50+ Best Books That Make Great Gifts for Kids Ages 7-12!

Books make fantastic gifts! Here is our list for some of the best books that make great gifts! Entertaining and enchanting, suspenseful and funny, there's something for every young reader on our list!

50 Best Books that Make Great Gifts Pinterest Pin with Bookcover The Vanderbeekers

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1. The Seraphina Series

by Robert Beatty

Lead Character: Girl (with strong supporting boy character)



This elegant series combines nature, magic and suspense with a unique cast of characters that takes place at the Biltmore Estate and area surrounding Asheville, North Carolina.

The Gothic feel of the writing along with the setting combined with the voice that author, Robert Beatty gives to the characters in the Seraphina Series will make you feel like you are walking alongside and bearing witness to every suspenseful moment as these captivating and magical stories unfold!


2. Theodore Boone: The Accomplice

by John Grisham

Lead Character: Boy



Theo's parents are both lawyers and that's all he wants to be! In the small city where he lives, Theo sees himself as the next big courtroom attorney and finds himself with plenty of clients and cases!

The Accomplice by John Grisham is the latest in this series of legal thrillers for kids where Theo must help his good friend Woody, who's been accused of robbery. Plenty of page-turning suspense makes this a great pick!

3. Greenglass House

by Kate Milford

Lead Character: Boy + Female friend (my daughter and I loved this book!)



Quirky characters, a captivating mystery, hot cocoa and stained glass at a smuggler's inn!

The son of Greenglass House inn's owners, twelve-year-old Milo and his new found friend, Meddy decide to uncover the mysteries behind missing objects and mysterious guests alike in this clever tale set in an enigmatic and intriguing house!

A great story combined with fabulous illustrations make Greenglass House the perfect read to cozy up with!

4. The Mysterious Benedict Society

by Trenton Lee Stewart

Lead Character: Ensemble - two boys / two girls

Trilogy + Follow-ups


Four kids pass a series of challenging tests and puzzles that bring them to the next step - to go undercover on a secret mission!

Arriving as students at an educational institute located on an island, Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance must work together to thwart the attempts of a criminal mastermind!

Far from your average kids' book, The Mysterious Benedict Society's intricately woven plot has clever twists, fantastic characters and worthy surprises that will capture and hold your attention to the very end!

5. The School for Good and Evil

by Soman Chainani

Lead Character: Girls



At The School for Good and Evil, students are trained to become the heroes and villains of fairy tales and fables.

Best friends and total opposites Sophie and Agatha are sure they know which school each will be in- glamorous Sophie has made it her lifelong mission to enter the School for Good, and negative Agatha will be in Evil.

When Sophie gets dropped in Evil's halls, and Agatha is the one placed in Good's hands, the girls are surprised and determined to find out why in this memorable, magical series, The School for Good and Evil!

6. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid

by Jeff Kinney

Lead Character: Boy



This series features fun illustrations, a handwritten font and an easy conversational style of writing that makes it a great series to pour through!

A cross between a comic book and a journal, Diary of a Wimpy Kid will have even kids who don't normally love reading turning page after page and laughing along with Greg Heffley's adventures!

7. Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

by Rick Riordan

(The Lightning Thief is the first installment)

Lead Character: Narrated by a boy but ensemble cast - we both loved this series!



Great cast of characters led by 12-year-old Percy Jackson brings Greek mythology to life in the most entertaining way possible!

Overflowing with funny scenes, fantasy, action and adventure, The Lightning Thief is a fantastic first book to an amazing series! Once you've finished The Lightning Thief, the other books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series will be there to entertain!

8. The Princess Academy

by Shannon Hale

Lead Character: Girl



Every girl from this mountain quarry town must attend the academy to be trained in the ways of royalty. In one year, one will be chosen to be the next princess.

The opposite of fluff, this book has great characters, competition, thrilling moments and terrific emotion!

If you're fans of The Princess Academy, you'll definitely want to read The Goose Girl! Another fantastic ready by New York Times Bestseller, Shannon Hale!

9. Lost in a Book

by Jennifer Donnelly

Lead Character: Girl


A fantasy within a fantasy! When Belle discovers a book in the Beast's castle library, she is transported to another place that promises all that she wishes for. Is it for real? Should she give up her friends from her castle?

Fans of the Disney's princess looking for a more in-depth book will love Lost in a Book by bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly!

10. My Side of the Mountain

by Jean Craighead George

Lead Character: Boy



Tired of city life, Sam runs away to the Catskill Mountains in search of land owned by his grandfather. My Side of the Mountain is an excellent coming of age and adventure story!

11. When You Reach Me

by Rebecca Stead

Lead Character: Girl


A quickly paced novel filled with twists and turns, When You Reach Me centers around Miranda, a sixth-grader living in New York City whose life has always been predictable- until now!

A great companion book to the timeless classic, A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline D'Engle, When You Reach Me is one of those great books you can't stop thinking about long after you've finished the last page!

12. The Missing Series

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Lead Character: Boy, but ensemble cast



Mysterious letters start showing up in mailboxes. Always a good start to a mystery!

Sic-Fi thriller and mystery centering around the plot of famous babies that have accidentally been taken from their homes and times and brought to families in modern day!

The Missing books are great reads for fans of history, mystery and suspense!

13. Three Times Lucky

by Sheila Turnage

Lead Character: Girl, but with hysterical friends (boys included) and townspeople



Feisty and witty Mo LoBeau has an enjoyable summer laid out for herself. However, plans go awry when a detective shows up with questions, a murder occurs, and Mo takes it upon herself to figure it all out!

Mo and her best friend, Dale, along with a mystery- filled plot, witty one-liner dialogue, and a town like no other, make Three Times Lucky a book you'll want to read again and again!

14. The BFG

by Roald Dahl

Lead Character: Girl


You may have read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but have you enjoyed The BFG?

When ten-year-old Sophie is whisked away by a friendly giant, their whimsical and daring adventures will keep the pages turning and the reader enjoying every minute of this fun-fantasy read!

15. American Girl Stories

Mysteries and/or the Books that go along with each of the American Girl dolls!

Lead Character: Girls


A variety of stories are available to go along with each of the American Girl Dolls.

Historical stories like the Mary Ellen book pictured here really show the reader how girls lived during different time periods and are an amazing way to enjoy and learn about various eras throughout American history!

There are also mystery stories for each American Girl character for those craving a good mystery to round out the experience!