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Reading Guides: Holiday Literature

Printable Guide With Library Holdings

Holiday book covers

Non-Fiction  |  Fiction  |  Children's Books

Non-Fiction

Debt-Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating the Holidays without Breaking the Bank /  Mary Hunt --- HG179 .H85486 2012
You don't have to overspend or go into debt to have a fabulous holiday.

Everything Christmas / compiled by David Bordon, Tom Winters --- GT4985 .B59 2010
From decoration ideas to Christmas trivia and humor—it's all here!

The Glorious Fourth: An American Holiday, an American History / Diana Carter Applebaum --- E 286 .A125 1989)
A unique study of Americana, this is an entertaining exploration of the ways in which America commemorates its independence anniversaries.

Hanukkah Trivia: 150 Fun & Fascinating Facts About Hanukkah / Jennie Miller Helderman & Mary Caulkins --- BM695.H3 H45 2002
Fascinating facts about the midwinter Jewish holiday.

Holiday Cheer: Festive Inspirations for Your Best Season Ever! --- TX739.2.C45 H65 2014
Get ready for festive entertaining and fun with more than 100 fabulous holiday recipes and more from Good Housekeeping, Country Living, and Redbook.

Holidays of the World Cookbook for Students / Lois Sinaiko Webb and Lindsay Grace Roten --- TX739 .W43 2011
Describes holidays celebrated by nations around the world and includes 445 recipes from more than 150 countries.

The Jewish Year: Celebrating the Holidays / Barbara Rush --- BM690 .R87 2000
Rich with spiritual, cultural, & social commentary, The Jewish Year serves as a comprehensive guide to all the observances, both traditional celebrations as well as holidays that have been created in the twentieth century.

Kwanzaa Crafts: Gifts and Decorations For a Meaningful and Festive Celebration / Marcia Odle McNair --- TT900.K92 M38 1998
Drape your home in the traditional African red, green, and black, and celebrate Kwanzaa in high style with this brightly illustrated collection of stories, crafts, poetry, and recipes.

Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas / Ace Collins --- GT4985 .C5475 2003
Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas reveals the people, places, and events that shaped the best-loved customs of this merriest of holidays.

The Thanksgiving Book: A Companion to the Holiday Covering its History, Lore, Traditions, Foods, and Symbols, Including Primary Sources, Poems, Prayers, Songs, Hymns, and Recipes / Laurie Collier Hillstrom ---GT4975.H55 2008
Provides information about the history, lore, traditions, foods, and symbols of the Thanksgiving celebration. Features include narrative overviews and primary source documents, chronology, and resources for further information.

 Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween / Lisa Morton --- GT4965 .M676 2012
Halloween has spread around the world, yet its associations with death and the supernatural as well as its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most puzzling holidays. How did it become what it is today?

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting / Jim Murphy --- D530 .M87 2009
Describes the Christmas truce that occurred along Western Front trenches in 1914 and features quotations from young men on both sides, a timeline, and additional source material.

Understanding Islam and Muslim Traditions: An Introduction to the Religious Practices, Celebrations, Festivals, Observances, Beliefs, Folklore, Customs, and Calendar System of the World's Muslim Communities, Including an Overview of Islamic History and Geography / Tanya Gulevich --- BP161.3 .G85 2004
An introduction to the religious practices, celebrations, festivals, observances, beliefs, folklore, customs, and calendar system of the world's Muslim communities, including an overview of Islamic history and geography.


Fiction

A Kudzu Christmas: Twelve Mysterious Tales --- PS648.D4 K83 2005
A collection of Christmas mystery short stories contributed by twelve contemporary Southern writers. Includes biographical sketches of authors; two are local.

The Gift: A Novel / Cecelia Ahern --- PR6101.H47 G54 2009
One frigid morning in an uncharacteristic burst of generosity, workaholic Lou Suffren buys a cup of coffee for Gabe, a homeless man huddled outside his office building. Lou decides to help Gabe get a job, with unexpected consequences.

Auggie Wren's Christmas Story / Paul Auster --- PS3551.U77 A9 2004
An unconventional story it is, involving a lost wallet, a blind woman, and a Christmas dinner. Everything gets turned upside down.

Holiday Miracles: A Christmas/Hanukkah Story / Evelyn Bache --- PS3563.A845 H65 2001
This heartwarming novel is the first illustrated holiday gift book for adults that deals with an interfaith family celebrating both Christmas & Hanukkah.

Thanksgiving Night  / Richard Bausch --- PS3552.A846 T48 2006
Oliver Ward and his divorced daughter, a young policewoman named Alison, and Oliver's two grandchildren become involved with Holly Grey and Holly's aunt Fiona, elderly ladies with a marked propensity for outlandish behavior.

This Year It Will Be Different and Other Stories: A Christmas Treasury / Maeve Binchy --- PR6052 .I7728 T48 1996
Binchy brings us the magic and spirit of Christmas in fifteen stories filled with her trademark wit, charm, and sheer storytelling genius.

 A Christmas Memory / Truman Capote --- PS3505 .A59 C5
First published in 1956, this much sought-after autobiographical recollection of Truman Capote's rural Alabama boyhood has become a modern-day classic.

A Kwanzaa Fable / Eric V. Copage --- PS3553 .O63315 K9 1995
Resenting the difficult responsibilities that are thrust upon him after his father's death, thirteen-year-old Jordan reluctantly helps his younger siblings and learns how the seven principles of Kwanzaa can be applied to everyday life.

A Redbird Christmas / Fannie Flagg --- PS3556.L26 R44 2004b
With the same incomparable style and warm, inviting voice that have made her beloved by millions of readers far and wide, New York Times bestselling author Fannie Flagg has written an enchanting Christmas story of faith and hope for all ages that is sure to become a classic.

Real Santa / William Elliott Hazelgrove --- PS3558.A8894 R43 2014
Bob Kronenfeldt is an unemployed engineer with one shot to keep his daughters belief in Santa intact.

A Christmas Prayer / Kimberly Lawson Roby --- PS3568.O3189 C48 2014
Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas since losing her mother. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season, and wishes her family could be whole again. And even as Alexis prepares to start a new family with her fiancé, Chase Dupont, outside forces threaten to destroy her potential happiness.

Holidays on Ice / David Sedaris --- PS3569.E314 H65 2008
A best-selling classic features six additional works on the joys and embarrassments of favorite holidays, in a volume that includes tales of tardy trick-or-treaters, the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to another culture, and a barnyard Secret Santa scheme gone awry.

Nothing with Strings: NPR’s Beloved Holiday / Bailey White --- PS3573.H452 2008
A holiday collection of short fiction shares vignettes that capture the eccentric lives of the inhabitants of a small Southern town, from an efficiency expert who gets Christmas down to forty-five minutes flat, to a woman who claims John James Audubon is living in her attic.


Children's Books

Celebrate Chinese New Year / Carolyn Otto --- JUV GT4905 .O88 2009
The Chinese New Year is an opportunity to remember ancestors and to wish peace and happiness to friends and family.

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur / Deborah Heiligman --- JUV BM693.H5 H45 2007
Describes how the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are celebrated around the world.

Seven Days of Kwanzaa: A Holiday Step Book / Ella Grier --- JUV GT4403 .G75 1997
Gives the principle and symbol for each day of Kwanzaa, with accompanying poems, songs, activities, and recipes.

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!   / Doreen Cronin ---PZ7.C88135Cjo 2015
As Farmer Brown prepares the house for Christmas, Duck tries to play Santa--but he gets stuck in the chimney, along with all the other animals who try to help.

Christmas Eve Good Night / Doug Cushman --- PZ8.3.C96 Chr 2011
On Christmas Eve, animals at the North Pole, gingerbread men, robots, and more say good night to their mommas, papas, and buddies.

Carl's Halloween / Alexandra Day --- PZ7.D32915Caru 2015
Carl and Madeleine dress up in costume and go out on a Halloween adventure.

Strega Nona's Gift / Tomie dePaola --- PZ7.D439 Ssl 2011
In Strega Nona's village, the holiday season is a time of celebrations—and nothing says celebration like a feast. All the kitchens are bustling from the Feast of San Nicola, when the children choose the food, to the Feast of Epiphany. Strega Nona surprises everyone with a special gift.

Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah / Linda Glaser; illustrated by Nancy Cote --- PZ7.G48047 Mr 2004
When Rachel makes latkes with her friend Mrs. Greenberg, the project turns out to be a very messy one.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes / Heyward DuBose --- PZ10.3.H51Cou 2014
To the surprise of many, the little country cottontail becomes one of the special Easter bunnies even though she has twenty-one children of her very own.

A Stork in a Baobab Tree: An African Twelve Days of Christmas / Catherine House --- PZ8.3.H7896 St 2011
Set in Africa during the Christmas season, this is the story of a village preparing for a celebration—the birth of a child.

The Night Before Christmas / Clement Clarke Moore --- JUV PS2429.M5 N5 2009
The classic tale of Santa's visit.

Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day / Pat Mora --- PZ73.M635 2009
Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate of El día de los niños, or Children's Day, in this bilingual story. Includes facts about Mexico's annual celebration of children and the book fiestas that are often included.

La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story / Antonio Sacre --- PZ7.S1226 Noc 2010
While spending Christmas with her Cuban American grandmother in Miami, Florida, young Nina misses her usual New England holiday but enjoys learning about the foods and other traditions her father knew as a child.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas / Dr. Seuss --- PZ8.3.S477 Hq 2007
The Grinch hates Christmas, and wants to stop it from coming. So he forms a devious plan: to impersonate Santa Claus and to steal the Whos' Christmas presents. But come Christmas morning, the Grinch is in for a shocking surprise. He did not stop Christmas from coming!

Oskar and the Eight Blessings / Richard and Tanya Simon --- PZ7.1.S56Os 2015
A young Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany arrives in New York City on the seventh night of Hanukkah and receives small acts of kindness while exploring the city.

The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah / Isaac Bashevis Singer --- PZ7 .S6167 Po 1980
Each tale relates to a different night of the Hanukkah celebration, exploring such themes as the love shared by two blind children or the joy of two refugees who leave Warsaw for Israel.

The Polar Express / Chris Van Allsburg --- PZ7 .V266 Po 1985
A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.

The Mysterious Howling / Maryrose Wood --- PZ7.W8524 Mys 2010
Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as governess  to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball.

Last Updated: April 2016

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