10 Books for 12-15 year olds for Christmas

This post is part of my 10 week Christmas planning series. You can find the rest of the my Christmas planning series here.


Whether you’re buying for your own kids or someone else’s, a book is always a terrific Christmas gift. But knowing what to choose can be difficult. I asked Allison Tait, author of The Mapmaker Chronicles series, to put together a list of bookish gifts for 12-15 year olds.

Every Breath (Ellie Marney)

The first in the ‘Every’ trilogy, this crime fiction series pays homage to Sherlock Holmes, though it’s set in present day Melbourne. This book was one of only two Australian titles (with The Book Thief) to appear on the 2015 Australian libraries ‘most borrowed’ list. 13+ Find on Booktopia.

Two Wolves (Tristan Bancks)

Recently awarded both the YABBA and KOALA awards (both judged by young readers), this novel was also at Honour book for the CBCA Children’s Book Of The Year Awards. Kids love the gripping suspense of this thriller, with lots of action to keep them on the edge of their seats – and a likeable, well-developed protagonist. Find on Booktopia.

Steve Jobs: Insanely Great (Jessie Hartland)

This graphic novel of Steve Jobs’s life delivers lots of information in easily digestible form. Reviewed by Mr11 in this way: “I think that kids who are interested in electronics and the history behind computers would really like this book.” Find on Booktopia.

Cooking up a storm: The teen survival cookbook (Sam Stern)

Sam Stern published his first cookbook when he was 14, and this one features more than 120 easy, healthy recipes to inspire any budding chef (or just a kid who needs to eat…). Find on Booktopia.

The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)

It’s a little bit creepy, but this story is also a winner for all ages. It begins with a murder, and a toddler who escapes to a graveyard, to be thereafter raised by a community of ghosts. A graphic novel version is also available. Find on Booktopia.

I am Malala (Malala Yousafzai)

The true story of Malala Yousafzai who, in 2012, was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for daring to go to school. She survived, and went on to be announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for the right of all children to education. Find on Booktopia.

The Last Girl series (Michael Adams)

For those teens who love a post-Apocalyptic, dystopian thriller, this series by an Australian author delivers in spades. Find on Booktopia.

Laurinda (Alice Pung)

An inside look at an exclusive Melbourne girls’ school, and one student’s struggle for identity. Find on Booktopia.

Hair Romance: How to create 82 fabulous hairstyles (Christina Butcher)

Easy to follow tutorials, lots of pictures and contemporary styling create a lot of fun for girls from primary school up. Find on Booktopia.

On The Jellicoe Road (Melina Marchetta)

A classic of the YA genre (warning: will make you cry) and soon to be a film. Find on Booktopia.


I love this list from Allison. I find this age group much harder to buy for, so am thrilled to have these recommendations.

Allison Tait is the author of The Mapmaker Chronicles, an epic adventure series for kids 9+. My 9 year old devoured these books and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them to him as our nightly reading.


You can currently buy the discounted trilogy on Booktopia here and save over 15% which is perfect timing –  book sets make such a fab Christmas gift!

What books would you recommend for this age group?