The books my boys are getting for Christmas

We have arrived safely at Grandma's house in Virginia, and I have unpacked the presents (mostly books) and started wrapping them.  I like to give books not just because Books but because books are one of the few things I can wrap reasonably well (I am not Martha Stewart, nor was meant to be, as J. Alfred Prufrock almost put it).   But even books are tricky when you are me, and every scrap of extra paper is a thing of shame, and you aren't allowed to use more than three thin slivers of tape per present (because the Environment).  But the wrapping is now done, and here are the books they are getting:

For my 15 year old son:

Baba Yaga's Assistant, by Marika McCoola (this graphic novel has gotten great reviews)

Jackaby, by William Ritter  (he loves Lockwood and Co., and this seems a reasonable next step)

Great Tales of Horror, by H.P. Lovecraft (he goes to school a stone's throw from Lovecraft Square, and I work almost across the street from the Shunned House.  Lovecraft is cool amongst the geeky young of Providence.  This was also very cheap at my local B. and N.).

Science Tales: Lies, Hoaxes, and Scams, by Darryl Cunningham  (he loves Cunningham's first graphic book, Psychiatric Tales, which tell the author's experience working in a psychiatric hospital).

The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir, by Riad Sattouf (he loves Persepolis; I hope this one is good too!)

Agnes Quill: an Anthology of Mystery, by Dave Roman  I found this one by cleverly wondering what else Dave Roman, a favorite of ours (Astronaut Academy love!) had written.  "Agnes Quill is the story of a teenage detective, the haunted city she lives in, the strange cases she solves, and the ghosts who help, hinder, or just plain annoy her."  Sounds good to me.

Sketching from the Imagination: Sci-fi.  We need inspiration.
Digger, Vol. 1, by Urusla Vernon.  This one has been in my Amazon cart for years, and I have finally bought it yay!
For my 12 year old son
(From Scholastic for review) Escaping Peril (Wings of Fire 8), by Tui T. Sutherland (I am so happy my review copy for B. and N. Reads came in time for Christmas!  My boy will be happy too!  Happiness all around, plus that smug pleasure that comes from giving your children books they really want that haven't been released yet).
Mogworld,  by Yahtzee Croshaw (he asked for it.  I bought it.)
Mouse Guard: Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales by David Petersen (the Mouse Guard books are good graphic novels for fantasy lovers this age)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs (he was asking about this one the other day, there was a nice copy in my local used bookstore, and I had bookstore credit burning a hole in my pocket...and I wanted another large hardcover to really give the suitcase that extra special heft that means Christmas is really happening  sob.  And yes, I since I bought lots of these through Amazon, I could have had them sent directly here to VA, but then I would have had to pay VA sales tax even though I was clearly buying them right there in RI, and I resented that.).
Pearls Gets Sacrificed, by Stephan Pastis.  Both boys are Pearls Before Swine fans
and the one that will make him Happiest of all--Gunnerkrigg Court #3: Reason.  I came home from BEA this summer with the first two books, and he Loves them.  They are being reissued (so the paperback of this one comes out in Feb.)  but I was able to find a used copy so nice (first edition hardcover, mint condition) that I almost don't want to put it into his grubby little paws....(although to be fair, just in case he is sneaking on here and reading this and if you are Matt don't tell me you did, he is the most obsessive of any of us about hand washing....)
If you had to pick one set of books to be given for yourself, which would it be?  I guess I would be the 12 year old, because of really wanting to read Escaping Peril myself.


  1. Your boys are so lucky to receive some amazing-looking books. Jackaby is a fantastic book and I hope your son enjoys it. Happy Holidays.

  2. They all look and sound like magical reading journeys.

  3. Ooh, very cool. Loved reading these two lists. I think I'd pick the 15 year olds stack because I want to read Baba Yaga's Assistant and Agnes Quill, and that drawing book looks cool.

    My family loves Gunnerkrigg Court. I think everyone over eight (my parents and siblings, but not my kids) has read all the printed volumes, and some of us keep up online as well.

  4. Oh your lucky children! They must have had a glorious Christmas -- there's nothing I love more than finishing Christmas Day with a big stack of new books.


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