Thursday, September 30, 2010

Holiday Shopping

I know it might seem early, but really, I promise, the holidays are right around the corner, and I need to start thinking about my shopping. Naturally, it’s important for me to give books to as many people on my list as possible, even those who are not necessarily big readers. The trick is finding the perfect book, something they haven’t read before and that will hopefully grab their interests.

For ideas I thought I’d reach out to my blog community. After all, who better to ask but a bunch of readers.

So here’s a brief rundown of my list. Any suggestions?

Girl, age 12: I’ve gifted her A Wrinkle in Time, which she loved, and would really like to give her Hunger Games, but is she too young? That’s one thing I’ve never gotten a handle on when it comes to other people’s kids. What is age-appropriate. My other concern is that Hunger Games is so, so popular, is it ridiculous to think she hasn’t already read it? Any other thoughts?

Boy, age 15: Last year I had a hit with Into the Wild. It was an inspired find if I do say so myself, and he seemed truly interested, which I was thrilled with, especially since I don’t think he’s much of a reader. So I’m thinking nonfiction again this year. Is Krakauer’s Where Men Win Glory too much?

Boy, age 10: This is my tough one. I haven’t got a clue. He loves silly things that make him laugh, but 10 is a tough age for me. What do 10-year-old boys read?

Adult male: Who has loved books like Methland.

Adult male: Who also loves nonfiction, but also thrillers. Was a fan of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo as well as Devil in a White City.

Hmmm, I know there are others, but I can’t think of them at this time. What about you? Have you started your shopping yet? What are you buying for those on your list?



Anonymous said...

I have a 10 year old boy who is really enjoying the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan . . .he's zipping through the series

funny in the 'hood said...

If he liked Into the Wild, you might give him Krakauer's Into Thin Air. It's wonderful. Also, my ten-year-old son and I just finished 100 cupboards (can't remember the author offhand). He loved it.

Hope this helps. I love to give books for gifts.


Rula Sinara said...

I have boys ages 10 and 12. The 10yo is very into the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. He also recently read The Red Pyramid and passed it onto his older brother. They both loved it. I just finished reading The Shifter: The Healing Wars Book 1 by Janice Hardy and I thought it was fantastic. It would work for both boys and girls (esp. girls) in that age group. My oldest has started reading it already. Hope that helps!

Sommer said...

For the boy age 10: the Percy Jackson books or Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

For the adult male who liked Methland: A friend of mine who liked that book also enjoys anything by Brett Easton Ellis.

For the non-reader boy 15: My husband has scored a big hit with this age group in his English classes with the book Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. Not non-fiction, but the boys in his class can't put the book down, and these are not reader kids.

Girl age 12: Hard age, it depends on the girl whether she'd be ready for Hunger Games or not. If she's not quite ready for Hunger Games, what about the City of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau?

Good luck! Let us know what you get for them!

Anonymous said...

For the 10-year-old, you can't get much sillier (or better) than Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I don't know about the rest, but the 10yr old boy night like the Nightmare Academy books by Dean Lorey. They're not really silly but they're fun to read. Oh, and the last guy on your list might like Vince Flynn. He writes political thrillers. I just found out about him, but the two books I read of his were very good.

My gift list is very short. I buy things for my husband and daughter, and send cards to everyone else. I haven't even thought about buying presents yet. That's more a November thing for me.

Good luck finding gifts. =o)

Megan Burke said...

For the 10yo, try some silly Aussie authors - Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.

Andy's 'Just' series (Just Tricking etc etc about five or six) combine short stories with cartoons around the edges of the pages and are about a young boy doing stupid things. they are hilarious and kids love them!

Anonymous said...

My nine-year-old nephew is getting the Fudge books from me for his birthday, but for ten I'd definitely recommend the Percy Jackson books.

Anonymous said...

Girl age 12: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott or the Mysterious Benedict society (my niece who's 13 loved this book, she read it last year)
Boy age 10: also agree with the Percy Jackson pick here
Boy age 15: the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz very popular w/ this age group. or Mysterious Benedict society or The Book Thief by Zusar
Adult Males: nonfiction picks: Omnivore's Dilemma, Fastfood Nation, Three Cups of Tea, Franklin and winston (bio on FDR and Churchill relationship), Mountains Beyond Mountains by Traci Kiddor
Fiction: The Woman in White by Collins (a classic, credited as the 1st mystery written), anything by Clancy, Michael Connelly

Anonymous said...

For the twelve year-old girl, Ally Carter has a girl spy series the first of which is, "I'd Tell You I Loved you, but then I'd Have to Kill You."

They are fast paced and fun, and clean so totally okay for 12.

If the 15 year-old is mature enough, I liked J.R. Morhinger's, "The Tender Bar," a memoir about growing up fatherless in New York. Touching and funny. Not at all racy.

If you'd like to try fiction for the 15 year-old boy, John Green's, "Looking for Alaska" can't be beat, imo. Also, maybe Marcus Zusak's, "The Book Thief" -- death narrates it.

Anonymous said...

What about Shell Silversteins poetry book, "WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS" for the ten year old.

Fun, funny.

Diane T said...

For a 15-year-old boy who's not a big reader, you can't beat Max Brooks' "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War." Not only is the subject awesome (zombies!), it's told in short little "interviews," making it easy to read.

If you want nonfiction, try "Crazy for the Storm," a memoir by Norman Ollestad of how he survived a plane crash at age 11 by using skills his dad taught him.

Diana Q. said...

My 11-year-old son just finished up the Hunger Games trilogy and loved it. So, not too young for a 12-year-old girl in my book.(pun intended!)

Ten-year-old boy who likes silly? My 9-year-old boy enjoys the "How to Train a Dragon" series.

Anonymous said...

For the younger ones: the Artemis Fowl books are great.
My 15 year old son is not a reader (alas), but he does enjoy the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz.
The Thousand is an interesting and complex thriller, very Dan Brown-esque in style.
And, a really compelling book (non-fiction) is:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

I enjoyed all these titles, as well.

Kristan said...

Shoot, this isn't going to help for this year, but next year the 10 yr old (then 11, probably) might enjoy Nathan Bransford's JACOB WONDERBAR. It sounds like it could be right up his alley.

If the 12 yr old girl wanted to read Hunger Games, I'd probably let her, but I don't think as a parent/adult that I'd give it to her myself. Books 1 and 2 are fine, it's really book 3 that makes me hesitate. I mean, I'm 24 and I found it really hard to take. Emotionally, that is. I just don't know if I would *choose* to put that on anyone younger than, say, 15. (If *they* chose it, though, I'd let them. My parents always let me make my own reading choices, and I value that immensely.)

Other suggestions for her might be Ring of Endless Light also by L'Engle. Although I think that's not the first book in the series, I read it as a standalone and loved it. Has she read Anne of Green Gables? That's still one of my favorites. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech? Secret Life of Bees? The Uglies series? Tuck Everlasting?

Boy age 15: Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian! The Maze Runner?

Adult males... Well the thriller fan might like Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan. For nonfic, you might look at books by Malcolm Gladwell or Atul Gawande?

Diana Byron said...

My 12-year-old daughter was reading The Hunger Games last year but was traumatised when her teacher noticed and sent a note home inquiring whether or not I was aware that she was reading it. So I read it, loved it, and let her finish it. She didn't like it as much as I did, but she may still have been in shock at having been sent home with a note (horrors!). I think it's a fine choice for a girl of 12.

Anonymous said...

For the 10 yr old boy, try the Artemis Fowl series.

For the 12 yr old girl, why not try some oldie-but-goodie books from Robin McKinley? Or perhaps THE SEER AND THE SWORD. I gifted both of these to my 12 yr old sister last year, and she loved them.

Megan Records

Ann in Texas said...

I have a 14 year old boy and a 12 year old boy. When they were 10 (and my 12 year old still likes) they really liked the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, and the Warriors series (the main characters are cats). Also, for silly stuff for the 10 year old, the Hank the Cowdog series by John Erickson is great. We still listen to the audio versions on long car trips and we all love them. For the 15 year old try Jurassic Park by Crichton. Good for non readers. Better than the movie. The Rangers Apprentice series for 12 and up, or younger depending on the kid, is also excellent. Happy shopping!

Becky Levine said...

Girl, age 12--I'm guessing she has already read Hunger Games or been told by Mom that she has to wait. Probably read it. If she's a strong reader, you might try her on Cornelia Funke's Inkheart or, also if she hasn't read it (a maybe) Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me (which has a kind of tribute to Wrinkle in Time in it).

Boy, age 10--The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex. HYSTERICAL. I'd recommend Percy Jackson and Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl, too, but I think he may very well have read those. Smekday, while just as good, seems less known.

If either of your adult males is into fast, battling sci-fi with a sense of humor, husband (and son) swear John Steakley's Armour is the best book every written. In terms of NF for adults, husband is handing Alan Weisman's The World Without Us to everybody who'll take it.

I've got nothing for your 15-year-old NF boy reader...sorry! :)

Have I mentioned I LOVE shopping books for other people? :)

Unknown said...

The 10 year old boy might like Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

for the 12 year old girl James Patterson Maximum Ride series. Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot.

Adult Male. I liked both the two books you mentioned. For Historical thrillers. What about Caleb Carr's The Alienist. Jed Rubenfeld's Interpretation of Murder.

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest my eternal favourite series, Artemis Fowl, for all young readers who haven't discovered this gem yet.

Kate Douglas said...

I give gift certificates to bookstores, especially to the kids. Even the littlest ones love choosing their own books.

And, it's the one thing I KNOW our son-in-law will use. He's impossible to buy for, but loves his gift certificates.

Regarding young boys--our grandson (age 9) loves the Wimpy Kid series, but that may be too young for your ten year old.

Amy said...

My 11-year-old son also likes the Rick Riordan stuff. He laughed out loud several times during the Red Pyramid book. He's also a big fan of Fox Trot and Calvin & Hobbes collections.

Lucy Jones said...

For the 15 year old boy or even for the 12 year old, what about the Demonata series by Darren Shan? It's great for boys who don't read much as it's fast paced and full of humour.

Khanada said...

I have an almost-11-year old daughter, so I thought I'd comment for the 12-year old girl.

I agree with others here - she has either already read HUNGER GAMES or is being asked to wait. (I wanted my daughter to wait after I read MOCKINGJAY. She begged to read them cos kids in her class have, so I finally said ok, but we're going to have to have a talk about them. After that, she never mentioned it again.)

The best book I read this year is THE BONESHAKER by Kate Milford. I saw it recommended somewhere, picked it up at the library, and it sat around until the day before it was due. I decided to read just the first chapter before sending it back... and I ended up finishing it and keeping it for my daughter to read, too. She loved it, and the library fine was totally worth it. It's also on my "to buy" list.

Deb said...

As the mother of a 10-year-old boy, here's what I can tell you he LOVED ...

The Pseudonymous Bosch series ("The Name of This Book is Secret" etc)

The Warriors series by Erin Hunter

Lion Boy by Zizou Corder (series of 3)

Simon Bloom - The Gravity Keeper - Reisman (there's a second in the series)

Anonymous said...

Oh lord, Christmas time last year I was working at kids and YA book shop so I used to do a lot of book recommending *puts on recommendation hat*

For ten year olds, when my brother was that age he used to love love love anything by Jon Scieszka, particularly his Time Warp Trio Books (Knights of the Kitchen Table being the first one) Also there's the Septimus Heap books by Angie Sage that are great for that age group (The first one is Magyk). If he's a strong reader, the Artemis Fowl books used to be my go to for recommendations for boys between the ages of 10 and 14.

For a 13 year old girl I don't think Hunger Games is too old for her in the least, but if you are worried about it I used to recommend things like Maureen Johnson, or Ally Carter (Heist Society is a favourite of mine, because apparently I am still a 13 year old girl at heart).

Ameena said...

I recently bought an adult male friend "The Reluctant Fundamentalist." He loved it as did I!

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

For the 12-year-old girl, I second the recommendation of Rebecca Stead's WHEN YOU REACH ME, which won the 2010 Newbery Award. It's not hugely popular among middle grade readers but would appeal to readers of A WRINKLE IN TIME, as Stead pays homage to that classic.

Robin Lemke said...

1) I wouldn't buy another person's 12 year old Hunger Games - still an iffy age for me. She might really like Dark Life by Kat Falls. My daughter loved that book.

2) Also, wouldn't do the latest Krakauer for the boy, but I love the idea of Into the Wild, so I might do Into Thin Air or Warren Richey's Without a Paddle or Michio Kaku's The Physics of the Impossible?
10 YO Boy - Calvin and Hobbes collection?
Adult male who loves nonfiction and thrillers - the latest Lee Child/Jack Reacher novel?

K.L. Brady said...

My son, who turns 10 in October, loves the Percy Jackson series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Big Nate. He reads them again and again.

Mira said...

Oooo, giftees.

Well, I'm in the minority, but think the Hunger Games is too disturbing for that age. Too much cruelty....especially when there are many other empowering, wonderful books for girls that age.

So, books I recommend:

I assume they have all read Harry Potter?

For the 12 year old girl: Some classics: Anne of Green Gables, A little Princess, Little Women.

Some others:
Allana's First Adventure by Tamora Pierce;
The Princess Diaries or her new Ally Finkle for Girls by Meg Cabot;
The Princess Academy by Sharon Hale. All fun books with strong female characters.

For the younger boy: Definitely Percy Jackson by Riordan. Possibly Ender's Game by Card, if he's a mature reader.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemoney Snickett (Handler).

For the older boy - I agree with Kate - a gift certificate. He'll love it. The youngers ones would too. :)

For the older men - no idea, except the Da Vinci Code for the one who likes thrillers - if he hasn't read it.

Have fun shopping! :)

Michelle Moran said...

For the man who likes Devil in a White City, I can strongly suggest SHIP OF GOLD IN THE DEEP BLUE SEA. I've gifted that book at least 50 times, and not one of the recipients has disliked it. In fact, they go out of their way to tell me what an amazing story it is (narrative nonfiction).

Carin Siegfried said...

for adult male who likes thrillers and NF: The Wave or The Lost City of Z.

For 12-YO girl, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or Princess Diaries or I Capture the Castle

Susan Spann said...

For the adult male who liked Devil in the White City:

Thunderstruck (

Nonfiction that reads like fiction (similar to D i/t WC), mingling the story of murderer Dr. H.H. Crippen with Guglielmo Marconi (of wireless fame). I'd strongly recommend it for someone who liked the books you recommended.

Adrienne said...

I hate to toot my own horn . . . okay, well not so much that I won't do it, but both my books are very popular with boys of around 10 years old. They are funny, they are exciting adventures with pirates, and they are very fast paced: ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN and TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON'S GATE

If he's particular about not reading girl main characters, have him read TIMOTHY first, though Alex is such a tomboy that the boys don't seem to care she's a girl.

And since you're getting all these Percy Jackson recommendations, may I also point out I share the same cover artist as that series: John Rocco.


(I should add that all this goes for the 12 yearold girl too, and it is definitely age appropriate)

Bethany said...

I'm with everyone who's recommending "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan for the 10 year old boy. I'm almost finished reading the series (and no, I'm not a 10 year old boy, I'm an adult female) but I think it's not just for mid-grade readers, although I think they'll enjoy it. He used his 7th and 8th grade classes opinions when writing the series, but I think a 10 year old could read it okay. :-)

Have you given the 12 year old girl the "Ballet Shoes" or "Dancing Shoes" books? they're by Noel Streatfield...I don't know what she likes, but they've recently been re-releasing those books and I loved them growing up and still love them. If not those, you could always get her the sequel to "A Wrinkle In Time" if she hasn't read the rest of the series.

Lynn M said...

I have both a 12 year old girl and a 10 year old boy, so I've got some hands-on experience.

For the 12 year old girl...I hear there's this series that the girls are just loving. "Twilight" something? No just kidding. My daughter has read and loved "The Hunger Games" so unless your 12-year old person is very sensitive, I'd say go for it.

Funny books for 10 year old boys - my son loves the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. He also just finished and really liked "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" which is very cute.

If you want to go a bit more literary but still great reads, a great list of books for kids in this age range is at here - all of these are up for the 2011 Caudill Award which is huge for late-elementary/middle school kids in Illinois.

Lynn M said...

P.S. "The Hunger Games" is on the Caudill 2011 Nominees list. And check out the lists and winners from years past - there is something for every type of reader on these lists. Very good books.

bfav said...

For the 12 yr old girl, I think Hunger Games isn't quite age appropriate. But if she loved Wrinkle in Time then she love When You Reach Me (age appropriate and the MC's favorite book is Wrinkle in Time.)

Linda Leszczuk said...

For the ten year old - The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

For the twelve year old and possibily the fifteen year old - the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson.

Oddly enough, I did a blog just last week about the limited selection for pre-teens, boys especially, who are too old for kids' books but for whom teen and YA may not be quite appropriate. If they're not into sci fi or fantasy, the selection is pretty thin.

But to echo another comment, my grandson would rather get a bookstore gift card so he can have the fun of choosing his own.

Lale said...

Boy, 10- Has he read Artemis Fowl? I'm a girl, but I loved them at that age (still do), along with the Hobbit, and either of Rick Riordan's series if he hasn't read them. The Children of the Lamp series is also great and well worth checking out, as well as anything by Dianna Wynne Jones.

Girl, 12- Hunger Games might be a bit too much for her, but it depends on what she's like- I would have been fine with it, but not my sister. I think 'The Chosen One' has a really good message and it's not too alarming for that age. Tamora Pierce could be a good choice if she's into girl power. Maximum Ride series, Carpe Diem, Mortal Instruments and the Abhorsen trilogy are also great.
Boy, 15- I'm seventeen, and my male friends who aren't big readers really enjoy Terry Pratchett. Mortal Instruments and Abhorsen trilogy could also be good for him, as well as White Cat and the Maze Runner which both have male narrators a bit above or below that age.

Hope that helps! I guess it's a given since you're in the industry and love books, but it's really nice to see people still giving teens books as presents (yes, I'm a little old fashioned and think it's crazy that my ten year old sis has a cell phone)- I'm indebted to everyone who gifted me books or giftcards for bookstores over the years for inspiring my obsession with reading and changing my life in the process.

Anna Richland said...

You could do a sinking ship theme for either/both the 15 YO boy and the NF male (esp if they're in the same family and likely to trade books and talk about them): (1) Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm; (2) Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea - a non-fiction mash up of the sinking of a gold-laden steam ship off the Carolinas in the nineteenth century and the high tech modern quest to recover it (a little slow to start and then it gets going); (3) the classic The Terrible Hours (SS Squalus - amazing rescue of an early submarine sunk off Long Island). Pair with a Playmobil submarine! Or chocolate gold coins! Or swordfish steaks!

There's also a great classic Andrea Doria book - the name escapes me - and Walter Lord's Night to Remember - and a CD of Guthrie singing "When that Great Ship Went Down."

There's a lengthy thread on boy-books at Smart Bitches Trashy Books right now as well...

And really - for the 12 yo girl - isn't that the age we all started reading classic Harlequins? Be the bad aunt. Embrace it.

Anonymous said...

I want to 3rd (or 4th) the Ally Carter series for the 12yo girl. Nice, clean, Disney-like action. Especially if you're not sure if you should get The Hunger Games for her.

For the 10yo boy, the Wimpy Kid series, as mentioned numerous times, or Rick Riordan's books.

For the NF readers, I recommend Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick. It's about North Korea as told by defectors.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

For the 15-year-old boy, Winterdance by Gary Paulsen. Fantabulous real-life adventure with sled dogs.

Karen Grencik said...

Dear Jessica,
For the 10-year-old, 12-year old, and 15-year-old, I would suggest Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan. Here's a link to the publisher's response to the original submission.
And a link from the agent to the behind the scenes of getting the story published.
Happy holidays,

Karen Grencik said...

Dear Jessica,
For the 10-year-old, 12-year old, and 15-year-old, I would suggest Double Luck, Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan. Here's a link to the publisher's response to the original submission.
And a link from the agent to the behind the scenes of getting the story published.
Happy holidays,

Anonymous said...

Another vote yes for Hunger Games for the 12 year old girl unless she is a very sheltered or nervous 12.

Karen said...

For the adult male - Island at the Center of the World?

Wendy Shang said...

I would say go for something besides Percy Jackson for the 10 y.o., just because every kid has heard of it. My own fantasy-loving 10 y.o. went retro a few weeks ago with the Great Brain series by John Fitzgerald and loved it. Lots of great moral quandaries to discuss, too.

The 15 y.o. who liked Jon Krakauer might also like Bill Bryson. I know they write on different topics, but I think they are both masters of compelling, well-researched non-fiction. I could not put down Bryson's book on Australia.

For the 12 yo girl, Kathy Erskine's MOCKINGBIRD and Rita Garcia Williams' ONE CRAZY SUMMER have both been getting great buzz. A 12 yo might enjoy the topical nature of these books, as well as the beautiful, lyrical writing.

Sara said...

Try the "Wee Free Men" series by Terry Pratchett. It would probably be best for the 12 yr old girl but my 15 year old nephew loved it too. I actually recommend it to everyone I meet. Crivens!


Justin Holley said...

The twelve-year-old girl might enjoy Susan Cooper's DARK IS RISING (and that whole series).

Melissa Sarno said...

For the 12 year old girl, maybe she would like Rebecca Stead's "When You Reach Me" which also has a subtle element of time travel and I believe A Wrinkle In Time was an inspiration for the book. I'm sorry I can't help with the boys or adult males!

Chris Redding said...

10 yO would probably like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. If he's immature, maybe Captain Underpants.

kate said...

I have an 11 yo boy bookworm he's recently read (and liked): the pendragon series, the nick of time series, the Maximum Ride books, My Side of the Mountain (and the really cool companion guide), The Giver...or for easy but really fun reads, the Nicholas books by Renee Goscinny are still favorites in my house.

For a 15 yo-- Into Thin Air

For the 12 yo-- what about a vintage set of Nancy Drew books? Or The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

For the methland fan: the imperfectionists?

Gretchen said...

For your nf adult (what the heck maybe the kid) and along the undersea adventure lines I highly recommend Shadow Divers. It's been around awhile but it's a terrific story.

Tina said...

For the 10 year old boy I would suggest the new Tony DiTerlizzi book 'Search for WondLa'. It's a great story with foreign planets, ailien species, robots and finding a home.

Linda C. McCabe said...

My son is eleven and loves the Percy Jackson series as well as the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Both are funny, but the Wimpy Kid books concentrates more on humor than do the PJ and the Olympians.

I would check with the various kids' mother(s) to make sure you aren't duplicating something that is already on their bookshelf.

Here are two books that you could give to the twelve year old girl as well as the ten year old boy:

Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth and D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths.

Both are books that I've bought multiple copies over the years as gifts. I adore those books. The D'Aulaires' book is the first book that I stayed up until 4 am reading and I was about 12 years old at the time. It remains today as my favorite book on Greek mythology. The narrative is compelling and it introduces each god and goddess in a compelling manner with their own story that leads naturally to another deity. The illustrations are wonderful as well.

Adult male? I'm not familiar with the books you mentioned, but I'll toss off two titles I recently read that I think most guys would enjoy reading:

My Name is Will: a novel of sex, drugs and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield and the nonfiction book It's Not You, It's Biology: the science of love, sex and relationships by Joe Quirk.

Both are uproariously funny, easy to pick up, and hard to put down.

Rachael said...

Hmmm 12-year-old girl...I think it depends on her maturity level. I have a cousin that old that I wouldn't hesitate to give HUNGER GAMES. At that age I was a HUGE Tamora Pierce fan. As in every book that I had was either written by her or about horses.

Toni Lynn said...

Book idea for your ten year old: Word Search USA by Toni Lynn Cloutier.

It comes out Nov. 2. It's educational, and with the trivia questions inside, it will keep his mind sharp.

Okay, I'm the author, and if you buy this and want to give him matching pens with his gift, let me know and I'll send you some!

Visit for more info. Or email.

Anonymous said...

The thriller lover might like "City of the Dead," set during the Seige of Leningrad. I read it recently and found it moving and grim and funny all at once.

Beth Sorensen said...

For the 10 year old boy, the N.E.R.D.S. books by Michael Buckley would be perfect.

The 12 year old girl, I'd go with the books "Boys are Dogs" and "Girls are Catty".(Sorry, don't know the author.) She might also like the new YA release, FINS by Ashley Knight as well.

_*rachel*_ said...

Girl, 12: You could try Speak, Ender’s Game, Redwall, Percy Jackson, or Stargirl, depending on her preferences and maturity. Those were all books I was reading (or should have been reading) at that age. I'm lending a mature 11-year-old The Hunger Games because I trust her to stop if it gets too old for her.

Boy, 10: If he goes for adventure-y stuff, Redwall or Percy Jackson. Maybe the Mad Scientist’s Club or some Gary Korman.

I make jewelry and washcloths, so I’ll be giving some of that.