Books I Give to Young People
When purchasing gifts for young people, we often think of toys, educational tools, bicycles and the like. Some want music from their favorite singer. I prefer to purchase an item they can always carry: a good book. When I say "carry" I don't mean the physical book; I mean the stories and lessons that good books can teach.
Receiving Books as Gifts
Over the years, I have forgotten most of the gifts I have been given. I still remember every person who gave me a good book. For instance, my Uncle David, who died in 1981, gave me a book for Christman three years earlier called A Choice of Catastrophies by Issac Asimov. It was a depressing, but thought provoking work. Today, when someone asks me what kind of gift I would like; I still say, "A good book".
The Books I Give
Unless requested, I don't give Harry Potter or Hunger Games books to young people, even though I like both series. Young people don't need my help getting those books, anyway.
I like to give classics. Books they might want to give to their children. Books that make me feel good.
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
I have given more copies away of this book than any other. A compelling story of a young man who is determined to live on his own in nature. A story where the boy meets the world on his own terms without anger. This is about a boy who lives his dream.
- The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
This is not the stories you see in the movies and cartoons with the same name. Mowgli, Akela, Baloo and Bagherra are unique and moral characters. These are stories of loyalty and betrayal, fear and courage, good and evil. In addition, several stories which are not associated with the Mowgli stories are also included. Movies (animated) have been made from the stories of "Ricki-Ticki-Tavi" and "The White Seal".
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Though it is not immediately apparent, this is a love story. Not of romantic love, but about loving people. Symbolism abounds through this book; a younger reader would probably not realize this. In fact, one of the most enjoyable things is to reread this book as an adult. The suttle hints are everywhere. Please don't pick the Rose.
- Captain's Couragous by Rudyard Kipling
A story about a boy who get a huge "Attitude Adjustment".
- Ragged Dick or Street Life in New York by Horatio Alger
The Classic "Pulling oneself up by the bootstraps" story set in pre-Civil War New York. Every youth should read this story. Young people often have an entitlement mindset. These stories were written and set in a time before Welfare, Child Labor Laws, Compulsory Education and Foster Care. The hero of the story has to start caring for himself at the age of seven! And you thought your life was hard. Youth need the messages: we are responsible to ourselves for what we become, and our choices do matter.
Other Books(non-fiction) I Recommend for Youth
- The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
- Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
- Calculator's Cunning by Karl Menninger