While the majority of the stories on this list have absolutely nothing to do with the Christmas holiday, this list of books was inspired by the Christmas song, “The 12 Days of Christmas”.
1st Day – Leaving Lucy Pear DB085157
Beatrice Haven leaves her newborn daughter at the foot of the pear tree one night. Emma Murphy rescues the little girl and raises her, as Bea goes off to college. Ten years later, Bea returns home, wanting to know her daughter–who now carries secrets of her own. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016
2nd Day – The Plague of Doves DB066886
The long-ago murder of a white family and subsequent mob lynching of innocent Native Americans still haunt the town of Pluto, North Dakota, and the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Evelina, her grandfather Mooshum, Judge Coutts, and Doctor Lochran, whose lives intertwine, are unknowingly affected by the past. Some violence. Bestseller. 2008.
3rd Day – Three French Hens: A Holiday Tale BR016050
When three French hens arrive unexpectedly at Phil Fox’s apartment in the Bronx, all he sees are three possible meals. But he changes his mind when the good-hearted hens show him the true meaning of Christmas. PRINT/BRAILLE. For grades K-3. 2005.
4th Day – Why Have the Birds Stopped Singing? BR002644
An epileptic seizure transports Katie back 100 years. She is mistaken for an early ancestress named Kathy, also an epileptic, who was kept under lock and key and mistreated because of her condition. For grades 6-9.
5th Day – A Book of Five Rings DB019166
The famous seventeenth-century samurai warrior of Japan sets forth the lessons of his intense life, showing how to plan and use strategy, not only in the martial arts, but also in any situation, including business, where plans and tactics are used. Includes introduction and historical background.
6th Day – Where the Wild Geese Go DB030567
Truzjka’s grandmother has fallen ill and will die unless she discovers where the wild geese go. Truzjka vows to discover this secret for her, and sets out on an incredible journey. For grades 2-4 and older readers.
7th Day – Sea Swan DB032368
On the morning of her seventy-fifth birthday, Elzibah Swan announces to her cat, Zanzibar, that she has decided to learn to swim. She picks out an emerald green swimsuit at the department store and signs up at the club for swimming lessons, which she begins that very day. Through letters to her grandchildren, Claire and Jeremy, she tells of her progress and her enjoyment of her new pastime. For grades 2-4.
8th – Day Maid to Match DB072922
Asheville, North Carolina; 1898. Impoverished mountain girl Tillie Reese is head parlormaid at George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate. She falls in love with footman Mack Danvers, who is working to free his sister from an orphanage–but below-the-stairs romance is forbidden. 2010.
9th Day – The Dancing Master LT035761
Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. Stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, Alec finds an unlikely ally in her daughter. Wary of Julia Midwinter’s reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises hidden sorrows. With Alec’s help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village? England, 1816. Nineteen-year-old Julia Midwinter is enchanted by dance and fencing instructor Alec Valcourt when he moves to her Devonshire village to open an academy. But Julia’s mother, Lady Amelia, has banned dancing. Julia disobeys her orders–and uncovers family secrets while attempting to have fun. 2013.
10th – Day Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring DB047486
In this first volume of “The Lord of the Rings,” Frodo, a home-loving hobbit, inherits the magic ring that his Uncle Bilbo brought back from his adventures in “The Hobbit.” To protect the ring from the powers of darkness, Frodo must make a long, dangerous journey.
11th Day – The Pied Piper of Hamelin BR011078
Folktale in verse. The town of Hamelin employs a mysterious piper to save them from a plague of rats. When the townspeople refuse to pay him for his work, the piper takes magical revenge. For grades 3-6.
12th – Day Drum Dream Girl : : How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music DBC06833
In Cuba in the 1930s, music filled the air. Millo had a dream playing drums of all kinds, but the country and her father only permitted boys to play drums. Millo finds a way to drum and practices in secret. Eventually her father relents and hires a music teacher for her. Millo’s persistance means that she and her sisters become the first all-girl dance band in Cuba and play with and for famous people. (Story inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga.) For grades K-3.