Books make great gifts. Here are some suggestions that should ease the holiday rush.

1. The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 2009) Retold without words, this well-known fable reads itself with exquisitely detailed illustrations. (picture book)

2. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (Viking 1941) McCloskey’s delightful story and illustrations still enthrall young readers and animal lovers alike. (picture book)

3. Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan (Katherine Tegen Books 2010) MacLachlan inspires budding authors in this simple, touching chapter book. (ages 7-9; reviewed on August 13, 2010)

4. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (Random House 1997/1948) Young Elmer rescues and befriends a baby dragon in this charmingly innocent adventure. (ages 7-9)

5. The Talent Thief by Alex Williams (Penguin Group 2010) This reviewer’s favorite new release of 2010! (ages 8-10, reviewed on July 31, 2010)

6. The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit (SMK Books 2009/1907) Nesbit’s originality and genius will entertain modern readers of this ageless fantasy story. (ages 8-10)

7. Nick of Time by Ted Bell (St. Martin’s Griffin 2008) Young teens who enjoy suspense and mystery will have a hard time putting down this riveting story. (ages 13-15; reviewed June 28, 2010)

8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Laurel Leaf 1978/1958) Kit Tyler finds romance and courtship a challenge in a Puritan village of colonial Connecticut. (ages 13-15)

9. Thomas More, a Lonely Voice Against the Power of the State by Peter Berglar (Scepter 2010) Berglar details the historical background of Henry VIII’s England and the fortitude of those who stood against him in this biography of one of the world’s most respected statesmen. (ages 15+)

10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (HarperCollins, 2010/1960) This classic story of courage in the face of racial prejudice celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. (ages 15+)

Jennifer Minicus is a former teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.

Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...