9 Books You’ll Love to Gift a Special Kiddo on Your List

What has letters, numbers and is sometimes stored in a case? Hint: It’s not a smart device! If you’re looking for a last-minute present that they’ll enjoy for years to come, gifting a book is the way to go. Reading fosters young imaginations, and practice builds reading confidence and sets kids up for a life-long love of cracking open a book—there is simply nothing like it!

Whether they’re learning to read or already independent readers, Simon & Schuster has a massive selection of award-winning, bestselling and beloved books that will spark joy (and creativity) in your favorite kid. Here’s a curated list of books you’ll love to give every budding bookworm on your list:


The Newly Independent Reader (Ages 5-9)

With a lower word count and more illustrations than other series, Little Simon Chapter Books are geared toward younger independent readers looking to take on chapter books for the first time. Here are some of our faves:


Good Dog: Puppy Luck by Cam Higgins

In the first installment of the Good Dog series, Bo Davis is on the hunt for a special item. With the help of his barnyard pals on the Davis Family Farm, the team searches high and low for Bo's beloved dog tag. Is it in the horse stalls, chicken coops, or grazing fields? Join your youngster and find out what happens in Bo's quest.

Get your copy here—WOOF!


Itty Bitty Princess Kitty: The Newest Princess by Melody Mews

In this first heartwarming chapter book of the Itty Bitty Princess Kitty series, Itty Bitty Kitty is becoming the princess of Lollyland! While Itty is excited about her new title, she's also nervous for the change that comes with it, like trying out new hairstyles and switching to a new school. With colorful illustrations on every page, your child will be hooked to find out if Itty Bitty Kitty becomes a princess after all.


The Haunted House Next Door by Andres Miedoso

In the spooky town of Kersville, two eight-year-old best friends are out to catch ghosts and monsters that have been lurking in the darkness. Known as the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol, fearless Desmond and scaredy-cat Andres are monitoring their neighborhood to keep their pals from getting stuck with a haunt. The simple text, brief chapters, and imaginative art is the perfect trifecta for emerging readers who appreciate a little spook. 

Scare the ghouls away with the complete series!


Get a roundup of all Little Simon Chapter Books here.


Graphic Novels (For All Levels)

Inviting and exciting content makes graphic novels great for all kids who are “drawn” to reading, regardless of reading level. They keep kids engaged and interested in reading, which can lead to them becoming lifelong readers! We love these:


 Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly: The Coldfire Curse by Jordan Quinn

In this exciting first adventure of the Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly series, scarlet dragon Ruskin has to save his kingdom from an evil curse. There's just one problem—he spends his days being the palace's pampered pet dragon. Ruskin has to make a decision between hiding safely behind the palace's walls or trying to save all of Wrenly.


The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush has always been drawn to all things witchy. When she discovers that she has powers (and learns that her family has them, too!), things start to get out of control, from meeting a talking cat to unlocking a hidden witch world. There's a lot Moth doesn't know and she's going to unravel a lot more secrets about her town, family, and even herself. 

Become spellbound with this magical book!


Trubble Town: Squirrel Do Bad by Stephan Pastis

Wendy the Wanderer has lived in Trubble Town her whole life but never had the chance to go exploring. For this reason, she thinks she was definitely misnamed. Her dad likes to know where she is to make sure she’s safe, so she’s never been anywhere on her own. Then, her dad leaves on a trip and the babysitter doesn’t reinforce all the usual rules. Or any of the usual rules! Suddenly, Wendy is free to do what she wants, and what she wants is to live up to her name…and find Trubble.

Get into Trubble today!


See Simon & Schuster’s complete list of graphic novels and add more to your bookshelf today!


Books for Young Readers (Ages 8-12)

Simon & Schuster also offers thousands of engaging traditional chapter-length books for kids to read on their own. Here are some favorites for readers in upper elementary and middle school:


Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

One of Simon & Schuster's largest bestselling series about a girl uncovering the secret power buried deep inside her to save the world. Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks…

Get lost in the adventure!


City Spies by James Ponti

In this thrilling New York Times bestselling series, which Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies—perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

Don't keep it top secret—get your copy!

Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody

Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice follows the journey of Barclay Thorne—a young boy who doesn't like adventures and is happy being an apprentice to the town's mushroom farmer. To his dismay, however, Barclay finds himself in the forbidden woods where he befriends a beast that gets him run out of town. In his new venture, Barclay discovers a town that is for people just like him: those who've bonded with beasts. Now he's left with making a difficult decision of either returning home or chasing the adventure ahead of him.

Get swept away in the fantasy today!


Thanks to Simon & Schuster’s “Books I Like to Give” initiative, you can find ever more recommendations for all ages on their holiday site.


Happy reading!


—Jamie Aderski


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