Picking out gifts for the holidays is one of my least favorite things. Sure, sometimes gifts just jump out at me as perfect, but more often than not, I’m left scrambling and hoping that something good will occur to me before it’s too late. Though a good book can go a long way, I find that my biggest struggles often come from trying to get gifts for my bibliophile sibling and cousins. It’s easy enough to give YA books that I love in the hopes that we can fangirl together, but that’s not very helpful if they’re too young to read YA or prefer more traditionally adult books. In the name of giving these family members the perfect gifts, I’ve done a lot of research (so you don’t have to!) and come up with a great list of books to give based on their preferences!
For Younger Siblings or Cousins
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their death. Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret–behind the mirage of the “death farm” there is instead a place called Artime.
Nancy Drew Diaries: Curse of the Attic Star by Carolyn Keene
Nancy, Bess, and George are cruising dangerous waters on a tour of Alaska. Becca Wright, an old friend of Nancy’s, is the Assistant Cruise Director of the Arctic Star, a posh new ship. But Becca needs Nancy’s help when strange things keep happening aboard the opulent ocean liner: The swimming pool becomes a floating grave; a famous passenger is threatened; and even the seemingly innocent mini-golf course becomes a perilous playground. Nancy and company have to find out who’s trying to sabotage the maiden voyage and why.
Hardy Boys Adventures: Secret of the Red Arrow by Franklin W. Dixon
Teenagers Frank and Joe Hardy are supposedly “retired” from their detective work. But there is a new mystery in Bayport that needs their investigative expertise—and fast! Starting with a bank heist, a series of alarming pranks have popped up around Bayport. Ultimately harmless, the pranks turn out to be the work of Seth Diller, an amateur filmmaker who plans to make “zillions” from his reality-horror flick, which he’ll use to help out his brother, a wounded Marine.
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
Nikki confesses all in her first diary ever: her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone, meeting her new soon-to-be BFFs Chloe and Zoey, falling for adorably sweet crush Brandon, dealing with her zany little sister Brianna’s antics—and the immediate clashes with mean girl Mackenzie, who becomes Nikki’s rival in a schoolwide art competition.
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero by Rachel Renee Russell
Max Crumbly is about to face the scariest place he’s ever been: South Ridge Middle School. There’s a lot that’s great about his new school, but there’s also one big problem—Doug, the school bully whose hobby is stuffing Max in his locker.
Spy School by Stu Gibbs
Can an undercover nerd become a superstar agent? Ben Ripley sure hopes so—and his life may depend on it!
For Older Siblings or Cousins
The Starlit Wood by many authors
Fairy tales have dominated our cultural imagination for centuries. From the Brothers Grimm to the Countess d’Aulnoy, from Charles Perrault to Hans Christian Anderson, storytellers have crafted all sorts of tales that have always found a place in our hearts. Now a new generation of storytellers have taken up the mantle that the masters created and shaped their stories into something startling and electrifying…
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez
Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become the world’s great adventurer. She is a master of martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts. Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she’s figured a way out. The only problem is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job.
Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke
With the inner workings of the mob combined with the story of a revolution, “Clarke brings novelty and delight to steampunk Antarctica in this complex and lovely mystery” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Our Lady of the Ice questions what it means to be human, what it means to be free, and whether we’re ever able to transcend our pasts and our programming to find true independence.
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes much too far—the #1 New York Times bestseller about the power of storytelling.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like PitchPerfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into theWoods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.” At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations…
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.
Boss Baby by Marla Frazee
From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious that he was the boss.
The boss baby is used to getting his way—drinks made to order 24/7, a private jet, and meetings around the clock. But when his demands aren’t getting proper responses, he has to go to new lengths to achieve the attention he deserves.
Bossier Baby by Marla Frazee
Change is in the air—the Boss Baby’s staff has stopped taking his direction! It seems that there is a new CEO in town; from the moment she comes home, Boss Baby’s little sister is extremely loud and is demanding all sorts of corporate perks he never got. Can the Boss Baby and his staff get used to the new corporate structure?