Winter Break Book Reading for All Levels
Looking for creative ways to get your kids away from screens? These days it seems impossible with online learning, streaming services, and the oh-so-addicting TikTok dances. Reading can be the perfect substitute, especially if it’s a book that your little ones can’t seem to put down. But finding those page-turner books isn’t always the easiest task. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top picks for early readers, first chapter books, upper-level readers, and young adults for winter break book reading.
Psst…check out our roundup of the 10 Children’s Books to Read for Black History Month
Check out our list and start reading with your kiddos!
Superheroes Are Everywhere by Kamala Harris
VP Kamala Harris (enough said!) brings us this gem of a children’s book! Your kids will love getting some insight into who Kamala Harris is as they learn about all the many places to find superheroes in day-to-day life. This #1 New York Times Bestseller is a must-read for little ones.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than If You Gave a Mouse a Cookie, your favorite mouse is back in Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! The illustrations are so fun for preschoolers to follow along, and it’s the perfect introduction to reading. Even if your little ones read this book post-Valentine’s Day, they’ll still get a kick out of the heartwarming and personalized Valentines that Mouse makes for all of his friends.
Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney and Reed Duncan
What better way to get your kids to love reading than with a book about a llama who’s learning how to read too? Throughout the school day, the teacher helps Llama Llama and the other children practice their letters, shows word cards, reads stories, and brings them to the library where they can all choose a favorite book. And if your kiddos love this book, there are plenty more Llama Llama books waiting for them!
A Weekend with Wendell by Kevin Henkes
We know this is a throwback, but could we really make a children’s book round-up and not include A Weekend with Wendell? This book will have your little ones laughing to no end. Two cousins try to get along, but when one of them is way too bossy, the other has to stand up for herself. Family and friendship all packed into one picture book, A Weekend with Wendell is always a top pick. But if your kids’ playhouse next time and the older one gets to be the dad, mom, and kids, while the younger one has to be the dog…you know where the idea came from!
First Chapter Books
A Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton
A narwhal and a jellyfish don’t seem to have a whole lot in common, but they do love waffles, parties, and adventures! Follow along with this story of friendship as Narwhal and Jelly discover the ocean together. This five-book and counting series is a must-read for kids with a huge imagination.
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton, joined by more collaborating authors!
With eight books in the series so far, we can only hope that there will be a whole lot more because we can’t get enough of the She Persisted reads. An empowering and moving series for young girls, She Persisted features an inspiring woman in each book, such as Harriet Tubman, Sonia Sotomayer, and Ruby Bridges. Learn about women who stood up, spoke out, and never gave up. Perfect for winter break book reading!
Diary of a Pug by Kyla May
Part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Diary of a Pug is an easy introduction into chapter books that will surely boost your kid’s confidence in reading. Bub, the pug, and his human Bella go on fun adventures together in each book. We love the diary-format that feels very personal and down-to-earth for kiddos. Any little one with a furry friend at home will appreciate this series even more!
Upper-Level Readers (Grades 3-7)
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness,” and we couldn’t agree more. Palacio tells the story of a young boy who was born with a facial difference, and all he wants is to be treated as an ordinary kid. The point of view moves between him, his classmates, his sister, his sister’s boyfriend, and others so that readers get a full picture of how everyone in the story feels. Not only well-written, Wonder is an inspiration for us all to empathize with others’ experiences.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace has always lived with her grandfather in Alabama. As one of the first Black engineers to integrate NASA, her grandfather has nurtured Ebony-Grace’s love for all things outer space and science fiction. But when Ebony-Grace has to move to Harlem, she’s both excited and nervous. Will she be able to discover beauty in a new place and connect with her sci-fi roots? The power of imagination is certainly on display in this National Book Award finalist.
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodsen
During a time where connection isn’t as simple as it used to be, Harbor Me reminds us to reach out to our friends and family and surround ourselves with people that we can open up to. Woodsen writes about a group of students who start meeting for weekly chats. Over time, they learn new things about each other and themselves. Each character is beautifully crafted and has a unique story to tell. 10/10 recommend Harbor Me for your YA reading list.
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
The YA novel that everybody (no pun intended) is talking about: Every Body Looking. There is so much packed into this book: questions of sexuality, the pressures put on first-generation students, the lingering impacts of childhood into adulthood, family dynamics, and so much more. This timely novel really dives into themes of identity and belonging, themes young adults and adults alike can relate to, perhaps now more than ever.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Hot off the press (just published on February 9!) comes this stunning young adult novel, The Gilded Ones. A story with a fierce female lead, blood ceremonies, emperors, magic, and more, you’ll have to binge-read until the end. But behind all of the fantasy elements lies a very true, genuine tale about sisterhood, female friendships, and social change.