The Christmas catalogs are arriving and I haven’t even handed out the trick-or-treat candy! No matter. I do love to look at the catalogs and dream about great gifts to give to my friends and loved ones.

Just in case you are looking and dreaming too, I have some book suggestions for Christmas gifts for middle graders. BTW, I am also thinking of Christmas break. Having a great book adventure put aside (maybe even wrap it) and bringing it out when the kids are home might be just what you and they need. It might be especially welcomed if outside it is raining or snowing a blizzard. (OK, yes, I do live in the California– in the area where if it rains more than four days in a row we go online searching for lumber yards that sell gopher wood.)

Here is my list. I chose books from various genres, from classics and from newer releases. The list is just a sampling of the books we’ve recommended. We have a lot more suggestions. If you want to browse through more suggestions, select the menu to left and drop down to middle grade fiction reviews.

Anne of Green Gables–classic for girls, with a number of books in the series

Callie–a book for emerging independent readers about a finding a home for a cat

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe–the thrilling first book of C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia

Full Metal Trench Coat–first novel in a series for elementary school children, especially boys

The Pilgrim’s Progress–Christian classic, an allegory on the Christian life that comes in several versions

The Prince Warriors–a Christian allegory for boys and girls based on using the armor of God

Sarah, Plain and Tall–historical fiction about life on the American prairie of the 19th century

Scout— a boy’s adventures with a lost dog

The Shining Orb of Volney–a science fiction/fantasy for middle school and YA with strong female characters

The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed–historical fiction, a sea adventure for boys and girls set aboard a 19th century whaling ship

We All Get a Clue–a contemporary mystery/adventure, second book in the two-book series about pre-teen detectives in Edinburgh, Scotland

World War II Pilots: An Interactive History Adventure–a choose your own adventure

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest work for children is We All Get a Clue, a mystery novel for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.