Book Gift Ideas for the Three Types of Young Readers

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Child Reading Pendant

Some kids take to reading like fish take to water. These are the kids you see sneaking books into bedrooms and reading under desks in class, the ones that move quickly from pre-chapter to chapter books with ease.

Other kids look at reading like a chore; it’s tagged in their brains next to homework and dish duty, and they believe – mistakenly – that reading is a skill rather than a pleasure, something to check off the list along with arithmetic worksheets and piano practice.

Still other kids only love reading when it’s the right kind of book. These kids often enjoy comic books and superhero stories but are uninterested in the adventures of Ramona Quimby or Old Yeller. Parents often worry that these kids aren’t reading the “right kinds” of books, not understanding that Superman comics often lead to literary classics like “The Lord of the Rings” or “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Meanwhile, parents and relatives often give books that don’t match the type of reader. This leads to unhappy kids and unread books. If you have one of these three types of young readers, here are the best types of books to give:

The Bookworm

Giving gifts to the bookworm is easy, as long as you follow one simple rule: never give books that are below his or her reading level. A first grader who is reading chapter books is unlikely to be interested by picture books; a fifth-grader who is into series literature like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Anne of Green Gables isn’t going to want a copy of Charlotte’s Web.

One additional piece of fun for the bookworm is to throw a birthday party themed around a particular book. Make sure it’s something both your bookworm and his or her peers will enjoy; The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Angelina Ballerina are good choices for young children, while Harry Potter or American Girl themes often work well for middle-grade kids.

The Bookhater

Your bookhater isn’t going to get into reading until he or she realizes it’s more than just homework. Start by putting your child directly into the book. Personal Creations will personalize a book that makes your child a lead character in the adventures of Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Dora the Explorer or other popular stories. These books can be customized to fit your child’s age and reading level.

From there, help your child make the connection between reading and pleasure by taking some time to read aloud to your child before bed. Nearly all kids love story time, but when your kids get older it’s time to share some of the classic works of young literature, like Little House on the Prairie or The Hobbit. Many chapter books are designed to end on cliffhangers, always leaving your children wanting to know what happens next.

The Picky Reader

If your kid only wants to read comics or superhero stories or horse books, indulge the addiction. Remember that reading is still reading, and this fad is likely to pass in a few years. If you want, pad out the genre fiction with a few more challenging titles, like Black Beauty for horse lovers or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for mystery fans.

Picky readers will also enjoy a personalized book in their favorite genre, or a themed birthday party based on their favorite series, whether it involves superheroes, ballet or pirates.

Which kind of young reader do you have? Do you have favorite books to recommend as gifts? Would love to hear  your thoughts!

About the Author: Jane is an online blogger who loves to write about personal finance, savings, and when she can health! Jane has been writing online for a few years now and you can find more personal finance contributions by Jane at

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5 Responses to “Book Gift Ideas for the Three Types of Young Readers”

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  1. Abby says:

    Good ideas Keren, thank you. My husband has been an avid reader since he was a boy. He said he always (and still does) puts himself into the story. Such as Tom Sawyer, he pictured himself on the raft with Tom. I just watched the movie, The Ben Carson Story, a famous Pediatric Neurosurgeon – his mother encouraged reading over t.v. He and his brother could choose one show/week to watch, and had to read two books/week and write a report for her. It changed the course of their life.

    • FreePrettyThings says:

      Thank you Abby!
      You just gave me the most wonderful advice for my little one!! I’m sure she will thank me when she’s older :)

  2. Jaime says:

    I’ve been a bookworm since I first learned to read. I ended up majoring in English Literature in college, which just goes to show how fanciful reading has made me (choosing a profession with very little practical application in the career world). To this day I read my mother’s vintage Nancy Drew books that she gifted me. I grew up with these sweet stories and even at age 28 I love stealing away under the covers at night with a book light and getting lost in a mystery.

    I have to recommend Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books as gifts for young readers – they truly do transport you to another place and time when things were simpler and sweeter. :)

  3. Oh…this is a wonderful post…we have such a love of books in this house and I see you have mentioned one of my favorites ever…The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes! LOVE IT!!!! There is nothing like a good book…really…it is true and you have a real enlightening and wonderful post here…thank you for sharing my friend but you always have just the perfect post!!!! Sending tons of hugs to everyone! : )

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