Kiddosphere: Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Teens: Books!
Books are the best stocking stuffers! They’re easy to wrap, fill out the stocking nicely and are gifts that can be enjoyed at any moment. I create a print list of YA titles for Fauquier County Public Library patrons every year; finding a balance between books that will attract a wide variety of interests and ages, but won’t make grandmas blush is tricky! I start jotting down titles and reading in earnest in September for my early November deadline; here are a few to consider giving to the teen on your Christmas or Hanukkah list.
If you have a young history fan, The Boys Who Challenged Hitler should be on the top of your list. (I also reviewed this in my Ridiculously Good Reads post in September). This moving and suspenseful, account of Danish teens who inspired their fellow Danes to commit acts of resistance against Nazi forces is inspirational.
Finding career information for preteens and teens that they actually want to read can be challenging, which is why Careers: The Graphic Guide to Finding the Perfect Job for You has been insanely popular at our branches. Attractively designed (as befitting a DK publication) with the need-to-know information about hundreds of careers, this is a fun and informative guide for all ages.
Middle and high school sports stories are excellent attention-grabbers for readers of all abilities, including reluctant readers. Game Seven features a young baseball player in Cuba who finds his future limited after his father defects to the United States. Paul Volponi is one of the best YA sports authors in this industry; there’s definitely sports action, but he also incorporates contemporary issues that make the stories relevant and thoughtful. (If you have a basketball fan, check out The Final Four.)
It’s no secret that some (many?) teen girls LOVE to read tearjerkers. If you are shopping for such a reader, get A Little in Love. It’s an absolute gobsmacker of a sobfest, but it’s Les Miserables from Eponine’s point of view, so you get a little classics relation in the book.
Speaking of classics…Gareth Hinds had a monstrous achievement with his graphic novel adaptation of Beowulf, which he has followed with his impressive rendition of Macbeth. This shouldn’t replace your student’s copy of the play; it’s an adaptation of the Scottish play, so it doesn’t contain every word found in the play (it’s not a retelling, because the words are directly from the play). It would be a fantastic enhancement for anyone reading/studying Shakespeare.
Need a fun, funny, and “clean” YA romance novel (nothing in this beyond kissing)? Check out Red Girl, Blue Boy, one of two recent YA novels that involve teens of candidates from opposing political parties meeting and falling in love (The Wrong Side of Right is the other, which is somewhat more serious and mature; I reviewed it in my November Ridiculously Good Reads post). Both novels are super reads, but very different. The Wrong Side of Right is a bit more political with a message that gets a little heavy-handed at times; Red Girl, Blue Boy is pure fun and more politically neutral.
Warrenton Youth Services Assistant Becca Eastman reviewed Roller Girl in a recent Staff Picks post; get Roller Girl for your preteen/young teen who is drawn to light realistic fiction or graphic novels. This is is sweet, believable, and features the rough and tumble world of roller derby!
If you’re buying Star Wars memorabilia for your young Jedi, you need to get Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know . Even Star Wars know-it-alls will love this book!
Hope you’ve found something for the stocking or under the tree for the preteen/teen readers in your life!
PS you can find our complete list of book that make great gifts for teens at any Fauquier County Public Library. Look for it online starting December 1. Lists are also available for children and adult readers!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library
Looking for more program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers published prior to January 2015? Check out Kiddosphere!