2022 Holiday Book-Giving Guide for Chapter Book Readers

Need one more gift for a young person in your life?

Here is a hand-picked list of books that would make great gifts for 1st-3rd graders (or older students who are more likely to read books that aren’t too thick.) I’ve included a mix of titles released in 2022 and tried-and-true favorites. 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 2022 Book-Giving Guide for 3rd-8th Grade Readers and 12 Book Picks for Young Adults.

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Secret Spy Society by Veronica Mang

After officially naming themselves the Petite Private Eyes, Peggy, Rita, and Dot are ready to take on a new assignment from the Lady Spies. The Fashion Twins, two local designers, have been robbed! When the girls go undercover to investigate, they find themselves joining a curious scout troop run by a mysterious scout leader. With the help of the Lady Spies and a feisty pet cheetah, will the girls crack the case and make some new friends? Perfect for fans of mysteries with strong friendship themes.

Miles Lewis: King of the Ice by Kelly Starling Lyons

Miles Lewis loves science and sports. But when his teacher announces a class field trip to an ice skating rink to learn about physics, he isn’t so excited. He’s never ice skated before, and his friend RJ won’t let him forget it. RJ even challenges him to a bet: If Miles skates without falling, RJ will put a “Miles is the man” sign on his backpack. But if Miles falls, he has to put one on his that says the same about RJ.  Perfect for fans of relatable stories about family and friends

My Weird School series by Dan Gutman

Any book in the fantastic MY WEIRD SCHOOL series is a good pick. In this one, something weird is going on Miss Holly, the Spanish teacher, is hanging mistletoe everywhere That means boys will have to kiss girls. And girls will have to kiss boys. Ugh Miss Holly is taking the holidays way too far. Perfect for fans of books that make you laugh out loud.

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it’s not just any old treehouse, it’s the most amazing treehouse in the world. This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry. Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions. There are several more books in this series if your reader has already enjoyed this one. Perfect for fans of clever stories filled with humor and creativity.

Once Upon a Tim by Stuart Gibbs

Tim is just a peasant, but he dreams big. He wants more out of life than to grow up to be a woodsman like his father. Unfortunately, the only route to success in the kingdom of Merryland is to be born a prince. Still, Tim is determined. He is brave and clever and always tries to do the right thing–even though he rarely gets the credit for it. Then news spreads that Princess Grace of the neighboring kingdom has been abducted by the evil Stinx and Prince Ruprecht needs a legion of knights to join him on his quest to rescue her. Tim finally has the lucky break he’s been waiting for, the opportunity to change his station in life. Perfect for fans of adventure stories with witty writing and lovable characters.

The Unicorn Rescue Society by Adam Gidwitz

The newest adventure in the bestselling series transports readers to the Himalayan mountains in Northern Pakistan. When Uchenna and Elliot’s classmate publishes an article in the school newspaper about the Schmoke Brothers, Professor Fauna notices something alarming in a photo. Mounted on the wall of the Schmoke’s living room is a single spiral horn that he’s certain could have come from only one animal–a unicorn. To save these magical creatures–and to finally see a unicorn themselves–the Unicorn Rescue Society heads to the rugged mountains of Pakistan. Each of the books in this series is a delight. Perfect for fans of adventures filled with unicorns and other fantastical creatures .

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris

Something terrible is happening in the skies! Rats are eating the MOON! There’s only ONE hero for the job, a bold and fearsome beast bioengineered in a secret lab to be the moon’s savior and Earth’s last hope! And that hero is . . . a cat. A cat who will be blasted into space! Accompanied by the imperious Moon Queen and LOZ 4000, a toenail clipping robot, the First Cat in Space journeys across a fantastic lunar landscape in a quest to save the world. Can a toenail-clipping robot find its purpose in the vast universe? And will the First Cat in Space ever eat some pizza? Perfect for fans of hilarious graphic novels like Dog Man or Wimpy Kid.

Animal Rescue Friends by Meika Hashimoto, Gina Loveless, and Genevieve Kote

Welcome to Animal Rescue Friends, where any stray can find a friendly face–furry or otherwise. This first collection of middle-grade comics includes five tales of found family: A lonely girl living in the suburbs finds happiness with a stray pit bull; a protective mama ferret and her six kits learn to trust a shelter volunteer; a shy boy stands up for himself with the help of a strong-willed bunny; a cantankerous cat helps to mend a troubled relationship; and the shelter’s unofficial mascot eventually finds a home. Perfect for animal lovers and fans of friendship tales.

Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland

The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice. Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war. But not every dragonet wants a destiny. There are many books in this kid-favorite series as well as a new(ish) graphic novel version. Perfect for fans of magic-filled fantasy sagas.

Ranger in Time by Kate Messner

Ranger travels to San Francisco and meets Lily Chen. She was sent from China to America to work as a young servant, but she dreams of studying to be a doctor. When the Great Earthquake hits, Ranger arrives in time to rescue Lily from falling beams in the mission house where she lives. Together they flee to safety, stopping to help another girl, May Wong, save her little brother from the family’s collapsed market. But can they escape crumbling buildings and raging fires, all while facing anti-Chinese discrimination? Perfect for fans of highly engaging historical fiction stories.

I Am Dolly Parton by Brad Meltzer

This book spotlights Dolly Parton, known for her beloved country songs, who has also sent over 150 million free books to children through her Imagination Library. This friendly, fun biography series inspired the PBS Kids TV show Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. This is the 28th book in the New York Times bestselling picture book biography series. One great role model at a time, these books encourage kids to dream big. Perfect for fans of high-interest nonfiction books. And, of course, Dolly.

Ada Twist, Scientist: The Why Files by Andrea Beaty

A new addition to the Questioneers series, a non-fiction early reader series based on the new Ada Twist, Scientist Netflix show! What do plants eat? Why do some plants have flowers and others don’t? And what’s the tallest plant out there? Designed in a scrapbook format, these books combine art from the show, illustrations, and photography to bring simple science concepts to life. Perfect for curious kids interested in science and nature.

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