Can't-Put-Down Book Picks for February

Celebrating Valentine's Day, Black History Month, and historical fiction.
Regan McMahon Senior Editor, Books | Mom of two Categories: Reading, We Recommend
Senior Editor, Books | Mom of two

Finding the right book for your kid can be a challenge. But if you guess right and keep new ones coming, you may be on your way to raising a lifelong reader.

Every month we highlight a few books for different ages -- some exceptional titles that could be the perfect thing to perk your kid's interest, get your reader hooked on a new author, or rediscover an old favorite. Here are our picks for February:

  • For kids 4 to 8An Awesome Book of Love! by Dallas Clayton is a great choice for Valentine's Day or any day. Clayton is a former self-publishing phenom and author of An Awesome Book! and An Awesome Book of Thanks! His new picture book takes the same approach as those two previous ones, with riffs on the nature and wonder of love in big-block-letter text with fanciful, kid-like illustrations. It's an exuberant, irresistible package that's fun for kids and grown-ups alike.
  • For kids 9 to 14, there's the nonfiction Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney. This stellar collection of profiles earned the 2013 Coretta Scott King Author Award. Even though the essays on men such as Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. are packed with biographical and historical facts, Pinkney has a lyrical, conversational style and eye for revealing anecdotes that make these heroes relatable and will keep kids hooked and reading. This could be a great resource for homework assignments during Black History Month.
  •  For teens 13 to 17, check out Leila Rasheed's Cinders & Sapphires: At Somerton. Book 1, the first in a series about an upper-class English family at the turn of the 20th century tiptoeing around romance and scandals. Sound familiar? This book and those to follow should be a hit with teen fans of Downton Abbey or anyone who likes historical fiction laced with lords and ladies, maids and valets, simmering romantic tension, and young people yearning to break free from gender and class constraints.  

For more suggestions, check out our top picks lists, including Award-Winning Books, Books Like The Hunger Games, and our reviews of the latest chart-toppers on the New York Times Best-Sellers list.

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About Regan McMahon

Regan has been reviewing children's books for more than a decade. A journalist and former book editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, she cites as one of her toughest assignments having to read and review the 784-page... Read more

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