Holiday shopping is officially underway, as kids of all ages write their hopeful letters to Santa. Shopping for young readers can be tough, as you might not know what they’ve read, what genres they like, or even what their reading level is. This post is your go-to guide for holiday shopping for young readers, with picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult titles with age breakdowns as well.
Happy shopping and happy reading!
Picture books are great for preschool aged kids through second graders. Many beloved characters, like Pete the Cat and licensed characters (like Marvel superheroes, Disney characters, or other movie characters) are readily available as picture books and early readers.
- This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe
- We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
- We are Grateful by Traci Sorell
- Old Bear and His Cub and Little Cub by Olivier Dunrea
- Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Chapter books are for young readers who are just getting started reading on their own. These have larger print, lots of pictures, and engaging storylines. Many of them are part of a series, so I give the series title here. If you know they haven’t yet read it, I recommend beginning with book one. If you know they’re well-entrenched in the series, the most recent release is a great option. A box set of the first three to five books also makes an excellent gift!
- Dragon Masters series by Tracy West
- Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
- The Last Firehawk series by Katrina Charman and Jeremy Norton
- Bailey School Kids series by Debbie Dadey
- Once Upon a Fairy Tale series by Anna Staniszewski
Middle grade readers range from ages eight to fourteen. These books are more mature in themes and plot than chapter books, but much tamer content-wise than young adult. This is one of my favorite age ranges to read, as the stories are so varied and the characters intricately developed. Linked titles will take you to my full review.
- The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
- The Last Bear by Hannah Gold
- The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington
- Unplugged by Gordon Korman
- Aster’s Good, Right Things by Kate Gordon
- Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri
- The Eye of Ra series by Ben Gartner
Young Adult books used to be synonymous with the teen section, but these books are more for ages fifteen and up. These novels include serious topics, mature characters, and possibly mature language. StoryGraph is a wonderful website for readers, allowing users to track their reading and share reviews. It’s the most detailed review site I use, as it includes a place for content warnings. I highly recommend checking StoryGraph if you’re uncertain if a book is too mature, and checking the content warnings other users have provided.
- Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
- The Queen’s Council series (book one is Rebel Rose, out now, and Feather and Flame releases February 1)
- Gold Spun by Brandie June
- Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
- Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
- A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions by Sheena Boekweg
Non-Book Gifts for Readers
If choosing a title is too intimidating, here are some fun ideas for the bookish folks in your life:
- Book plates (name tags for books!)
- Erasable highlighters
- A book journal
- Bookish themed socks, tote bags, and pencil bags