Classics

10 Graduation Stories You Never Outgrow

Whether you know a proud kindergarten graduate, a teen donning a cap and gown to get her high school diploma, or someone finishing the last exam for his college degree, a book is an outstanding gift to celebrate all his/her hard work and accomplishments. Here are ten choices that your giftee will enjoy for years to come.

Wonder (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Wonder (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Hardcover $16.99

Wonder (B&N Exclusive Edition)

By R. J. Palacio

Hardcover $16.99

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
“Now here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” An apt quote from The Little Prince begins one of the chapters in R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, which tells the story of August (Auggie) Pullman, an ordinary 10-year-old boy with an extraordinary appearance. Auggie was born with facial abnormalities and, due to his health, has been homeschooled his entire life. He’s now entering public school and, as he puts it, is “pretty much totally and completely petrified.” Told from the differing perspectives of Auggie, his classmates, his sister, and others, this remarkable novel follows Auggie on his journey towards acceptance, proving that you really can’t judge a book by its cover—a great lesson to learn at any age.

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
“Now here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” An apt quote from The Little Prince begins one of the chapters in R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, which tells the story of August (Auggie) Pullman, an ordinary 10-year-old boy with an extraordinary appearance. Auggie was born with facial abnormalities and, due to his health, has been homeschooled his entire life. He’s now entering public school and, as he puts it, is “pretty much totally and completely petrified.” Told from the differing perspectives of Auggie, his classmates, his sister, and others, this remarkable novel follows Auggie on his journey towards acceptance, proving that you really can’t judge a book by its cover—a great lesson to learn at any age.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter Series #1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter Series #1)

Paperback $8.99 $10.99

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter Series #1)

By J. K. Rowling
Illustrator Mary GrandPré

Paperback $8.99 $10.99

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
The first book in J.K. Rowling’s world-famous series about a young wizard named Harry Potter is inspirational for two key reasons. For starters, Rowling’s personal life is a rags-to-riches tale; she went from being a single mother on welfare who was told she shouldn’t expect to make much money writing children’s books, to being the author of the bestselling book series of all time. Secondly, Harry himself comes from meager beginnings, forced to live in a dusty cupboard under the stairs at his aunt and uncle’s house after his parents are killed when he’s a baby. He is unaware of his wizarding background and his legendary status as “the boy who lived” until he is 11 years old. Whether they identify with Rowling or with her beloved fictional creation, graduates will find inspiration here.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
The first book in J.K. Rowling’s world-famous series about a young wizard named Harry Potter is inspirational for two key reasons. For starters, Rowling’s personal life is a rags-to-riches tale; she went from being a single mother on welfare who was told she shouldn’t expect to make much money writing children’s books, to being the author of the bestselling book series of all time. Secondly, Harry himself comes from meager beginnings, forced to live in a dusty cupboard under the stairs at his aunt and uncle’s house after his parents are killed when he’s a baby. He is unaware of his wizarding background and his legendary status as “the boy who lived” until he is 11 years old. Whether they identify with Rowling or with her beloved fictional creation, graduates will find inspiration here.

The Giver

The Giver

Paperback $11.99

The Giver

By Lois Lowry

In Stock Online

Paperback $11.99

The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly utopian society—there’s no crime, hunger, or poverty. But neither is there love, music, or color. Children are assigned jobs by the Elders at the Ceremony of Twelve; their entire life’s work is decided for them when they’re only 12 years old. And Jonas is given the most important and most difficult job of all: Receiver of Memory. He then learns the ugly truth about his community and its dystopian, mind-controlling reality. He and the Giver, from whom he receives the memories, devise a plot for Jonas’ escape from the Sameness. But can he really leave? Lowry’s provocative book is a classic that celebrates the power of love, humanity, and an indomitable spirit. It will encourage graduates to question everything and embrace even the toughest challenges life throws at them.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly utopian society—there’s no crime, hunger, or poverty. But neither is there love, music, or color. Children are assigned jobs by the Elders at the Ceremony of Twelve; their entire life’s work is decided for them when they’re only 12 years old. And Jonas is given the most important and most difficult job of all: Receiver of Memory. He then learns the ugly truth about his community and its dystopian, mind-controlling reality. He and the Giver, from whom he receives the memories, devise a plot for Jonas’ escape from the Sameness. But can he really leave? Lowry’s provocative book is a classic that celebrates the power of love, humanity, and an indomitable spirit. It will encourage graduates to question everything and embrace even the toughest challenges life throws at them.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)

Hardcover $18.99

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)

By Malala Yousafzai
With Patricia McCormick

In Stock Online

Hardcover $18.99

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick
On October 9, 2012, while Malala Yousafzai was heading to school, an armed Taliban member boarded her bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” before shooting her at point-blank range. Her crime? Speaking against a Taliban mandate forbidding women and girls from attending school. Adapted for young readers from the original bestselling memoir, this powerful book tells Malala’s story and follows her as she becomes an important voice in the battle to achieve education for all. Her work provides a shining example of the ability to effect change no matter how dismal the circumstances may seem.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick
On October 9, 2012, while Malala Yousafzai was heading to school, an armed Taliban member boarded her bus and asked, “Who is Malala?” before shooting her at point-blank range. Her crime? Speaking against a Taliban mandate forbidding women and girls from attending school. Adapted for young readers from the original bestselling memoir, this powerful book tells Malala’s story and follows her as she becomes an important voice in the battle to achieve education for all. Her work provides a shining example of the ability to effect change no matter how dismal the circumstances may seem.

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

Hardcover $18.99 $20.99

The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate
Illustrator Patricia Castelao

In Stock Online

Hardcover $18.99 $20.99

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
“Patient is a useful way to be when you’re an ape,” says Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lives in a glass cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. “Gorillas are as patient as stones. Humans, not so much.” He’s been there for so long—27 years—that he doesn’t remember much about his life in the jungle. While humans file in off the freeway to stare at him, Ivan watches TV, creates art, eats bananas, and hangs out with his friends Stella, an elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. One day, Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, arrives at the mall, and Ivan is forced to recall his life as a free animal, compelling him to secure a better life for Ruby and himself. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla named Ivan, this illustrated novel will stick with readers long after they’ve turned the last page. It teaches lasting lessons about friendship, courage, and the importance of kindness.

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
“Patient is a useful way to be when you’re an ape,” says Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lives in a glass cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. “Gorillas are as patient as stones. Humans, not so much.” He’s been there for so long—27 years—that he doesn’t remember much about his life in the jungle. While humans file in off the freeway to stare at him, Ivan watches TV, creates art, eats bananas, and hangs out with his friends Stella, an elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. One day, Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, arrives at the mall, and Ivan is forced to recall his life as a free animal, compelling him to secure a better life for Ruby and himself. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla named Ivan, this illustrated novel will stick with readers long after they’ve turned the last page. It teaches lasting lessons about friendship, courage, and the importance of kindness.

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming

Hardcover $18.99

Brown Girl Dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson

In Stock Online

Hardcover $18.99

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir is written entirely in free verse—vivid, well-crafted poems that tell the stirring story of her childhood. Brown Girl Dreaming covers much ground in its 336 pages—Woodson’s childhood in the ’60s and ’70s in South Carolina and then New York, living with her grandmother and then later reuniting with her mother, navigating a segregated South, experiencing the Civil Rights movement, being brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and finding her voice as a burgeoning writer despite her difficulties with reading. The book is a beautifully written coming-of-age story, told honestly and eloquently, that reinforces the power of having hope and holding onto your dreams.

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir is written entirely in free verse—vivid, well-crafted poems that tell the stirring story of her childhood. Brown Girl Dreaming covers much ground in its 336 pages—Woodson’s childhood in the ’60s and ’70s in South Carolina and then New York, living with her grandmother and then later reuniting with her mother, navigating a segregated South, experiencing the Civil Rights movement, being brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and finding her voice as a burgeoning writer despite her difficulties with reading. The book is a beautifully written coming-of-age story, told honestly and eloquently, that reinforces the power of having hope and holding onto your dreams.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Hardcover $29.99

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

By Brian Selznick
Illustrator Brian Selznick

In Stock Online

Hardcover $29.99

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Best described by its author, Brian Selznick, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” This unique work tells the tale of Hugo, a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris train station, fixing clocks and stealing to survive. He’s also attempting to repair an automaton—a mechanical man with a pen poised in hand, discovered by his now-deceased father. Hugo believes the robot has a message to deliver him from his father, who recently died in a fire. Inspired by French filmmaker Georges Méliès, the story flies by, with nearly 300 pages of black-and-white illustrations in the more-than-500-page book.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Best described by its author, Brian Selznick, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” This unique work tells the tale of Hugo, a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris train station, fixing clocks and stealing to survive. He’s also attempting to repair an automaton—a mechanical man with a pen poised in hand, discovered by his now-deceased father. Hugo believes the robot has a message to deliver him from his father, who recently died in a fire. Inspired by French filmmaker Georges Méliès, the story flies by, with nearly 300 pages of black-and-white illustrations in the more-than-500-page book.

Heidi

Heidi

Hardcover $17.00

Heidi

By Johanna Spyri
Illustrator Anna Bond

In Stock Online

Hardcover $17.00

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
Heidi has been engaging and entertaining readers for more than a century, and this particular edition, with a stunningly illustrated cover by Anna Bond, lead artist for stationery brand Rifle Paper Co., makes an especially delightful gift. Heidi is the story of a young Swiss orphan who is sent to live with her surly grandfather at the age of 5. The joyful and sweetly sincere Heidi loves her grandfather and her life with him in the mountains, so she’s devastated to leave when her aunt sends her to live with another family in the city to act as a companion for a girl in a wheelchair. How can Heidi find her way back to her grandfather and her true home? A charming story about the power of love and forgiveness.

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
Heidi has been engaging and entertaining readers for more than a century, and this particular edition, with a stunningly illustrated cover by Anna Bond, lead artist for stationery brand Rifle Paper Co., makes an especially delightful gift. Heidi is the story of a young Swiss orphan who is sent to live with her surly grandfather at the age of 5. The joyful and sweetly sincere Heidi loves her grandfather and her life with him in the mountains, so she’s devastated to leave when her aunt sends her to live with another family in the city to act as a companion for a girl in a wheelchair. How can Heidi find her way back to her grandfather and her true home? A charming story about the power of love and forgiveness.

The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set (Collector's Edition)

The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set (Collector's Edition)

Paperback $81.83 $90.93

The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set (Collector's Edition)

By C. S. Lewis
Illustrator Pauline Baynes

In Stock Online

Paperback $81.83 $90.93

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the enchanting first book in C.S. Lewis’s bestselling fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, was first published in 1950; the novels have since sold more than 100 million copies. And whether it’s a reader’s first or 50th trip through the wardrobe to the magical land of Narnia, where mythical creatures and talking animals are the norm, this collector’s edition boxed set is a gorgeous way to transport them. Pauline Baynes has hand-painted her original black-and-white pictures for this full-color collection. The set includes all seven titles in the series—The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe;The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the enchanting first book in C.S. Lewis’s bestselling fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, was first published in 1950; the novels have since sold more than 100 million copies. And whether it’s a reader’s first or 50th trip through the wardrobe to the magical land of Narnia, where mythical creatures and talking animals are the norm, this collector’s edition boxed set is a gorgeous way to transport them. Pauline Baynes has hand-painted her original black-and-white pictures for this full-color collection. The set includes all seven titles in the series—The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe;The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle.

Little Women

Little Women

Hardcover $15.49 $17.00

Little Women

By Louisa May Alcott
Illustrator Anna Bond

In Stock Online

Hardcover $15.49 $17.00

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
Though its setting and original publication were in the 19th century, Little Women is a timeless children’s classic. It follows the lives of the March girls—Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth—and their mother as they struggle and persevere while their father is away serving as a chaplain during the Civil War. It celebrates the bonds of family and teaches the important lessons: that happiness isn’t dependent upon possessions, and that this too shall pass. While the family endures its share of heartache, the story is ultimately an uplifting one that will inspire every reader.
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Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
Though its setting and original publication were in the 19th century, Little Women is a timeless children’s classic. It follows the lives of the March girls—Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth—and their mother as they struggle and persevere while their father is away serving as a chaplain during the Civil War. It celebrates the bonds of family and teaches the important lessons: that happiness isn’t dependent upon possessions, and that this too shall pass. While the family endures its share of heartache, the story is ultimately an uplifting one that will inspire every reader.
Shop the bookstore >