2012 books that make great gifts


This list is for books published in 2012. Click on book covers to read full reviews. This list will continue to update. Check back regularly for new additions.


UnspokenYou don’t have to have words to speak. In this moving story, a selfless act is rewarded with an unspoken gift of friendship.

Wynton Marsalis’ visually exciting book begs to be read aloud, the words rolling off the reader’s tongue.

“This Is Not My Hat” is a given. It features the same deadpan text and visual humor as its predecessor.

The magic of night comes to life in this tale of a close-knit family that decides to live in a way that’s best for them.

Written by Emma Thompson and based on the tales by Beatrix Potter, Peter decides he needs a change of scene.

There’s a lot of life to this retelling of a classic. The text is fast and the illustrations are beautifully lush.

“Fantastic Flying Books” is about a few things — the love of books, imagination and writing your own story.

You won’t find any gimmicks or flashy illustrations here. Just a carefully crafted tale perfect for bedtime.

“The Lonely Book” is a delightful idea. It really makes one think about the lives books in the library lead.

“Magritte’s Marvelous Hat” is a marvelous read. The illustrations are beautiful and the text fun.

This imaginative book sets the tone for youngsters setting off for their own bedtime adventures.

Exquisite illustrations in oranges, yellows and blues are a delight that you’ll want to peruse over and over again.

Each line in “Step Gently Out” asks readers to explore. The text simply explains each of its stunning photographs.

Middle reader
Young adult

ExpeditionersComputers have failed, electricity no longer used and the world bigger than originally thought.

the-golden-door“The Golden Door” is just the sort of adventure story a young reader needs to get them excited about reading.

“Keeping Safe the Stars” is the beautiful tale of three siblings who are as self-reliant as they are dependent on each other.

This sequel to “Wide-Awake Princess” follows the same formula — lots of humor and reinterpretations of fairy tales.

Join 10-year-old Emmy Blue Hatchett as she travels West with her parents in this understated book.

This read complements “Princess Academy” so well, you’d think it was planned from the start.

First book in a trilogy filled with danger and hidden identities. Think Prince and the Pauper with more adventure.

Two friends are tasked with restoring the past in Scholastic’s new multi-platform series.

Abby lives in a world of magic. No one thinks it’s very special. Except those who have no magical abilities.

If you haven’t read The Books of Elsewhere, now is the time. Readers of all ages will likely gobble them up.

The first of two charming books about a 10-year-old boy’s adventures with magic, mystery and danger.

“May B.” is a quiet novel that packs a big and unexpected wallop. It’s fast-paced and it engages readers on a levels

This magical novel transports readers to far-off lands that inspire creativity and spark imagination

Soldier'sSecretSarah Emma Edmonds fought in the Civil War. That wouldn’t be such a novel idea if she had been a man, but she wasn’t.

Economics made exciting. There’s conspiracy involved, but descriptions of actual trading are interesting.

Written by a mother-daughters trio, this is a complex narrative that builds in tension and depth as the story unfolds

Description and scene setting are key players in this story of a young girl and her secret relationship with dragons.

This quiet steampunk read about an eccentric inventor and his niece is totally absorbing.

“The Kill Order” is a fast-paced, at times white-knuckle story fans of the Maze Runner series will gobble up.

A compelling story of a young girl following her dream and realizing that dreams can be altered.

Loosely based on “Persuasion,” this book is an intelligent read that doesn’t rely on strong language or violence.

When Digit cracks a terrorist group’s code, she finds herself in the middle of a James Bond-esque adventure.

Daisy died today. It came as a surprise to the kids and teachers at her school, but not to Daisy — she’s died before.

Set in the late 1200s, this book has the flavor of old-time text mixed with a modern flair that makes it accessible.

Marissa Meyer has so cleverly crafted her tale, you forget about the glass slipper from your childhood princess book.

With loose ties to the Persephone myth, this novel has mythical hints throughout. At the heart, it’s a romance.


© 2012 – 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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