Looking for the perfect gift for your pre-teen this Christmas? Look no further than books! With so many new and exciting stories out there, you’re sure to find something that your child will love. From classic tales like C.S Lewis' The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe to modern favorites like Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan – there’s something here that every kid aged 10+ will love! Check out these ten books for kids 10 and up.
"The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburg
We're starting out this list with a book that is often read to younger children but can be equally wonderful, if not even more so for children around the age of 10. It follows a young boy who rides a magical train ride adventure to the North Pole to meet Santa. The reason we feel it still belongs on a list for children 10 and up is simply because it combines beautiful illustrations, a good story, and the same Christmas question they've likely been asking- "Is Santa real?" This beloved classic is perfect for kids who love adventure stories and want to be reminded of the beauty Christmas time holds.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
"The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis
This book is part of C.S. Lewis' beloved fantasy series "The Chronicles of Narnia". No list of great Christmas books for children would be complete without a mention of this classic tale. This beloved book follows the adventures of four siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—as they explore the magical world of Narnia with its talking animals, mystical creatures, and evil White Witch. With themes of courage and faithfulness woven throughout the story, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is a timeless classic that kids will love reading time and time again.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
If your child still prefers books with illustrations, check out this version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
"The Harry Potter" Series by JK Rowling
One of the most popular series in the world is JK Rowling’s magical world of Harry Potter. Follow the infamous wizard Harry Potter on his journey as he discovers the truth about his past while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This seven-book series has something for everyone – adventure, drama, magic – all wrapped up in one amazing package! Kids won’t be able to put these books down!
Paperback Box Set of The Harry Potter Series
10 is a great age to start reading the Harry Potter series, but if your child has already read the series, check out J. K. Rowling's latest book, which was specifically written for Christmas. (We purchased ours as soon as it was released and can't wait to share it with our children when they're old enough!😊)
"The Christmas Pig" by J.K. Rowling
Jack's best friend happens to be his favorite childhood toy: Dur Pig (DP). However, Dur Pig is lost one Christmas Eve and Jack's new toy pig (the Christmas Pig) decides to help lead Jack on a bold adventure to find DP. This book touches on real-life issues, such as blended families, step-sibling struggles, and changing schools that may or may not be relevant to your child. This is a decent-sized chapter book, but it does have some illustrations too that can help transition your child from picture books to chapter books.
The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling
"Percy Jackson & The Olympians" box set by Rick Riordan
If your child loves Greek mythology then this five-book series by Rick Riordan is a must-read! Percy Jackson & The Olympians tells the story of a 12 year old demigod Percy Jackson (son of Poseidon) who must battle monsters from Greek mythology in order to save Olympus from destruction. Filled with action-packed sequences and plenty of twists and turns along the way, this series is sure to capture your child’s imagination!
Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
If your child loves graphic novels, check out this companion. It's not identical to the original chapter book, but rather a graphic novel adaptation that's sure to please a young comic connoisseur.
The Lightning Thief Graphic Novel
If your child falls somewhere between purchasing a full box set of the original series and a companion graphic novel based on book number one, check out this illustrated edition of the first book in the series, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
Illustrated The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
"A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeleine L’Engle
This science-fiction novel follows Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin as they travel through time and space on an intergalactic mission to rescue Meg's father from evil forces bent on destroying Earth’s future. A Wrinkle In Time has been praised for its exploration of themes such as family loyalty and friendship, making it perfect for any inquisitive kid looking for something different this holiday season!
But of course we can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson
This tells the story of a group of misbehaved and disruptive children who are cast as the main characters in the town's annual Christmas pageant. The story follows the children as they learn about the true meaning of Christmas and transform from rowdy troublemakers into kind and compassionate individuals. Along the way, they also teach the adults in their community about the importance of love and acceptance. Be advised that this is an older story that references things like "wall phones" you may have to explain to your child, as well as giving the poorly behaved children characteristics that are shocking and wouldn't be commonly found in newer books (like smoking!) However, this doesn't take away from the story, and it is still well-loved by readers today. Your kid will enjoy laughing along with this heartwarming and humorous portrayal of the holiday season.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
"When Stars Are Scattered" by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
This is not a Christmas story at all, but a graphic novel based on a true story, with many awards and even more nominations. This story is about a pair of brothers growing up in a refugee camp in Kenya, their struggles, dreams, love for each other, and resilience despite such hardship. Although this book has sadness (including death) and struggle, it is age appropriate for children over 9. Not only is this a good way to dive deeper into the refugee crisis around the world and teach our children some of the sadder realities of war (and humanity), but I think that it's a good choice for the holidays because, during a season of crushing consumerism, it serves to remind us of what actually matters in life.
When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
"The Complete Baking Book For Young Chefs" by America's Test Kitchen
This bestselling cookbook by America's Test Kitchen had the recipes tested by 5,000 kids, so you can rest assured that this was a well-researched book. It covers what you would expect with baking: cookies, brownies, cakes etc. but it also includes bread, pizza, and savory dishes. This fun book has great pictures and clear instructions for your child to follow. Written for ages 8-9 and up, if you pick this up for the child in your life this Christmas, they'll spend the rest of the year having a great time learning an important life skill.
The Complete Baking Book For Young Chefs
"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien
This illustrated edition of The Hobbit is ranked as a "Teachers Pick," and it's easy to see why. The story itself is the incredible tale that Tolkien crafted for his own children and set him down the path that led to the Lord of the Rings series known and loved worldwide.
It's the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who was unexpectedly swept up in an adventure to reclaim a treasure from the dragon Smaug. Bilbo meets a group of dwarves and the wizard Gandalf, and together they journey through all sorts of danger and confront a variety of creatures, including trolls, goblins, and giant spiders. The novel is known for its imaginative world-building, engaging characters, and exciting action sequences. One of the strengths of The Hobbit is its sense of wonder and whimsy, which transports readers to a magical realm filled with dragons, elves, and other fantastical beings.
This specific edition is the highest of quality and is worth passing down to future generations. It has a cloth-like cover with gold foil stamping, thick glossy pages, and illustrations every few pages that bring the story to life.
Christmas books are always a great gift option during the holidays—especially when they come with such wonderful stories like these ten titles! These books are sure to bring joy into any household this holiday season while also providing hours of entertainment for pre-teens everywhere as they enjoy these captivating tales full of adventure and fun! So why not pick up one or two today? Your child won't be disappointed! Happy reading!