Growing Reader



The Best Children’s and YA Books of December 2017

by the Brightly Editors

December is filled with all kinds of hustle and bustle, but also with moments of quiet and togetherness just right for reading. We’ve rounded up some of December’s highlights — books that share funny, true, fantastical tales of bears and fearless women, crush-worthy new acquaintances and Jedis. Grab a cup of cocoa and settle in with one of these stories.

  • Picture Books

  • Come Home Already!

    by Jory John, illustrated by Benji Davies

    Fans of Duck and Bear will delight in this third story featuring the two unlikely companions. Desperate for some alone time, Bear heads out on a fishing retreat. Unsure what to do without his best pal, Duck sets off on an adventure to find him. How will Bear take his intrusive neighbor barging in on his solo getaway? Packed with laugh-out-loud moments and wonderfully expressive illustrations, the tales of offbeat Duck and grumpy Bear beg to be read aloud again and again.
    (On Sale: 12/5/17)

  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

    by Vashti Harrison

    Be bold. Be courageous. Be you. Be true. That's the message of this empowering, informative, and beautifully illustrated book that highlights 40 black women who broke down barriers and did big things. From more familiar leaders like Sojourner Truth to lesser known pioneers like chemist Alice Ball, Harrison's book presents young readers with a range of inspiring experiences, histories, and possibilities.
    (On Sale: 12/5/17)

  • Bumblebee Boy Loves…

    by Jacky Davis, illustrated by David Soman

    This little board book introduces Ladybug Girl readers to her best friend, Bumblebee Boy. Just like Ladybug Girl, he’s a superhero whose imagination leads to all kinds of adventures. From saving the world to reading a book with his little brother, follow along as Bumblebee Boy lists all the things that bring him joy.
    (On Sale: 12/26/17)

  • Words and Your Heart

    by Kate Jane Neal

    As parents, we're always telling our kids that words matter. Because they do. But it's nice sometimes to have another someone, or in this case, a story, to help us share that message. In Words and Your Heart, kids see all the things that words can do. With the help of Neal's simple text and expressive illustrations, readers can sense the impact of their words and how they can bring about happiness, sadness, and great ideas.
    (On Sale: 12/26/17)

  • YA

  • Foolish Hearts

    by Emma Mills

    Friends? Enemies? Frenemies? Claudia tries to figure out where she stands with it-girl Iris after eavesdropping on Iris's private conversation. When the two are thrown together in the school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, things get even more awkward. And complications only increase when a cute guy — with, you guessed it, dimples — joins the class production. A fun, quick-paced read about forming new connections, figuring out who people really are, and appreciating them for it.
    (On Sale: 12/5/17)

  • Plague Land

    by Alex Scarrow

    When Leon and Grace move to London from New Jersey with their mom, they think settling into a new school is the biggest challenge ahead of them — until they hear reports of a mysterious plague that’s making its way through Africa. In just days, the virus reaches their city, turning bodies in its path to liquid, and the newly relocated family must flee for their lives. Full of suspense, and lots of gore, this one will be a hit with teen fans of post-apocalyptic horror.
    (On Sale: 12/5/17)

  • The Truth Beneath the Lies

    by Amanda Searcy

    Told from dual points of view, this suspenseful, emotional thriller follows two girls as they struggle to survive day by day. At 16, Kayla is trying to make enough money from her grocery store job to support both herself and her mom. Meanwhile, Betsy is afraid that one day, the person who periodically calls her on her burner cell phone will send someone to kill her. Reviewers are raving about the character development, high stakes, and heart-stopping twists and turns in The Truth Beneath the Lies.
    (On Sale: 12/12/17)

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? Share with us in the comments below.