from his own imagination.

For Young Adults

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Edited by Stephanie Perkins

Twelve festive love stories that delve into Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice and New Year’s — a little something for everyone.

The Star Wars Craft Book
Bonnie Burton

If you’re looking for some tween and teen crafts that are good for all age and skill levels to keep your kids occupied during winter break, try making some action figure wreaths, Hanukkah “droidels,” Ewok fleece hats, R2-D2 crocheted beanies and more!




For Adults