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Book Recommendations: December 2024

Written by Sophie Jarvis at Scarthin Books of Cromford

Sophie is a member of both the bookshop and cafe team at Scarthin Books and is an avid reader with a young family.


0-5 Years

You Choose Christmas by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart

Fizzing with colourful illustrations, this book invites children to choose their favourite Christmas activities and scenarios, from picking their favourite Christmas jumper to imagining which elf job would be theirs. Many fun conversations will be had as they choose differently from one reading to the next.


5-7 Years

How does Santa Go Down the Chimney? By Jon Klassen

Another Jon Klassen marvel seeking to answer the questions we’ve all asked about how Santa actually gets down the chimney. Children will love this sweet and funny story packed with his distinctive illustrations; it is bound to inspire funny theories of their own and add to the Christmas excitement.


7-11 Years

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

Marinka wants to be a normal girl, but she lives in a house with chicken legs and is the granddaughter of Baba Yaga. Destined to follow her grandmother’s footsteps guiding souls from one world to the next, Marinka is determined to set her own course in life. A beautifully written, modern adventure for middle-schoolers inspired by Slavic folklore.


Young Adult

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

In an alternative Oxford, Lyra, and her daemon journey North to rescue their friend, Roger, snatched by “Gobblers”, whose experiments involving a mysterious substance called dust threaten life as they know it. The first of an exciting fantasy trilogy touching on themes of organised religion and where you can never really be sure if the villains truly are the villains.



Still Life by Sarah Winman

This timeless novel is essentially about life and love, and how art and beauty transform both. A soldier meets an art historian by chance during WW2 and their encounter stays with them as their lives take separate paths. I loved the vivid relationships between characters. The writing is rich, tender and evocative, the dialogue often hilarious. A book that will hold a special place in the heart of every reader.

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