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Winter nights are long and cold which make them a perfect time to read a good book by the fireplace. These books are geared for ages nine and up. However, they would also be great to read out loud to the family.

Resistance, by Jennifer A. Nielsen, is historical fiction at its finest. Chaya is a teen growing up in Poland. The Nazi’s have just invaded her country and her family is Jewish. Her little sister has recently been taken by the Germans and her little brother has gone missing. Her parents are beside themselves with worry and stress. She decides she must do something to help her family – and her people. This absolutely spell-binding story will have you turning pages until you reach the end. If you have never read Nielsen’s other books, you have a wonderful list of outstanding books to look forward to and read.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By the Creator of Nike, (Young Readers Edition), by Phil Knight, showcases how the author started with an aspiration and how his hard work and persistence paid off with a multi-billion dollar company. The book begins with Knight getting cut from his high school baseball team. His discouragement motivated his mom to suggest that he try out for the track team. He did and discovered that he really liked to run. Ten years later, with a $50 loan from his dad, he began to import shoes from Japan and sell them from the trunk of his car. The rest is history.

How to be a Good Creature, (A Memoir in Thirteen Animals), by Sy Montgomery, and with delightful etchings sprinkled throughout by Rebecca Green, is a beautifully written story about the author’s relationships with the animals she dearly loves. Each chapter is dedicated to a different animal. There is much to garner from each chapter which includes coping, loss, gratitude and caring. Some of the animals the author includes are a horse, pig and cheetah. This book truly celebrates the strong connection between man and all living things.

The Adventurer’s Guild, by Zack Loren Clark and Nick Eliopulos, is an exciting new series with book #2, Twilight of the Elves, recently being published. The first book starts out with the enigmatic problem of cities throughout the world having fallen to monsters. The few cities left that have not become embroiled with these enemies have several guilds that young teens will be assigned. Two friends look forward to this “Guildcullng” event to discover to which they will be assigned. They only hope not to be assigned to the Adventurer’s Guild. Those who are assigned to that guild must leave the protection of their city and go out to fight those monsters. And guess which guild they are assigned? Get ready for this page-turning series!

The Frame-Up, by Wendy McLeod Macknight, celebrates a host of famous paintings by showcasing and weaving them into a great mystery. Sargent’s father has an art gallery which features valuable paintings. But there is a secret in this gallery that no one knows about until Sargent discovers it. The paintings are alive! However, they cannot be discovered or lost forever. Mona Dunn is forever frozen as a thirteen-year old in the famous painting by William Orpen. But Sargent sees her move and now he knows the paintings’ secret. But he and Mona discover something very mysterious happening at the gallery and they must solve the secret before she dissolves. There are colorful pictures of the paintings found in the back of the book. This is not just a great mystery as art appreciation will likely become part of the experience of the reader.

The Ambrose Deception, by Emily Ecton, and with illustrations sprinkled throughout by Gilbert Ford, is reminiscent of “The Westing Game”. (And if you haven’t read that book, what are you waiting for? Here is a tremendous classic to read out loud to your entire family.) Three unlikely kids are surprisingly chosen to participate in a city-wide scavenger hunt. The winner will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship. The first participant to figure out the three clues wins. As this chase progresses, the kids realize there are some strange “going’s on” that become a mystery. You will be attempting to solve the clues with these kids, as well as the mystery. Be ready for a captivating scavenger hunt unlike you’ve ever had before!

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge, by M. T. Anderson, and brilliantly illustrated by Eugene Yelchin, is a fantasy adventure like no other. It actually hales back to Tolkien’s stories because of the richness of elfin life and the evil combats Brangwain must face. He is an elf and has been assigned the task of delivering a priceless peace offering to the elves arch enemy: the goblin kingdom. The adventures Brangwain encounters are many and are detailed with majestic imagery! The ink drawings are remarkable. There are times in the story where you turn page after page with nothing but the illustrations which help propel the story. This book is a masterpiece!

Harry Potter Books 1-7 Special Edition Boxed Set, by J. K. Rowling, and rapturously illustrated by Brian Selznick, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This beautiful set contains the complete Harry Potter books which has been redesigned by Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick. This set will be perfect for young readers who have yet to read these magnificent stories! There’s a surprise waiting when you place all seven books side by side. A dazzling image will take place making this a perfect set for a bookshelf!