My Bookish Christmas Shopping List # 3 — For My Teenage Nephews

Once a week, from now until Christmas, I’m going to be sharing my own shopping lists for family members or friends that I have on my list. I’ll be letting you know what they read, the challenges I face in choosing a book for them and some ideas I came up with. I’d love for you to also interject and recommend some that you think would fit as well! So check out my lists if you are also looking to find some books to give as Christmas gifts for the bookish people in your life.

Buying Books For

My 13 & 15 year old nephews who LOVED The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson & the Vladimir Tod series among other books. The oldest also loves The Walking Dead!

The “Challenges”


1) Anything with a “girl” cover they will not even pick up. They don’t mind if there is a girl main character but they always say she can’t be “too girly.”
2) They get distracted really easily with video games so it needs to really capture their attention because I saw how the abandoned those video games for Legend! They LOOOVED that book!

My Strategy

Pick books that are fast paced, have lots of  action and/or  fun — a variety of dystopian, horror, thriller, mystery, etc.

Books I’ve Recommended To Them & They’ve Enjoyed

 Legend by Marie Lu
Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

 I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Alex VanHelsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini (for the older one)
Ashfall by Mike Mullin
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Lockdown by Alexander Gordon-Smith
Ashes,  Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Gone by Michael Grant
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
I Am Not A  Serial  Killer by Dan Wells

So these are my prospective picks to buy for Christmas for my teen nephews! I hope this is useful for any of you looking for good book recommendations for family/friends this season…or for yourself :P. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me to look into as I try to shop for them and find the best choices that I know they’ll love!

Check out previous shopping lists:
Christmas shopping list for my sister who is a Twilight fan!
Christmas shopping list for my teen sister who loves realistic teen fiction

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I hear Insignia is a good boy book! I’ve yet to read it myself, but I definitely want to. Also, have you read The Other Normals yet? I love Ned Vizzini and all his writing, but TON might be a little too old for 13- or 15-year old nephews – there’s some fairly grown up things in it (drug mentions, looots of sexual stuff…). It all depends on your nephews of course, but definitely skim it before picking up for them. I wish I had more to add!

    PS. I LOVE this whole series of Christmas Shopping Lists with the subjects/challenges!

  2. I think Gone is a really good recommendation! They might also like the I Am Number Four series by Pittacus Lore (aliens!) and books by Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider, The Power of Five…)

  3. I’m a girl so I don’t read much boyish books. I haven’t read any of these ^^ but Divergent is a book that is enjoyed by both genders. It’s badass and actiony and all-round amazing. I loved it and think they might like it too 🙂

  4. I would recommend Variant by Robinson Wells, Partials by Dan Wells, The Diviners by Libba Bray, Blood Red Road by Moira Young, and the Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. All really great books. And Divergent as well, it’s a great book for anyone. 🙂

  5. It’s always tougher picking books (or any present) for boys. 🙂
    If you need any additions to your list, I read this year a couple of books with boys as main characters who are geeks and gamers: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Both were fun, full of action and had good message.

  6. I love these posts! And I’m currently reading Unwind 🙂

  7. What about one of Rick Riordan’s other series? He has The Kane Chronicles, which I believe is completed, but he also has Heroes of Olympus, which is a spin-off of Percy Jackson.

  8. Reading your list has made me do a double-take. These are books that I’ve read – and enjoyed! -, or books that are already on my TBR pile! Recently acquired my copy of Don’t Turn Around too. I’ve yet to pick up my copy of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, and I’m Not A Serial Killer from my reserve pile at the bookstore. Good choices!

    The Twins Read

  9. There are so many books on that list that I really need to read for myself, lol. But I think these are great suggestions for your nephews! They’re probably going to enjoy the action in all these books 😉

  10. This is a great list! My best friend has a teenage cousin, and we got him hooked on Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Legend. He’s always asking us about more book suggestions in a similar vein, so I definitely just sent this to my friend to pass along!

  11. Robert Sutton says:

    Will Hill’s books about Department 19, are also great books for teenage boys.

    About a boy name Jamie Carpenter, whose life changes drastically. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he’s rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is taken to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural. Department 19 was founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the department, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
    Department 19 takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond—from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and suspense. This was a great book.

  12. We recently gave Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry to a 14 year old boy and he read it in one night. I would also suggest Robison Wells’s series, Variant and Feedback.

  13. Wow! What great taste you have in books! 😉 I’ve either read or have most of these on my list. (And, now I have to go look up those few I’m unfamiliar with.) Thanks.

  14. Ginny Poleman says:

    Here are some ideas that I sold to boys when I worked in a children’s indie book store.
    Many have sex references but it’s mild, not graphic and appropriate.
    Deadline by Chris Cutcher
    Going Bovine by Libba Bray
    anything by John Green
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    For more adventure:
    The Young Bond series by Charlie Higson
    Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz
    Peak by Roland Smith

  15. The Other Normals was pretty violent. I would recommend it for older teens. But great idea! I have nieces and nephews and no idea what to buy them!

  16. Oh man this is a hard one, my brothers read manga and I can’t go without my romance.
    But: The Percy Jackson series, Harry Potter & Eragon. None of these are dystopian but they’re the only boy books I could think of that they might enjoy.

  17. Legend, Insignia and The Maze Runner are all awesome books for boys!! I gave my cousin The Maze Runner to read and he devoured them!

  18. If they are fond of dystopians, my favorite recommendation is Divergent. It is action-packed and it’s a series they can look forward to reading.

    Another idea might be City of Bones, but I know some of the books is that series have a female on the cover so if that is a major factor for them, it might not be the best.

    But definitely check out Divergent! =]

  19. It looks like you’ve got them pretty well covered! I used to be the aunt who gave books, too, but all my nieces and nephews have grown up too much and we don’t buy for them anymore. (Gift shopping isn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be.)

  20. I haven’t read a lot of those, but I loved Insignia!! I honestly think that’s an enjoyable read for boys or girls, young or old. It was written really well and teens can identify with it but even though it’s a 14-year-old MC, the voice isn’t too young.
    Great picks! 🙂

  21. I wish I had someone close I could give a book! But nobody I know reads so many books, so there is no fun in that for me 🙁 You picked some great titles for them!


  22. I Hunt Killers is seriously one of my favorites from 2012!! Sooooo good.

  23. I’m a girl but it’s these kind of books that draw me in more! Funny how that works…


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