Top Sixteen: Sleigh Bells ring…are you reading?

Photo Cred: Bridget Hodder

Photo Credit: Bridget Hodder


  1. “Every year my father would read Christmas at the Little Zoo, a pop-up, fuzzy book from the 1950s that was already vintage by the time he was reading it to me. No snark, no dark, just cuddly baby animals waiting for Santa. Our favorite line was: ‘Georgie the Goat was the worst of the bunch, for he had just eaten his stocking for lunch.'”–Kim Savage, Author of AFTER THE WOODS
  1. “We’re a two-holiday family. Each year, we celebrate Chanukah with songs, menorah, dreidel and a reading of folktales–then it’s on to Christmas, with a forgotten short story by Frances Hodgson Burnett (who wrote The Secret Garden). It’s called The Little Hunchback Zia, and it’s about a boy with leprosy who meets the Christ Child in Bethlehem. I’m always in tears by the end.”– Bridget Hodder, Author of THE RAT PRINCE
  1. “This year, I want to read My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories featuring shorts stories by so many amazing YA authors that it makes my head spin. I am quite sure it will put me in the holiday spirit.” –Marisa Reichardt, Author of UNDERWATER
  1. “Our family has a cherished copy of A Visit from Saint Nicholas (aka The Night Before Christmas) by Clement Clarke Moore. We read the poem as a family each Christmas Eve, all snuggled in bed. There’s a reason it’s a classic. ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!'”–Shannon M. Parker, Author of CRUSHING
  1. “It’s not ‘reading’ per se, but our tradition is David Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice. We listen to the audiobook. With Sedaris, you gotta.” –Jeff Zentner, Author of THE SERPENT KING
  1. “When I was a teenager, I would spend my holiday break every year re-reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien while sprawled out in the comfy chair next to the Christmas tree with the classical music station on the stereo.  I’d inevitably finish at 3 in the morning, and stumble up to bed sobbing over Sam riding home alone from the Grey Havens.  The free time to lose myself in that world was my favorite Christmas gift.” – Kathy MacMillan, 2016 Debut Author of an as-yet-untitled work
  1. “One of my favorites is Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising. It’s set in England during Christmas, which makes me nostalgic for cozy holidays at my grandparents’ home. But it’s also dark and ominous, a classic fantasy for fans of middle grade…and I also love Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory!”– Laura Shovan, Author of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
  1. “To this day, I treasure a book from my childhood called The Christmas Bear by Marie Colmont. It’s about a stuffed bear who runs away from a spoiled girl and enjoys a new life of freedom. He eventually meets up with Santa and helps deliver gifts on Christmas Eve. But when they get to the last house where a very poor, very sick boy lives, they’ve run out of presents. The bear decides to give up his freedom and plops himself into the boy’s shoe. I sob every time I look at the last illustration.” — Victoria J. Coe, Author of FENWAY AND HATTIE
  1. “Oh, I do adore the holiday season, not least of which because that’s always been our time to re-read Harry Potter! At the beginning of December, my boys and I restart the series (the DH doesn’t read much, but we drag out the audiobook, and listen on our commute). There’s just nothing better than a little Harry with your Christmas!” –Janet Taylor, Author of THE DIM
  1. “A few years ago my youngest daughter was in the play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, so we love reading about Imogene and the Herdman family this time of year.” –Holly VanDyne, Author of THE INHABITANT OF ALEXIS O’RILEY
  1. “My kids are well past the picture book stage, but we’ll always adore Jane Chapman and Karma Wilson’s Bear Stays Up for Christmas.” –Kate Hart, Author of AFTER THE FALL.
  1. “When I was a little kid, I got ridiculously excited to unearth my hardcover copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and read it out loud to anyone who would listen. Not much has changed since then…I think I love the story more and more each year!”–Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, Author of FIRSTS
  1. “Every Christmas I love to read a wonderful pop-up version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, that has been in my family for decades!” — Erin L. Schneider, Author of WHERE THE WATER FALLS.
  1. “Reading holiday short stories is such a fun way for me to get into the Christmas spirit. Some of my favorites are Three Wise Guys by Sandra Cisneros, Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan, and O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi.” – Jennifer Maschari, Author of THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE
  1. “In another holiday tradition, Deborah Da Costa’s book Hanukkah Moon is a fun picture book describing a Latin American Hanukkah. And it has lots of illustrations of delicious holiday foods!”–Laura Shovan, Author of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
  1. “Every Christmas I read the McGregor Brides and the McGregor Grooms books by Nora Roberts. I’m a firm believer that people are more open to love during the holidays, so I like to celebrate the season by reading happily ever after stories.”– Nisha Sharma, Author of MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE

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