If you've been over to my Instagram feed, you know that I'm a liiiiitle obsessed with Nutcracker. I mean, considering that it has been a part of my life for over 20 years (yikes!) that's no surprise, but what DID surprise me was the plethora of Nutcracker books that are out this year! I took a little outing to my local Barnes & Noble last month and was so tickled at all the Nutcracker books there were - for young readers, for teens, and for adults! #Blessed. So, with that in mind, it makes total sense for this month's Book Report to be a Nutcracker round up! Let's dive on in!
I'd like to think that had I ever been Clara when I was in The Nutcracker (I never was... wah wah) that something like Susan Adrian's story would've happened to me. Heroine Georgie has always dreamed of being Clara in her school's production, but when it actually happens, she realizes it's not all it's cracked up to be (cracked...Nutcracker, get it?!). This is a great read for intermediate readers and is full of whimsy, fun and friendship.
Another great option for intermediate readers is Kristin Kladstrup's Nutcracker Mice. Most of us know that mice play a pretty central role in the story of The Nutcracker, but in this tale, the mice take the stage as the dancer and performers of Tchaikovsky's classic. The story has lots of plot twists and turns, and honestly, how great is it that the ballet gets to be performed by the famous mice dancers who live in the Mariinsky Theater? I love any book that shines a new perspective on an old tradition, and Nutcracker Mice most certainly does that!
It's about time we saw some diversity in where The Nutcracker takes place, and T. McMorrow's version does just that. On Christmas Eve, there's a snazzy and jazzy party happening in Harlem, and it's the music, dancing, and support of friends and family that helps one girl find her voice and her niche. Pick this book up for a breath of fresh air and good dose of warm and fuzzies.
Sometimes stories don't need words. When I first got Elly MacKay's Waltz of the Snowflakes, I was expecting words, but her gorgeous illustrations speak for themselves. A holiday evening is lit up by the dancing, music, and magic onstage seeing The Nutcracker as a little girl is transported into a colorful world. I can't wait to share this book with my students, I know they're going to love it as much as I do.
Gregory Maguire fans have new cause to rejoice with his release of Hiddensee. Maguire tells the backstory of the Nutcracker, Drosselmeyer, and how the wooden toy came to help Clara on a dark winter night. This book is definitely for adults, and reads like an old fairy tale. I'm in the middle of it myself and find it interesting and mysterious. It's a great choice for a cold night by the fire.
Which of these will you be reading this Nutcracker season? Comment below, or hit me up on social media to let me know! Happy Reading!