The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Books & Authors

Books Make Great Gifts

As you do your holiday shopping, don't forget books for the readers on your list!  The following titles were recommended at the Library's Books Make Great Gifts program on Saturday, Dec. 3. If you need more suggestions, feel free to ask a library staff member at your branch. Librarians love to help people find the perfect books to give! 


Picture Books


 I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora 

This picture book allows children to explore their five senses, learning what they can see, smell, hear, touch, and taste.




 Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant. illustrated by Christian Robinson

During the first snowy day of winter, five little penguins bundle up and venture outside to play.



 The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley and Kate Berube

When Nick decides to teach his cats to read, Verne is very much interested, especially in books about mice and fish, but Stevenson wants nothing to do with the project--or does he?



 Super Happy Magic Forest by Matty Long

When the Mystical Crystals of Life are stolen from the Super Happy Magic Forest, where everybody parties all the time, five unlikely heroes are chosen to go on a quest to retrieve them.



 There's a Giraffe in My Soup by Ross Burach

Each time a waiter returns with a new bowl of soup to satisfy a customer's complaint, a different animal appears in the soup.




 We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Julie Flett

The gentle rhyming text of this board book captures the wonder new parents feel as they welcome baby into the world.



 Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate

This vibrant picture book chronicles the life and achievements of the NASA engineer and inventor Lonnie Johnson, from his childhood to his accidental invention of the Super Soaker water gun.



Children's Fiction

 Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat

Abbie Wu is nervous about middle school because her family does not get her and her friends know exactly what they want to do. She searches for her own passion before discovering a knack for leadership when injustices in the cafeteria come to light.



 Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Aspiring to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school's track team, gifted runner Ghost finds his goal challenged by a tragic past with a violent father.




 The Inquisitor's Tale, or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly

In the 13th century, a monastery oblate, a Jewish refugee and a psychic peasant girl with a loyal greyhound join forces on a chase through France to escape persecution.



 Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina

A spunky young girl from Colombia loves playing with her canine best friend and resists boring school activities, especially learning English, until her family tells her that a special trip is planned to an English-speaking place.



 Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

Jack dreads summer because his single mother has to work and leaves him at home with his boring little sister, who is autistic and doesn't talk at all, ever. But one day while they are at a flea market, she does talk. She tells Jack to trade their mother's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made!


 Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson

Three boys are dismayed when their beloved gifted teacher falls ill and leaves for the rest of the school year, a situation that compels them to share their stories while cutting class and journeying across town together on a fateful day.



 The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary

When 13-year-old Saki Yamamoto unintentionally invokes a death curse, she must enter the dangerous spirit world at the Night Parade and attempt to perform deeds that can break the curse.




Young Adult Fiction

 Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Amani is desperate to leave the dead-end town of Dustwalk, and she's counting on her sharpshooting skills to help her escape. But after she meets Jin, the mysterious rebel running from the Sultan's army, she unlocks the powerful truth about the desert nation of Miraji...and herself.


 Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom. When their paths converge in route to the ship that promises salvation, Joana, Emilia and Florian find their strength, courage and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety. When tragedy strikes the Wilhelm Gustloff, they must fight for the same thing: survival.


 Snow White by Matt Phelan

Award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan delivers a darkly stylized noir retelling of Snow White set against the backdrop of Depression-era Manhattan and draws a striking distinction between good and evil.



 What Light by Jay Asher

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, and every year they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption, this Christmas.



Adult Fiction

 Arrowood by Laura McHugh

When Arden Arrowood was four years old, her two-year-old twin sisters were stolen from the front yard of their hometown of Keokuk, Iowa, on the Mississippi River while Arden watched. Twenty years later, she returns home to confront the darkest part of her past. As the mystery unravels, the novel explores the reliability of memory and the stories we tell ourselves.


 Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

On a foggy summer night, 11 people depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens.


 Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie is a socially awkward, fussy busybody who is used to being organized. When she walks out on her cheating husband and gets a job as caretaker of the dilapidated recreation center in Borg, she is woefully unprepared for the changes. But as she takes on the task of leading the supremely untalented children's soccer team to victory, she just might find a place she belongs.


 The Cavendon Luck by Barbara Taylor Bradford

It is 1938 in England, and Miles and Cecily Ingham have lead the family in bringing the Cavendon estate back from the brink of disaster. But now, with the arrival of World War II, Cavendon Hall will face its biggest challenge yet.



 The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

After finding a mysterious charm bracelet among his late wife's possessions, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper breaks from his routine life for the first time since her death and embarks on a quest to learn about his wife's life before their marriage, a journey that leads to unexpected self-discoveries.


 Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

Drought has transfigured Southern California into a surreal, phantasmagoric landscape. Most of the Southwest has been evacuated. Luz and Ray are holdouts, squatting in a starlet's abandoned mansion and subsisting on rationed cola and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise, their love somehow blooming in this arid place. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins.


 In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware's suspenseful, compulsive and darkly twisted psychological thriller.


 Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart

When Constance Kopp becomes one of the nation's first deputy sheriffs, she has already proven that she can't be deterred, evaded or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right.


 Maestra by L.S. Hilton

By day an assistant at a prestigious London art house, Judith Rasleigh is at night a hostess at one of the capital's notorious champagne bars. She's transformed her accent and taught herself about wine-- and the art of discretion. When her efforts at a better life are destroyed, Judith accompanies one of the champagne bar's biggest clients to the French Riviera-- and finds a chance to recreate herself.


 My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life.


 Paper Girls, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

In the early hours after Halloween on 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and supernatural mysteries collide in this series about nostalgia, first jobs and the last days of childhood.



 A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egen

Alice Pearce has a pretty great life. She has a loving family and works part-time as an editor for a magazine. When her family's financial situation takes a drastic turn, Alice finds that she needs to step up to the plate and contribute more, and she finds this comes at a cost.




Adult Nonfiction

 Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton

It's time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, "Atlas Obscura" celebrates more than 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world.



 Good Mourning by Elizabeth Meyer

This memoir offers a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most famous funeral homes in the countrywhere not even big money can protect you from the universal experience of grieving.




 Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

Vance shares the story of his family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past.



 Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love and Writing by Jennifer Weiner

You know Jennifer Weiner as many things: a bestselling author, a Twitter phenomenon and "an unlikely feminist enforcer" (The New Yorker). She's also a mom, a daughter and a sister; a former rower and current runner; a best friend and a reality TV junkie. Here, in her first foray into nonfiction, she takes the raw stuff of her personal life and spins it into a collection of essays on womanhood.


 Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

"Lab Girl" is an illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world.



 Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt

Holt traces the pivotal achievements of the elite female science recruits at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where in the mid-20th century they transformed rocket design and enabled the creations of the first American satellites.

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