Savvy Gift Guide: For Young Readers (from HarperClassroom!)

Do you have kids in your life who love to read? We @HarperClassroom know how tricky it can be to find the right gifts for the holidays – especially since so many exciting, thrilling, adorable and hilarious books came out this year. To make it easier, here’s a list of books and book-themed gifts that are sure to delight your little bookworms this season…

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel paired with a fun train set.


The perfect gift for the young (and the young at heart!). No one writes adventure stories quite like Kenneth Oppel, and The Boundless is no exception. Full of adventure, mystery, a bit of magic, the world’s longest train and a Sasquatch (!!), this is the perfect book for any adventure seeker aged 8-12. Looking for a gift to pair it with? We suggest a train set, so you can bring the adventure of The Boundless to life!

The Paddington Treasury by Michael Bond and illus. by R.W. Alley paired with Movie Passes & Paddington plush!

Paddington is the cutest (not to mention, most mischievous) bear around! For years Paddington has captured the hearts of young readers around the world, and now you can find some of his most loved stories all in one book. Plus, if you haven’t heard, Paddington the movie hits theatres January 16th and it’s going to be AWESOME. Pair The Paddington Treasury with an adorable Paddington plush toy and a movie voucher to share in January! Perfect for ages 2-6.

Nancy Clancy’s Tres Charming Chapter Book Box Set by Jane O’Connor and illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser & a super cool spy kit!


First there was Nancy Drew, then there was Harriet the Spy, and now there is Nancy Clancy! Young readers have grown up with Fancy Nancy, and now they can join her as she takes on a new adventure as Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth! If you have a little detective at home, this is the perfect chapter book series for them.  Get them on the case with the Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy’s Tres Charming Chapter Book Box Set and pair it with their very own spy kit! Great for ages 7-11.

One Direction: Who We Are by One Direction or 5SOS’ Hey, Let’s Make a Band! paired with a karaoke machine (if you are brave enough!)

Do you have an aspiring pop star in your life? Make them happy this holiday season with the Official 5 Seconds of Summer book, Hey, Let’s Make a Band! or One Direction’s official autobiography One Direction: Who We Are. For the super fan, one of these books might JUST be enough to keep them smiling for weeks. And, to make this the ultimate pairing, how about gifting a  karaoke machine to go with it (if you are brave enough)! Great for tweens and teens.

Saving Houdini by Michael Redhill paired with a magic set!


Do you have an aspiring magician at home? Wow them with Saving Houdini by Canadian author Michael Redhill! This magical adventure story follows Dashiel Wolfe back in time to 1926 where he must stop Harry Houdini from taking part in the magic trick that ends his life. Not only is this an exciting read, it’s packed with fun historical references from 1920s Toronto and Montreal, as well as magic tricks performed by the Great Harry Houdini! Pair Saving Houdini with a magic set to make it the ultimate holiday break! For ages 8-12.

Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton (for the gamer/puzzle master)


Have a clever puzzle master who loves an exciting read and to play videogames? Endgame by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton is so much more than just a book! Not only is Endgame an exciting novel (and a strong start to an incredible new series), but there is a puzzle weaved into the text of the novel that, once solved, will lead one person to the location of a key that will unlock a major prize in gold. And if that’s not cool enough, it is also being developed into an interactive mobile game created by the Google Niantic Labs (release date to come). Read the books, find the clues and solve the puzzle! For teens (and older!)

Alien in My Pocket series by Nate Ball and illus. by Macky Pamintuan paired with a science kit.


This new chapter book series is perfect for a budding scientist. When a four-inch-tall alien falls through Zack McGee’s bedroom window, the adventure begins as Zack must learn how to protect the alien in his pocket from the world! Each chapter book comes with an exciting new story, plus a fun science experiment such as, “how to launch your own rocket.”  Pair this with a science kit so they can try out some new experiments for themselves! Great for aspiring scientists aged 6-10.

Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light and a paint set.


Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light is one of our favourite picture books of the year! This is the perfect book to share with kids who love to draw and paint as well as a great book for siblings to read together. Because, as much as Louise loves to draw, she also loves her little brother, Art. We recommend pairing this with a fun paint set to help unleash the artist within! As Louise always says, “I love art. It’s my imagination on the outside!” For ages 3-6.

How to Behave at a Tea Party by Madelyn Rosenberg  and illus. by Heather Ross paired with a lovely tea set.


This is a sweet and silly picture book all about manners, perfect for fans of Fancy Nancy! Full of sibling antics and laugh out loud moments, How to Behave at a Tea Party will make the whole family smile. Of course, it is also instructional, so why not give your young reader a tea set so they can host a civilized tea party of their own! Ages 4-8!

Alligator Pie 40th Anniversary Board Book by Dennis Lee and illus. by Sandy Nichols paired with apron and oven mitts!


“Alligator Pie, Alligator Pie, if I don’t get some I think I’m gonna die!” Everyone knows the beloved Canadian classic from Dennis Lee, but not everyone has seen the brand new illustrations from Canadian illustrator Sandy Nichols! This fun 40th anniversary board book edition of the classic poem will make the whole family smile. Pair it with a cute apron and oven mitts, and have fun baking your own Alligator Pie.

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers paired with ABC blocks or magnets!


In this beautiful new book, each letter of the alphabet gets its own story, gorgeously illustrated by one and only Oliver Jeffers. A beautiful gift book for everyone on your list (especially teachers!) and this could be paired with fun magnetic letters or block for little readers. Ages? None. This book is perfect for everyone, and that’s why it’s this week’s 50 Book Pledge Featured Read!

Want more holiday gift ideas for the young (and young at heart) readers in your life? Follow HarperClassroom on Twitter and Tumblr.

Happy reading!

Follow me on Twitter @HarperClassroom and @kate_earnshaw.

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Canadian publishing professionals and bloggers. Looking for savvy readers to talk books with us!

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