Christmas can be a lonely time for a lot of kids. Many will look at their presents–the number and kind–as a kind of thermometer to see how many people in their lives really know them and love them. And many will be disappointed with the answer.
But my gift for this Christmas is a list of books about kids discovering their own inner gifts. I think these books are important because kids who aren’t being affirmed can read the books on this list and see that they may have inner gifts that others and themselves have yet to realize. It’s one of the most common tropes in fantasy and children’s literature for good reason. Even kids who are happy and healthy and abundantly loved need to know that they have inner resources and strengths that haven’t yet been tapped.
Some of these books are magical gifts that the character discovers and others are inner strengths. Some more, some less obvious. But whether real or metaphorical (in the case of magic) I think they’re all valuable books to have on your shelves. Merry Christmas!
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
- Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spear
- Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
- The Earthsea books by Ursula LeGuin
- Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
- The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
- The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- The Talking Earth by Jean Craighead George
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
- Hatchet by Gary Paulson
- Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
- The Dollmage by Martine Leavitt
- The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper
- Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson