Red at the Bone
by Jacqueline Woodson
Woodson’s lyrical, tender story follows three generations of an African-American family. At the story’s heart is the relationship between 16-year-old Melody and her mother, Iris. Iris herself was 16 when Melody was born, and she left Melody with her parents to build an independent life. With compassion and insight, Woodson asks powerful questions about family: Are we doomed to repeat our parents’ mistakes? What do we owe to the people who raise us — and to ourselves?
Seven Days of Us
by Francesca Hornak
Each member of the Birch family — Mom and Dad and two adult daughters — is keeping secrets, but when they’re forced to spend a week in quarantine over Christmas, the truth comes out. Charming, funny, and poignant.
The Dark is Rising
by Susan Cooper
This children’s classic opens on the winter solstice. It’s filled with magic, malice, and wonderfully bone-shivering descriptions of winter weather. Perfect for late elementary or middle school readers, and for adult fans of The Golden Compass or Harry Potter.
Emily Calkins is the readers’ services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.