Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we are getting into the holiday spirit and talking about books that make great gifts. This year I bought my three young nephews passes to the brand new aquarium opening up here in Cleveland. I am so excited about this that I bought myself a membership. Merry Christmas to me. But I digress, I really am trying to make a point. A little wallet card is no fun to tear open on the big day, so I bought them each ocean-themed books. I really wish I could remember titles, but I don’t. I am pretty sure they are all DK or National Geographic titles and they are gorgeous. I feel like younger children are easy to buy books for. Teens, on the other hand could be a bit trickier. Me? I can’t wait until these boys are teens because I will buy them the most awesome books ever. Until then, let me help you shop for the teen readers in your life.
1. For the history buff and/or steampunk fan:
The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
These books are gorgeously illustrated and I think have broad general appeal so get this for the guy who loves history, battles, and awesome machines or the girl who loves a great adventure with a strong female character. Steampunk is all the rage right now, so that’s a bonus too.
2. For the reader who appreciates a good cry:
If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman
This series has tragedy, heart-break, romance, music and hope. It’s a real tear-jerker, but worth every tissue!
3. For the mythology lover with a sense of humor:
Rick Riordan is a genius. And hilarious. You’ll want to start at the beginning with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. If you want Egyptian mythology get started on The Kane Chronicles series. Percy fans will also appreciate The Heroes of Olympus series, which blends familiar Greek heroes with new Roman heroes and gods.
4. For every girl who dreams of having a secret identity and bada** skills:
Ally Carter has two series that rock my socks off. The Gallagher Girls series is about a secret spy school for girls. Awesome tough girls on secret missions, romance, and humor all in on perfect little package. They are squeaky clean, so give these to your tween readers too. The Heist Society series stars a girl with equally unique and awesome skills. She’s like the modern-day Robin Hood of the art theft scene. There is also a super cute boy.
5. For the guy who likes fantasy, adventure, and appreciates medieval times and weaponry:
There are ten books in The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan and every single one is amazing. I can’t wait to check out his new series, The Brother Band Chronicles.
6. For fans of The Hunger Games:
Dystopian societies are another hot topic in teen literature, thanks in large part to the popularity of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. If your teen reader doesn’t already own/hasn’t read that series, buy them now. If they are looking for awesome readalikes check out Divergent by Veronica Roth, Blood Red Road by Moira Young, or Legend by Marie Li.
7. For time traveling fans:
Hourglass by Myra McEntire and Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier are two of my favorite books of 2011. Give these to the girl who loves a good paranormal romance but needs a break from vampires.
8. For the nonfiction lover:
Warriors by Hannah Wilson, Danger! by Laura Buller, Ductigami by Joe Wilson, and Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak by Writers Famous & Obscure are all cool books with great teen appeal.
9. For fans of urban fantasy/alternate history/The Sopranos:
The Curse Workers series by Holly Black is fantastic! Don’t be fooled by the girl on the cover of Red Glove, these books will appeal to guys as well as girls. Get them hooked with White Cat and Red Glove and they will be begging for Black Heart when in comes out in April 2012.
10. For the fan of a feel-good story:
Not everyone enjoys a vampire/zombie/dystopian/paranormal story. For those who want good old contemporary fiction try Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John or The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. These are great stories with memorable characters and happy endings. Warm fuzzies for your favorite reader.
Once again, I have totally bent the rules of the Top Ten list, but I hope this helps you find the elusive perfect gift for your favorite teen (or teen at heart) reader.