Giftable Kids’ Books


Giftable Kids' BooksHoliday 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

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

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

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.

Young Adult

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.

Non-Book Gifts for Readers

If choosing a title is too intimidating, here are some fun ideas for the bookish folks in your life:

  • Bookmarks
  • Book plates (name tags for books!)
  • Erasable highlighters
  • A book journal
  • Bookish themed socks, tote bags, and pencil bags

When you gift a book, you aren’t just giving bound pages; a book is a portal to another world, a way to travel the world from the comfort of your favorite chair. Yearning for more book recommendations? You can find more book reviews here!

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Christine Derr
Hey, y’all! I’m an adventurous wanderer who put down roots here in East Tennessee back in 2014. My little family moved here from the wilds of suburban Alaska in 2014. We love exploring Knoxville and the surrounding areas, especially the Smoky Mountains. I’m a freelance writer and teacher who loves looking at the mountains when my nose isn’t in a book. I’m a mom to two bookish kids, a wildly clingy dog, two cats, and a fish I’d be in trouble for not mentioning. Since becoming a mom, I’ve been able to add Lincoln Log architect, LEGO contractor, and mediator to my resume. I’ve always been a bit of a jack of all trades, as I’ve been a tutor, teacher, circus instructor, bookseller, amateur baker and, of course, writer. I remind myself of this as I tell my kid not to sit on my other kid’s head while stopping the dog from chasing the cat and the other cat from jumping on top of the fish tank. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and am currently pursing my Master of Fine Arts while keeping all these creatures who live in my house alive. I survive on coffee, writing fiction, reading, Disney, and snuggles. You can read more of my work at


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