Best Christmas books for your students

Looking for some wintry or festive page-turners? Here’s our selection of books to read in lessons, assign as homework or just let students read to keep warm during the holidays. Enjoy the perfect cosy read.

For VYLs

Christmas books VYLs Skyteach

For your little students opt for touchy-feely books with simple, repetitive text, bright, colourful illustrations, and textures to touch and feel on every page.

That’s Not My Snowman

That’s Not My Reindeer

That’s Not My Santa

That’s Not My Elf

With the series of books «That’s not my …», babies and toddlers touch the textured patches as they meet snowmen with fluffy scarves, reindeer with sparkly bells, Santa with a rough sack, elves with shiny boots. The bright pictures and textures are designed to help develop sensory and language awareness.

Jolly Jingle Christmas

This is a fun book with 10 festive sounds. Kids visit the elves at their workshop as they tap and tinker with toys, hear the jingle, jingle of sleigh bells approaching.

Santa’s Workshop

The story is short and narrated by a penguin guiding readers through Santa’s workshop. Kids get to see Mrs Clause’s kitchen, the elves’ toy shop, the reindeer stables, and Santa’s room. Under each flap, there is a surprise illustration.

For YLs

Christmas books YLs Skyteach

Dear Santa 

If you have read Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell with your students, they will love a Christmas version of the story. Santa is looking for the perfect present to send to a special child. It’s a great book to revise toys and adjectives to describe them (a small car, a big kite, a bouncy ball, etc.). The phrase, like the one below, is constantly repeated in the story and that makes it easier for kids to follow the plot.

So he wrapped up a car. Too small, thought Santa. I’ll send something else.

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

If your students are big fans of Pete the Cat, then you should read aloud a catty version of the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas. It’s a good book to introduce or revise Christmas vocabulary. Students can look through the story and find reindeer, chimney, gifts, elves, etc. If necessary, grade the language as the story is written in Past Simple and from time to time includes complicated for kids vocabulary, e.g.

Santa asked Pete to deliver the toys. / This is totally groovy. / Pete and his reindeer appeared overhead.

You can also read Pete’s other spin on a holiday classic, Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas.

Pip and Posy: The Christmas Tree

What does every kid do before Christmas? Right, decorate a Christmas tree. Read the story and discuss the decorations. Spoiler: in the story, the decorations keep mysteriously disappearing from the tree until there are none left at all.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Every child, especially those who have read «The Cat in the Hat», will love this story. This book follows the Grinch, a grumpy creature who attempts to put an end to Christmas by stealing Christmas-themed items from the homes of the nearby town Whoville on Christmas Eve. Miraculously, the Grinch realizes that Christmas may not all be about money and presents.

The reading level for native speakers is 5 — 9 years. On the Internet, you can find lots of worksheets and lapbook activities to help English learners read and comprehend the story.

For Teens

Christmas books teens Skyteach

Below there is a list of best teen & young adult holiday fiction books ranked by Amazon.

Let it snow

A trio of today’s bestselling authors — John Green (Paper Towns, The Fault in our Stars), Maureen Johnson (The Name of the Star), and Lauren Myracle (The Internet Girls series) — brings all the magic of the holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.

An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

Age: 12 and older

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favourite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges.

The book is perfect for 12 — 17-year-old students. 

Rule #10: You Can’t Forgive Your Ex Best Friend

Ellie’s best friend, Grayson abandoned her and left town with no explanation. Now he’s back and she’s expected to spend Christmas break working with him in a mentor program. Grayson’s not revealing the reason for his departure, saying it’s «not my story to tell.» But as the two spend time together their feelings unexpectedly deepen.

The story is sweet and quick to read, it’s superficial and repetitive and there are editing errors, but I was surprisingly addicted to it and I really wished we’d gotten to know Grayson on a deeper level.

Christmas Carol

A Treasured Classic. Rich in the imagery of nineteenth-century England, this story celebrates a return to old-fashioned Christmas festivities while examining the crisis in one man’s personal life. One of the most famous characters in literary history, Ebenezer Scrooge is the «grasping old sinner» who finds redemption after witnessing scenes from his life in which his greed, self-interest, and lack of compassion are revealed.

For Adults

Christmas books adults Skyteach

Here are the best new Christmas novels this 2020 holiday season.

Silent Bite: An Andy Carpenter Mystery

This is a Crime Mystery, and this is book 22 in the Andy Carpenter series. Lawyer Andy Carpenter is asked for help by his partner, Willie Miller. Willie’s old cellmate, Glenn Anson, has been arrested for murder. Andy doesn’t necessarily believe in Glenn, but Willie does. And Andy believes in Willie, which is why Andy decides to take the case. The author puts readers in the Christmas spirit in a tale that is equal parts mystery and holiday cheer. The book is full of humour.

The Christmas Swap;

Emma Daley, a young teacher and musician from sunny Arizona, wants to enjoy a white Christmas this holiday season. Tyler Prescott, an in-demand songwriter and talented musician from cold Colorado Rockies, is looking to make a vacation trade this year. When his houseguest arrives, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house’s caretaker. But when Emma’s friend discovers his true identity, things get messy.

A Christmas Resolution

Set in a small English village in the late 19th century, this story begins shortly before Christmas. Celia’s best friend, Clementine, tells her that she has accepted a marriage proposal from Seth Marlowe. Clementine’s fiancé is a mean spirited and self-righteous widower who has made a serious and threatening accusation against Celia. Celia’s husband, who is a police officer, sets out to investigate.

Themes of friendship, forgiveness, kindness, and truth are incorporated throughout. There is a vivid sense of place, likeable characters, and a satisfying conclusion which, coincidentally, happens on Christmas Day.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Kate reluctantly agrees to her friend’s suggestion of signing up for “The Twelve Dates of Christmas.” She’ll be matched up with twelve different men, for a different group date each weekend. Soon her whole village is invested in the outcome, including her sceptical friend Matt. The perfect book to get you in the holiday spirit.

Also, check 35 Best Christmas Books of All Time.

Enjoy quirky and snugly read for chilly weekends!

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