We’re Making a Book List You Can Check Twice


Holiday Gift Shelf Help

Wondering what to give the picky reader on your gift list? You need Holiday Gift Shelf Help.

The reading experts at the Kansas City Public Library have suggestions for book lovers of all ages, across all genres. The holidays are an ideal time to reconnect with an old favorite book or engage in a new discovery.

Looking for a picture book full of imagination and whimsy? Hunter Hawkins suggests slowly flipping through the dream-colored pages of Julián is a Mermaid. If a book could hug, Diana Platt says it would be The House in the Cerulean Sea. It's a charming magical story about an unusual family unit.

Know a reader who prefers Halloween to decking the halls? Leslie Case recommends Home Before Dark, a dark and twisty combination of ghost story, murder mystery, and chilling thriller.

See all of our reading recommendations below in our Holiday Gift Shelf Help video or view the full list on Bibliocommons here. Looking for more bookish ideas? Try any of our Shelf Help services.

Hunter Hawkins, Library Assistant

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

The Stonewall Reader by NYPL

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (youth book)

Watch Hunter's  Video

Diana Platt, Collection Development Librarian

House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Watch Diana's Video

Leslie Case, Event Technician

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

Watch Leslie's Video

Alisha Helms, Computer Librarian

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Can You See Me? By Libby Scott  (youth book)

Watch Alisha's Video

Ryan Reed, Supervisor of OneNorth Technology Lab

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Watch Ryan's Video

Lauren Olson, Youth Librarian

You Matter by Christian  Robinson  (youth book)

Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens by Hannah Shaw (youth book)

Class Act by Jerry Craft (youth book)

Watch Lauren's Video

April Roy, Plaza Branch Director

Meet Yasmin! By Saadia Faruqi  (youth book)

The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep by Allan Wolf (youth book)

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy by Kelly Jensen

Watch April's Video

Still looking for the right book?

Tell us about your special reader, and the Library’s reading experts will suggest several books to give as gifts.

Gift Shelf Help