author image
Editors' Picks

Jill Santopolo’s
Young Adult & Kids Favorites

Jill is VP & Associate Publisher of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, by day and a bestselling novelist by night. One of her favorite things to do is recommend books to kids and teens.

Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments

By Kate Biberdorf
This book of 25 experiments kids can do alone–or with their families–using common household items is a ton of fun and particularly perfect during this time of remote schooling and social distancing. I’ve sent a copy to at least ten kids in the past six weeks and have gotten videos back of bubble snakes and pretty fantastic puffy slime.
Hardcover   $17.99
March 31, 2020  |  ISBN 9780593116166

Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments

By Kate Biberdorf
Hardcover   $17.99
March 31, 2020  |  ISBN 9780593116166

Just Ask!

By Sonia Sotomayor
This is another one of my go-to kid gifts. It’s a celebration of curiosity and shows the way differences are what make the world–and all of us–special. The interactive questions make the book especially accessible and a fun read-aloud for little ones. The letter from Justice Sotomayor directly to kid readers is lovely, and the art is truly stunning.
Hardcover   $17.99
September 03, 2019  |  ISBN 9780525514121

Just Ask!

By Sonia Sotomayor
Hardcover   $17.99
September 03, 2019  |  ISBN 9780525514121

A Tangle of Knots

By Lisa Graff
This is a perfect family read-aloud for older elementary-school-age kids. The story is filled with magic, adventure, mystery and family fun, and it will keep kid and adult readers alike guessing what’s going to happen next. (The sequel,A Clatter of Jars
, is also wonderful.) Of course, it’s fine for independent reading, too, but then parents will miss out on a great story.
Paperback   $8.99
February 11, 2014  |  ISBN 9780147510136

A Tangle of Knots

By Lisa Graff
Paperback   $8.99
February 11, 2014  |  ISBN 9780147510136

Games of Deception

By Andrew Maraniss
I’ve given this book to almost every teenage boy I know, and to some grown men as well. This is nonfiction written like fiction, and tells the fascinating story of the first American Olympic basketball team, who competed for the first time in the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler’s Germany, along with Jesse Owens and the The Boys in the Boat. This is definitely one of those “buy it for your kid, read it for yourself” books.
Paperback   $10.99
March 02, 2021  |  ISBN 9780525514657

Games of Deception

By Andrew Maraniss
Paperback   $10.99
March 02, 2021  |  ISBN 9780525514657

The Fountains of Silence

By Ruta Sepetys
This book might be “buy it for yourself, loan to to your teen.” It gorgeously depicts Spanish life under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and is one of the few novels in the world to explore the story of the babies that were stolen during this regime. It’s a tense, beautifully-written historical novel–with a hint of a love story– that is hard to put down. It’s perfect or teens and adults who loved The Book Thief and The Nightingale.
Paperback   $11.99
September 29, 2020  |  ISBN 9780142423639

The Fountains of Silence

By Ruta Sepetys
Paperback   $11.99
September 29, 2020  |  ISBN 9780142423639