Tips for Buying Gift Books for Your Favorite Kid

Sorry that I’m barely making the Hannukah season. But, since there’s still plenty of time to shop for Christmas (I keep telling myself), it’s worth thinking about that yearly conundrum:  what’s the best book to buy for my friend, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, neighbor or _______.

Of course, there’s no one best book. Here are some tips for finding something special:

  • Ask outright. What better way to get what s/he’ll genuinely like?
  • Or, iwimpy1f surprise is more your style , consider his/her interests and what he or she’s crushing on now:

Is it part of a series?  Which books from that series has your giftee already read? Is there a companion book available like  The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Journal? Or something  else related to that series topic like a mythcool Mythopedia book if s/he’s into Percy Jackson novels?
Are there other books by that author or illustrator? Just make sure they’re similar in tone and age level.pyramid2



Are the books s/h like loaded with action?


or more thoughtful? tate2monkeys

Consider the genre: mysterydangergameshred




science fictionwhenmars

or real life. oscarcolvin

Does your giftee have a special interest?


Consider the format. Rather than traditional fiction, s/he may prefer

a graphic novel bennylunchbinkhobbit

or non-fiction. frogsbuzzcook10

Or is your youngster a reluctant reader and you see the holiday as a way to convert him/her?

superComic books, graphic novels, magazine subscriptions, scary or action books, celebrity bios, books based on a character (like Dora),  or, again, an interest like sports or gross stuff may work.  snotrevenge1

Or ask a librarian for suggestions on what your special individual might enjoy most and peruse the selection we have for ideas. You just may decide the best gift of all would be a library card.


About Tina Zubak

I've been a librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for about 12 years, first at the Beechview branch and now at Children's. I've written some books myself, but alas, no publications. Among my favorite books are BFG, Houndsley and Catrina and the Quiet Time, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Nation and Rose Daughter.
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