Every year I get messages from friends, asking for some recommendations for fiction books to give kids at Christmas. I happen to think that books make the VERY BEST GIFTS!!! So I’m always happy to provide titles.
This year I thought I’d compile a list here for fun! Check it out!
Maybe God is Like That Too by Jennifer Grant: I love Jennifer Grant and her powerful picture books. In Maybe God Is Like That Too, she tells the story of a grandmother pointing out God’s presence in the world all around us. I especially love that this book features a grandparent, grandchild relationship.
Snuggle Time Christmas Stories by Glenys Nellist: One of the very best things about picture books is the snuggle factor. Glenys has identified that sweet time with a series of Snuggle Time books that families can share. This one is especially sweet for this season.
The Song of Delphine by Kenneth Kraegel: As far as I’m concerned, you can never go wrong with a Kenneth Kraegel book. Stunning illustrations join touching storytelling to provide tales that kids will want to read over and over. Whenever I’m asked to be a “secret reader” at my kids’ school, I grab a Ken Kraegel book to share. It’s always a good choice.
Superhero Levi by Catie Cordero: A story about a four year old who is differently abled and how he faces challenges that end up making him a superhero. Based on the author’s real life nephew, this book is touching and important.
Bud Not Buddy, The Mighty Miss Malone, and Elijah of Buxton (and EVERYTHING else) by Christopher Paul Curtis: Curtis is a family favorite around here. We read his books together and every time we end up having great discussions about race relations in our history, family dynamics, and overcoming adversity.
Ramona Quimby Series by Beverly Cleary: I know. I know. These books have been around FOREVER. But that’s because they’re great. I will always have a special place in my heart for Ramona.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn Dixie, Flora & Ulysses, Ramie Nightingale, (and ALL THE OTHERS) by Kate DiCamillo: Kate is the kind of author I’ve come to trust. She always delivers an entertaining book cast with endearing characters and a powerful story. For the younger crowd, the Mercy Watson books are fun, too!
The Green Ember Series by S.D. Smith: These books are fantastic for readers who like adventure, fantasy, and talking bunnies armed with swords. Yes, you heard me right.
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhh Lai: For kids who gravitate toward poetry, this book is a beautiful telling of a family finding refuge in the United States in the 1970s. This is another that I was glad to read aloud to my kids. We all grew in empathy as a result.
Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff by Robert Paul Weston: This book is fun! Told in verse and with lots of clever use of language. You can make reading this a game in which your kids try to find “unknown words” (words they don’t know the meaning to yet). It’s great for vocab building.
Last Man Out by Mike Lupica: If you’re looking for books for reluctant readers who also happen to be sports fans, Mike Lupica is your author. He provides exciting sports-packed scenes as well as strong family dynamics. One of my boys has read Lupicas books over and over.
Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr: This book has never gotten all the attention it deserves. It’s beautiful, sweet, and touching. An excellent family read.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend: For the readers of Harry Potter, Nevermoor is a fantastic choice. Packed with adventure, clever characters, and vibrant writing, this book is absolutely delightful.
Soar by Joan Bauer: Here’s another for the sports enthusiast! My family adored the friendships in this book, the family dynamics, and the message of rising above.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia: For kids who love historical fiction, particularly set in the 1960s, One Crazy Summer is for them! Strong female characters, overcoming adversity, and catching a glimpse of life beyond what is detailed in history books, this one deserves the many awards it’s won.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman: I love a silly book every now and then. This hits the spot! Great for reluctant readers, too!
The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker: While these books are officially marketed to YA readers, they are also great for upper elementary and middle schoolers. Well, and adult readers really enjoy them, too!
The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates Series by Carline Carlson: Pirates, a strong female protagonist, magic, and a TALKING GARGOYLE???? Yeah. This series is a whole lot of swashbuckling fun. I read them with my kids and we LOVED them.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin: Another classic! Quirky characters, clever plot, and intriguing mystery. What’s not to love?
The Mysterious Benedict Society Series by: Trenton Lee Stewart: My daughter adores this books, reading them multiple times. Clever, well written, and with endearing characters, this is a fantastic series!
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis: I would be remiss if I recommended books for kids and didn’t end the list with Lewis. This series has it all: talking animals, swords, battles, magic…EVERYTHING! Reading these books together is a fantastic experience for the whole family!
I hope this list gave you at least a few great ideas for the book loving kid in your life! And I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Joyful Reading!