By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd 

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! 

November marks the beginning of a season when gratitude is top-of-mind. Studies show that practices of gratitude can significantly improve lives and even alter a brain’s makeup for the better. One thing I have always been grateful for is the abundance of wonderful books in my life. For me, books have opened the door to many places, people, ideas and possibilities, and pushed the boundaries of my imagination. They have truly changed my life as I hope they have yours. This quote by Amy Collette captures the essence of gratitude:

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”

Enjoy this month’s picks and comment at the end for your chance to win!

Preschool to Pre-K — Five Little Thank-Yous by Cindy Jin and illustrated by Dawn Cardona

Preschoolers will love this hand-shaped book, and parents will love sharing the simple messages of being thankful with their children. The five “thank you” messages are easily understood and can be catalysts for additional conversations about being grateful.

Early Elementary —Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes and illustrated by Doris Barrette

This wonderful picture book is the perfect vehicle to introduce the concept of gratitude to children. Warm illustrations and text depicts many things for which we should all be thankful, from the smallest of things to the largest. This “feel good” story is sure to hold a long-standing place on your children’s bookshelf.

Elementary — The World According to Humphrey — Betty G. Birney

Readers will fall in love with Humphrey after reading the first few pages of this book. This lovable hamster is the classroom pet in Room 26 and gets to visit a different student’s home every weekend. He has loads of friends and is probably the smartest hamster ever. He learns to read and write and exhibits other surprising skills when they are needed. This is the first in a fantastic series that young readers will enjoy reading again and again. Humphrey books are perfect read-aloud books for home or the classroom.

Older Elementary/Early Middle School —Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

This Newberry Honor Book features Moses LoBeau, called Mo for short, from the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC. She was named Moses after she washed ashore in a hurricane and brought home to live with the Colonel and Miss Lana. Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, known as Dale, are driven to find answers about a mysterious murder in their town and save the only family Mo has ever known. This book has received multiple starred reviews and is part of a popular series.

Young Adult — The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

In the first in this fantasy trilogy, an apprentice to a matchmaker takes on the role of an army spy only to become mixed up in a romance with a soldier. The imaginary kingdom features war, spies, politics, espionage and a heroine whom readers will love. Kirkus Reviews calls it a “complex characterization, deftly layered adventure story, and [a] balanced blend of political maneuvering, romantic interludes, and action scenes.”

Moms — Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

From the author of A Gentleman in Moscow, this highly acclaimed novel is a reader’s favorite. In this story, Katey Kontent meets Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, in a Greenwich Village jazz bar one evening in 1937. This chance encounter catapults Katey into a life among New York’s high society where she has to trust her instincts and call on her calm reserve. Lovable characters, powerful imagery and thought-provoking themes help shape this well-loved book.

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! 

Remember to share your thoughts and comments, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)

Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.

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