It can often be difficult giving books as gifts to an avid reader in your family: You have to know their favourite genres, favourite and disliked authors, and what books they’ve read and bought. Which is why trying a new author could work. I published my first book in 2018, so I’m still relatively new on the market. If you’re thinking of giving books as gifts to an avid reader you know, keep reading. I’ve created a list of the kinds of readers who’ve enjoyed my books, which should help you decide if they’ll make the right gift for the reader(s) on your list.
Parents Who Want to Enjoy What They Read to Their Kids
The Between Worlds series is written in an easy-to-understand style but has themes that adults are more likely to notice than children. That’s why some parents have told me they love reading the books to their preteen kids: not only are the kids enjoying the story, but the parent reading it is, too.
Readers Who Want Stories Based on Real Life
In my preteen years, Jean Little’s books opened my eyes to the world around me in ways that no Nancy Drew novel or Superman movie could. (Although I loved both franchises, too) She’s why I strive to write books as I do. Between Worlds isn’t preachy or superficial, but it’s real. My sweet romance series, Love on Belmont, offers fun and romance but with a dose of reality, too.
Pre-Teen and Teen Girls Tired of Reading Books With Romance at the Core
This is another group of readers I keep in mind when I write Between Worlds. In my pre-teen and teen years, pop culture kept telling me I needed a boyfriend. I could have done without the distraction. (No insult meant to my first boyfriends.) There is very little teen romance in the series.
Adults Who Love Tea and Want to Read Something Light
The short stories in Love on Belmont fit the bill. As of this writing (2020), two short stories, Claire’s Tea Shop and Trick or Tea are available. They’re light and quick reads. Claire’s Tea Shop can be read over one cup of tea, and Trick or Tea can be read over two cups. Oh, Christmas Tea will be released in early December.
Readers—Especially Teens and Pre-Teens—Who’ve Undergone an Enormous Transition
Between Worlds is about transition: Juliana moves half-way across Canada in 2018, and Elisabeth’s father leaves the family in rural Romania to earn money in America in 1919. These are the teen girls’ story arcs throughout the series, so readers follow the girls on their emotional journeys as they deal with transition.
Readers Over 40 Who Want Easy Reads With Substance
Between Worlds appeals to a wide age range. The oldest readers I’ve heard of are in their 90s. For readers in their later years, they enjoy reading a series that has no swearing, sex, or glorified substance use and is about two teen girls who try their best to get through their respective situations. If you’re giving books as gifts to someone older who has difficulties reading regular print, all books Between Worlds books are also available in large print.
Readers Who Love Fiction & History
Between Worlds is about family, ancestors, and how the stories that came before us help make us who we are. Elisabeth is a teenage girl trying to find her place in her community in post-WWI Romania, and Juliana, three generations later, is learning how that history has played out in her own family. Readers who enjoy history and also fall into another category in this list will enjoy this series.
Dancers & Artists
Giving books as gifts may not seem like the obvious gift for a dancer or artist, but they absolutely can be. One reason I wrote this series was to create a dance series that didn’t include the usual dance tropes: abusive ballet teachers, mean girls, and a protagonist who wanted to make it in the world of professional dance.
However, dance as we know it today was not a reality for Elisabeth in 1919/1920 Romania, so art became the modality through which she unknowingly shares her life story with Juliana almost 100 years later.
For readers looking for books with the arts as their focus, you can comfortably place Between Worlds at the top of your list.
Kids Who Want Something More Mature but Are Still Young
Between Worlds books are written at a grade 5/6 reading level, and I know of two readers who began the series at age 9 and enjoy it. So the books are easy to understand. But some young readers crave a taste of the older world (both Juliana and Elisabeth start the series at age 14), which can make parents nervous. If you’re planning on giving books as gifts to this kind of reader, Between Worlds is more than suitable. The books are clean but deal with topics that will help the reader feel a little older.
Teachers and Librarians Looking to Increase Canadian Content in Their Schools
I write Between Worlds for ages 12+, but in reality, they’re fine for readers as young as 9. I’m developing a grade 7/8 teacher’s guide for Between Worlds 4: What Friends Do and a grade 5/6 teacher’s guide for Between Worlds 1: The Move. Because each book can be enjoyed out of sequence, you can give an elementary or high school teacher any single book from the series.
Giving Books as Gifts to a Reader I Didn’t Cover
Still unsure? Giving books as gifts is a very special gesture, but if you don’t know the recipient’s tastes in detail, finding the right book can be nerve-wracking. Please contact me if that’s the case. It’s important to me to help readers who will enjoy my books find them, not sell my books to people who won’t get past the front cover. I’d be more than happy to help you decide if any of the Between Worlds or Love on Belmont books is suitable for the reader you have in mind.