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What Gives Books Staying Power?

Post by Kathy Stewart
Posted October 25, 2013 in Kids & Book News, NoveList K-8 Plus, NoveList Plus

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I confess that I put way too much effort into selecting gift books for young friends and relatives. Gift-giving can feel like a pressure cooker: "Must-give-best-book-perfectly-suited-that-child-will-always-treasure." But often books don't strike an immediate chord with youngsters. Meaningful book choices give a nod to the gift-giver, but also hold up over time, either through repeated readings or by becoming books children can still appreciate, and maybe even share with younger siblings, as they grow older.

Books with staying power share qualities like universal themes and, with picture books, uncommonly good art. But there are other intangibles as well, as this issue reflects. Spellbinding subject matter, a fresh interpretation of a familiar tale or books with inventive wordplay can all contribute toward making a book a classic. In this issue of Kids & Books, you'll find suggestions for stellar picks, as well as title suggestions for the classroom. Susie Wilde picks out 4 great gift books for babies and toddlers in "Gift Books with Drama, Rhythm, and Rhyme." In "What Would Katniss Read?" Molly Wetta lays out a list of stellar nonfiction titles that would be right at home in the libraries of Panem. NoveList staff member Rebecca Honeycutt digs into the question of why certain book-to-movie adaptations fail and some suceed in "Don't Judge a Book By Its Movie: Adapting Appeals." Finally, it should come as no surprise that here at NoveList we are always talking and trading books; in "NoveList's Juvenile Brain Trust: Picks for Great Gift Books," JBT team members share their number one picks for holiday gift books. 

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