BtB Holiday Book Picks!

The holidays are here! We think the best gift is a great book that can last a lifetime. Here at BtB, we have compiled a list of the merriest reads sure to inspire a special youngster in your life this holiday season. There’s something for everyone: from the early readers, to the intermediate readers, to the young adults and the young-at-heart. Take a look below, and if you’re on the nice list this year, you may just get them all!

Happy holidays and even happier reading!

Reads for your little scholar:

  1. Drumbeat in Our Feet, Patricia A. Keeler and Julio T. Leitão


Embark on an exciting journey that blends the unique history and practices of African dance. Young readers are transported to the villages of Africa, in this fun-filled, educational read. BtB students at P.S. 46 are reading Drumbeat in Our Feet and welcoming its authors into their classrooms this school year!

2. Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña


Although not due out until January, Peña’s first picture book is available for pre-order now! BtB loves working with him, and we’re so proud to read his very first picture book. Market Street tells the story of young CJ, as he begins to notice the world around him – why do he and his grandmother ride the bus when others have cars? The perfect gift for your grandchild, this warm story will keep out Jack Frost well into 2015!

3. Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems


Willems has regaled Kindergarten classes in BtB programs of the past, and he is back with another great picture book from his Elephant & Piggie series! In this book, best friends Gerald & Piggie learn to work together when Gerald cannot wait for a surprise from his best friend. Waiting is Not Easy is already a New York Times bestseller, along with Mo’s uber popular The Pigeon Needs a Bath!


Perfect picks for intermediate students:

4. The Red Pencil, Andrea Davis Pinkney


See Sudan through twelve-year old Amira’s eyes as the small gift of a red pencil holds the key to her education in a war-ravaged country. Filled with breathtaking artwork, Andrea provides a great mix of approachable and informational writing that makes a difficult topic understandable to young readers. BtB P.S. 241 students read this book enjoyed a visit from Andrea this year, too!

5. Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson


Amazing BtB author Jacqueline Woodson shares her memoirs – written in verse poetry – growing up in South Carolina and then Brooklyn in the 1960s in a color-divided America. Told through the eyes of a child, Dreaming is the beautiful depiction of her experiences growing up during a not-so-beautiful time for our country, but will still spark the minds of children.  Dreaming is also featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s Starred Children’s Reviews 2014!


  1. I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick


As the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate ever, Malala Yousafazi has dedicated her life to making the world a better place. In her autobiography, she tells the dramatic story of her struggle to restore education equality in her homeland of Pakistan – and how she almost lost her life because of it. BtB author Patricia McCormick works with Malala to make the book very readable for adolescents.

Reads that young adults & the young-at-heart will love:

7. Kinda Like Brothers, by Coe Booth

kinda like brothers

Jarrett is having a hard time adjusting to his new foster brother, Kevon, who is the same age as he is. Can he and Kevon learn to become friends, or even more, like brothers? BtB author Coe Booth is from the Bronx, and she writes well about it! Our students really connect to her accurate voice; especially since she talks to them without talking down to them. We love Brothers because it explores so many themes – LGBT issues, single-parent homes, and foster care to name a few – that are all really readable and offer lots of discussion topics.

8. When I Was the Greatest, by Jason Reynolds


Ali’s life is all about loyalty to his family. But what does he do when he and his best friend, Noodles, and Noodles’ brother, Needles, find themselves in the middle of a problem they may not be able to get themselves out of? Jason Reynolds is one of our newest BtB authors; we wanted to present students with a book that had authentic talk and behavior of NYC kids, and Greatest is that book. Tis the season for this fast-paced read!

 9. Belzhar, by Meg Wolitzer


15-year old Jam Gallahue is devastated when her first love dies, and after a year of grieving, she is sent to a Vermont boarding school by her parents. Meg Wolitzer weaves a great coming-of-age tale that will resonate with children of all ages. We here at BtB love working with Meg, and are so excited to see her new book featured in Publisher’s Weekly’s Starred Children’s Reviews 2014. Settle in for a great read this winter!