Sometimes it can be a real challenge getting older kids to take an interest in reading. I don’t know if it is because they get assigned reading in school that they do not like or if it is because reading can be a bit of a struggle for some children. I have a nephew who insisted that he hated reading and refused to pick up a book….until he heard me reading aloud one of the books listed below. Ever since that day, he has been devouring books as fast as I can send them to him. The books listed below were some of my favorites as a kid, as well as his. Any of these books will make a great gift for the kids on your shopping list.

The Phantom Tollbooth

I did not discover this book until I was an adult, but now I love it. A friend told me that it was her favorite book as a child and gave me a copy as a gift. I love this book as much as the Harry Potter series. One of the best things about the book is that it really sparks the imagination. Kids of all ages (i.e. adults too) will just love this tale of young Milo and his quest.

The Giver

The proof of how excellent this book is can be found in the fact that it won the Newberry Medal in 1994. The story centers on a 12-year-old boy named Jonas who lives in a future, utopian society. A very well-written and thoughtful read for kids of all ages.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

No one is ever too old to enjoy a reading this Dr. Seuss classic. Sure, it is written at a level for younger kids to easily read and understand, but as kids age the book gains new meaning. As a full-grown adult, I still regularly read my old, tattered cover copy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

No list of children’s books for this age group is complete without the first book of the acclaimed Harry Potter series. It is a perfect introduction to the fantasy genre for kids. The benefit of this book for kids cannot be overlooked since it has gotten so many kids interested in reading.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

Another great entry from the fantasy market is the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series from Rick Riordan. The series focuses on a boy named Percy who learns that he is the son of a God. Since Percy is half human, that makes him (and the other kids like him) a demigod.

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