I recently learned of the “4 Gift Rule” for holiday giving for kids: 1) Something they want, 2) Something they need, 3) Something to wear, and 4) Something to read. You can guess which one is my favorite.
Here is a hand-picked list of books that would make great gifts for 6-to-9-year olds. Click on the book cover to see a longer summary and reviews from other young readers on Bookopolis.
Looking for book ideas for older readers? See our 2021 Book-Giving Guides for Tween Readers and the one for Young Adults.
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11 RECOMMENDED CHAPTER BOOKS FOR 6-to-9-YEAR OLDS
In a trio of droll stories, award-winning author and storyteller Atinuke debuts an endearing and enduring character with plenty to prove. Tola lives in an apartment in the busy city of Lagos, Nigeria, with her sister, Moji, who is very clever; her brother, Dapo, who is very fast; and Grandmommy, who is very bossy. Tola may be small, but she’s strong enough to carry a basket brimming with groceries home from the market, and she’s clever enough to count out Grandmommy’s change. For fans of folktales with charming characters.
When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother-but she is a witch. She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don’t let them out of the bag and don’t feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules. Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever? For fans of fantastical adventures.
Welcome to the Fabled Stables, a magical building filled with one-of-a-kind creatures. Creatures including the Gargantula, the Yawning Abyss, the Hippopotamouse . . . and Auggie. Auggie is the only human boy at the Stables, and he takes care of all the other animals. The Fabled Stables have a mind of their own, and every so often, the building SHAKES and SHUDDERS, TWITCHES and SPUTTERS. It’s Auggie’s job to venture out and rescue a new creature from mortal danger. But will he be able to complete his mission before it’s too late? For fans of magical adventures.
Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who’s always on the lookout for those “aha” moments to help her solve life’s little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her big imagination, she boldly faces any situation, assuming her imagination doesn’t get too big, of course. A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers. For kids who are full of big ideas.
When Monster (who lives under the bed) meets Boy (who sleeps in the bed), Boy starts to scream–and Monster promptly swallows him. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Told with a warm, cozy voice, the story is brought to life with adorable two-color illustrations. For fans of adventure and humor.
Beatrice Bly isn’t just a spy. She’s a super spy. She knows all the rules. She sneaks. She observes. She follows the clues to find the culprit. But when the class hamster, Edgar, goes missing, will Beatrice’s spy training be enough to find out what happened? Clever and determined, Beatrice Bly will win over young sleuths, teaching them problem solving and deduction skills as they scramble to figure out the case alongside her. For fans of mystery and suspense .
Leroy Ninker is a small man with a big dream: he wants to be a cowboy, but for now he s just a thief. In fact, Leroy is robbing the Watsons kitchen right this minute. But little does he know that a certain pig who loves toast with a great deal of butter is stirring from sleep. Even less could he guess that a comedy of errors will soon lead this little man on the wild and raucous rodeo ride he s always dreamed of. For fans of clever and funny stories.
A lovable early reader series about finding true friendship when you least expect it. It features three adorable stories about Kitty and Dragon–best friends, even when one of them is snoring, being messy, or having a sad day. Even though they are quite different from one another, Kitty and Dragon have learned that there’s nothing better than being together, just the way they are. For young animal lovers transitioning to chapter books.
Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn-about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly. For fans of humor-filled stories about growing up.
There’s a new game in town – basketball. Or in Ellray’s case, “pre”-basketball. Coach Havens has all the third graders dribbling, passing, and shooting, and he’s quick to compliment EllRay’s skills. No one else seems to notice them, however, and as ‘the shortest kid in the class,’ EllRay is still chosen last for teams at recess. What’s a short guy gotta do to get noticed? When EllRay comes up with a plan that involves the off-limits teacher’s lounge, everyone does a double take. For fans of highly relatable and funny stories.
Among the towering fir trees of the Pacific Northwest, a famously elusive creature is in serious trouble. All Elliot wants is a nice, normal day at school. All Uchenna wants is an adventure. Professor Fauna whisks the kids–and Jersey, of course–off to the Muckleshoot territory in Washington, where film crews have suddenly descended en masse to expose Bigfoot to the world, and the Schmoke logging company is bringing in some awfully large machinery. Can the Unicorn Rescue Society escape the blades of the Schmokes’ chain saws? Another great book in the bestselling Unicorn Rescue Society series. For fans of fantastical adventures full of humor.
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