As 2020 comes to a close, many of us are looking for gifts. Here at Robin’s Nest, we believe that a good book can be a great and meaningful present. If you don’t celebrate any December holidays, the break from school can still be a good time to curl up with a good read. We thought we would share some great books to read or gift for this holiday season!

Note: This article is organized by age category of books, and then by genre within that category.

Middle Grade Books

Middle Grade is a category that spans from ages eight to twelve, although these books can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Typically late elementary and middle school students read these books, although some may have content that is too mature for younger readers. In those cases, it is better to use your own discretion as to what your child or friend can handle in terms of content. 


  • The Pandava Quartet: This is a book series that starts with Aru Shah and the End of Time, and currently has three books out. The fourth book is set to release in 2021. These books follow Aru Shah, a middle schooler who gets wrapped up in the world of Hindu mythology. Along with friends that she makes along the way, Aru must save the world from destruction. These books have really fun voices and are really fun and diverse adventure stories.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: These books are classic within the middle grade fantasy genre, and for good reason! Spanning fifteen books and five series, as well as some graphic novels, these books reimagine a variety of mythological systems. The final book in the final series was recently published, so you can now read them all!

Realistic Fiction/Contemporary:

  • Other Words for Home: This is an amazing novel in verse that follows Jude, a girl living in Syria who is forced to go to America with her mother when violent protests erupt. Visiting her uncle in Cincinnati, Jude discovers what it means to be labelled as “Middle Eastern” in America. She also has to make new friends and adjust to a completely new place. This is a very moving story which would be good for kids bordering the upper edge of the middle grade age group.
  • A Good Kind of Trouble: This book follows Shyla as she navigates her changing school climate in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. This book offers a great look at activism and race, and would be meaningful to older middle grade readers.

Young Adult Books

Young Adult is a category that spans from ages twelve to eighteen, although there is a large adult readership as well. Typically late middle through early college students can read these books, but again, content and maturity vary by the book and by the child, and it is best to use your own discretion about what your student/friend can handle.


  • The Folk of the Air: This is definitely a series for mature and older young adult readers. It follows Jude, a human girl raised in the land of faerie. As she becomes a woman, Jude’s ambition and confidence clash with that of the youngest prince, Cardan. This series starts with The Cruel Prince, and ends with The Queen of Nothing.
  • Sorcery of Thorns: This book follows Elisabeth, a girl who wants to become a warden of the library, protecting the world from the evil, montrorous books created by sorcerers of dark magic. But when she is framed for the murder of one of her mentors, Elisabeth is forced to ally with a sorcerer, Nathaniel. Together, the two of them must work to save the libraries and their world.

Realistic Fiction/Contemporary:

  • Darius the Great is Not Okay: This book follows Darius Kellner, a half Persian teen whose life is forever changed when he travels to Iran for the first time. Dealing with depression, his complicated relationship with his father, and navigating a new place, Darius meets a new friend, Sohrab, who helps him discover who he is and what he wants. This book reads well as a standalone, but its sequel, Darius the Great Deserves Better, was released a few months ago.
  • Tweet Cute: This is a fun, light romance about two kids whose parents own competing delis. When their Twitter fight goes viral, both Pepper and Jack struggle to balance school, their family’s expectations, and their newfound social media fame.


That’s all we have for today, but rest assured there will be many more book recommendations coming! We hope this article has been helpful and given you some ideas for new books to pick up!

This article was written by Ruby Barenberg, a writer for Robin’s Nest. Ruby is a current sophomore at Lubbock High School where, outside of volunteering for Robin’s Nest Tutoring, she participates in academic decathlon, math and science UIL, and Model UN. She also runs a book blog.

This article was edited by Helen Xie, an editor for Robin’s Nest. Helen is currently a sophomore at Lubbock High School and is involved in many extracurriculars in addition to volunteer work, including Model UN and Robotics. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s