Throughout the holiday season, we’re gathering books that make the perfect gifts for everyone on your list—from your mother and the teen in your life to your foodie friend and the coworker who loves Harry Potter. Need more ideas? Check out all of our amazing gift guides!
Boys are hard to shop for, and they can be reluctant about reading. But every boy I know loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. These fall into the same vein as Jeff Kinney’s creations, and will hopefully solve your holiday shopping challenges while getting that young boy in your life off the couch and into a book he can’t put down.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, by Lenore Look
Alvin is an Asian-American boy who’s riddled with fear about a variety of everyday things: girls, school, tunnels, elevators, and more. In fact, he’s such a shrinking violet, he hardly ever speaks a word in public. But don’t let Alvin’s underlying anxiety fool you: at home’s he’s a loud, proud superhero named Firecracker Man. This is a very funny book that all kids, worrywarts or not, will love.
Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl
This 1975 masterpiece tells the story of a young English boy and his father, who live in an old gypsy wagon and spend their days poaching pheasants. It’s one of the most mischievous and touching of Dahl’s works and perfect for boys who like having their imaginations stretched.
I Funny: A Middle School Story, by James Patterson
Jamie Grimm wants to be a stand-up comedian, and he’s not going to let his wheelchair or his new adoptive family or his big bully of a stepbrother get in the way. I Funny is tale that will pull at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone and open the minds of young boys who think they’ve got it hard. Readers will cheer for Jamie to both win the Planet’s Funniest Kid contest AND, of course, get the girl.
Wonkenstein, by Obert Skye
Robert Burnside is just a regular 12-year-old boy, who has annoying siblings, nagging parents…and a monster in his closet that comes out and refuses to go back in. The problems that ensue from the Wonkenstein (who appears to be something Dr. Frankenstein made at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory) are guaranteed laughs for even the most reading-resistant boy you know. (And it’s got illustrations to boot!)
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume
Every kid deserves to read this classic book about Peter Hatcher and what he’s up against: fourth grade, an annoyingly adorable little brother, a sister named Tootsie, and neighbor Sheila Tubman. This life-is-so-unfair selection stands the test of time and comes without some of the controversy of Blume’s other coming-of-age books.
The Adventures of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
This book is for fans of hilarity, comic illustrations, and a touch of potty humor and mischief. Two fourth graders, who find themselves in trouble for pranking, turn their principal Mr. Krupp into Captain Underpants—a superhero like no other, who is sure to save the day. Or at least have you doubled over in laughter.
How to Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell
On the first day of fifth grade, Billy is challenged by a bully to eat fifteen nightcrawlers in fifteen days. A classic book all about the things boys will do if dared, this gross delight is considered by some young fellows to double as the creepiest cookbook ever written.
Amulet: the Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kabuishi
Emily and Navin move into their great-grandfather’s home after a family tragedy, and it’s not long before a sinister creature lures their mother into a basement lair. The adventures in this amazing graphic novel are a bit more suspenseful than the Wimpy Kid series, but boys and girls alike won’t be able to put this incredible story down.
The Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes
A nicely sized novel for lower elementary grades, The Year of Billy Miller details the ups and downs of a second grade boy’s school year. Complete with funny drawings and escapades of the academic and accidental variety, this book will have your young reader eagerly empathizing with Billy’s plight.
What books does your little Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan love?