Whether you prefer the printed or the spoken word, here are a few books that would make excellent gifts for readers and perhaps even some reluctant readers as well.

For Tweens:

THE 39 CLUES by Rick Riordan (and other authors for subsequent volumes in the series)
This new series from Scholastic is filled with action and adventure and espionageEach book will be penned by a different authorLook for the web site that supports the series and offers a treasure hunt for readers, too.

NATION by Terry Pratchett
After a tsunami wipes out most of his island and its inhabitants, a young boy named Mau must rebuild a new civilization with the help of a shipwrecked young girlHumor and pathos are plentiful in this novel that explores how civilizations form and re-form.

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman
A young boy named Bod is reared by a collection of graveyard inhabitants including some ghosts, a vampire, and a werewolfAnd Bod does not understand that his situation may be quite unique.

CHAINS by Laurie Halse Anderson
Two sisters, Isabel and Ruth, are handed over to new masters when their owner diesThis planned trilogy offers readers a glimpse into the life of a slave in the early years of the American revolution.

BIRD LAKE MOON by Kevin Henkes
A young boy makes friends with the family living in the next cottage in a summer filled with surprises, not all of them good.

For Teens:

THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING by M.T. Anderson
In this second book, readers learn of the fate of young Octavian as he leaves his master’s house and tries to gain his freedom from slaveryAnderson’s novel reads like an 18th century novel with robust vocabulary and intricate structures.

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness
A futuristic civilization holds terrible truths for a young boy named Todd the history he has been told is not at all accurateLoads of action and adventure and a suspenseful ending are in store for readers who love dystopic novels.

MADAPPLE by Christina Meldrum
Plant lore, betrayal, murder, and romance combine in this extraordinary first novel find other members of her family when her mother dies

TENDER MORSELS by Margo Lanagan
Part fairy tale, part magical realism, and wholly absorbing and disturbingA family builds its own home in a small corner of a private heaven only to have it invaded by creatures from another place and time. Reminiscent of Robin McKinley’s DEERSKIN. Provocative and evocative.

GHOST GIRL by Tonya Hurley
Hoping to gain the attention of the cutest boy in her class, Charlotte is willing to do anythingDying on the first day of school was NOT one of those options, though.

For the Entire Family to Enjoy Together:

WE ARE THE SHIP by Kadir Nelson
The story of the Negro League is breathtakingly written and illustrated by Nelson.

THE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 8 by Sid Fleischman
Meet Mark Twain up close and personal in this fast paced biography.

SAVVY by Ingrid Law
In Mibs’ family, 13 year olds come into their savvy, their special talentMibs hopes her savvy will help heal her father who has been severely injured in an accident

MY ONE HUNDRED ADVENTURES by Polly Horvath
Jane hopes for a summer filled with adventures, It is certainly beginning to look like a possibility.

THE WAY WE WORK by David Macaulay
A newly envisioned book from the master who gave readers THE WAY THINGS WORK.

THE WILLOUGHBYS by Lois Lowry
Lemony Snicket has met his match in this tale of children who wish to become orphans and parents who would love to ditch their childrenThe tongue is firmly in Lowry’s cheek throughout this wonderful book.

About Teri Lesesne

I am a professor of YA lit in the department of library science at SHSU in Texas. I am an active YALSA member, an author of two professional books, a blogger, and a grandmother of 6. I am on the Printz 2010 Committee and the YALS Editorial Board currently. I have also served on the QP, Edwards, and Odyssey Committees.

One Thought on “Looking for Some Book Ideas for Gift Giving?

  1. michael on December 7, 2008 at 11:13 am said:

    City of Bones by: Cassandra Clare
    It is about a young girl who has had her “sight” blinded by her mother.
    The book is about her devoping the “sight” and the people she meets. It is very interesting and there is always somthing that keeps you reading. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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