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Guest post by the awesome JEN Garrett

November is full of time-honored traditions and customs. It’s a time to be grateful for our good fortune, and also an opportunity to broaden our outlooks. Adding children’s books to your festivities can inspire and empower your little readers to think of November in a new wonderful way.

National Novel Writing Month (All November)

This is one of my favorite months! I get to try to write 50 thousand words in just 30 days. I haven’t succeeded yet, but every time I participate I have the first draft of a great story completed by the end of the month.

If you have budding writers among your young readers, you can encourage them to join in on the fun. Whether they set up an account at NaNoWri.org or keep track unofficially, writers of all ages can benefit from a daily habit of writing.

Need some writing inspiration? Here are three  great books to get those writer’s juices flowing:

Little Red Writing by Joan Holub and Melissa Sweet

The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane Auch and Herm Auch

Do Not Open This Book by by Michaela Muntean and Pascal Lemaitre

Day of the Dead (Nov. 1 and 2)

Having the dead come to visit one day out of the year might seem like a scary idea, unless that dead person is someone you love. For those who celebrate The Day of the Dead, the month of November begins with love, honor and laughter.

The holiday spans two nights full of memories, good food, and honoring those who are no longer with us. It’s also full of skeletons, skulls, and gravestones.

If this seems confusing, these three books will clarify and take the spookiness out of the wonderful holiday:

A Mexican boy remembers his grandma who died the year before with a special gift on her altar in Beto and the Bone Dance by Gina Freschet.

Just a Minute and Just in Case by Yuyi Moreales are two books in which the lovable Senior Calavera (Death) pays a visit to Grandma Beetle – twice!

From The Festival of Bones by Luis San Vicente, John William Byrd and Bobby Byrd, children can learn about the holiday and how it is celebrated.

Election Day  (Nov. 8)

No matter which political party you agree with, voting for a new President of the United States is a big deal.

Help your young readers understand a little more about the process with Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio.

Let them discover the dangers of The Kid Who Ran for President, by Dan Gutman.

Then allow them to explore the qualities of a good president in My Teacher for President by Kay Winters and Denise Brunkus.

Just don’t forget to cast your own vote on this Election Day!

Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11)

This special holiday honors all who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States Military. Some areas have parades and ceremonies, but others celebrate by simply tying a yellow ribbon around a nearby tree.

No matter where they live, children can gain a deeper appreciation for the holiday through reading these children’s books:

The Wall by Eve Bunting and Ronald Himler

Going Solo by Roald Dahl

Nugget on the Flight Deck by Patricia Newman.

Thanksgiving (Nov. 24)

Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is about good food, good company, and being grateful.

But when young readers think about Thanksgiving, they might add turkey, no school, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the ‘must-have’ list of traditions. Not so fast!

Thanksgiving wasn’t always a Federal holiday. (Luckily, we can Thank You Sarah, the Woman who Saved Thanksgiving.) Some people have Duck for Turkey Day. And if it weren’t for Tony Sarg, we would never see those Balloons over Broadway.

Children’s books are powerful. Learn more:

Reading aloud to children has lasting benefits. Tips and tricks for building your home library.

JEN Garrett

JEN Garrett


JEN Garrett writes for, about, and around children all day. But sometimes she finds time to do the dishes at her home in Northern California. She also finds time to be the Critique Coordinator in her local SCBWI region, visit her local library regularly, query agents, and read mountains of books. How? We don’t know.

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