Reading favorite Christmas stories during the holiday season is a fun holiday tradition. For many, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is a favorite! As our children get older, we can create new memories by giving them deeper, richer holiday stories to enjoy.
I set out this year to find Christmas chapter books at a variety of reading levels that could become new holiday classics in our homes. I have organized these books by age if children were to read them independently. Any of the books are perfect read alouds for a variety of ages. We have read many of them, but for the few books we have not read, yet, we noted it next to the title.
Hopefully, you will find some new holiday classics for your home!
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Christmas Books, Ages 6-8
The True Gift by Patrica MacLachlan
This is a sweet, short read. It is set on a farm with a snowy landscape, maybe in the mid-20th century. A brother and sister learn about giving while staying with their grandparents a few days before Christmas. (112 pages)
The 24 Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L’Engle
A short book about a family preparing and waiting for Christmas, snow and a new baby. They count down the days and take part in one Christmas tradition each day. (48 pages)
Calendar Mysteries #12 December Dog by Ron Roy
The Calendar Mysteries series is by the same author as the A-Z Mysteries. Both series contain a small group of children solving a mystery in each book. In December Dog, the children find a lost puppy with a red ribbon around his neck and have to find whose Christmas present he was supposed to be. (80 pages)
Junie B. Jones Jingle Bells, Batman Smells by Barbara Park
I am personally not a fan of the Junie B. Jones books, but if you are, then this is the Christmas-themed one. The children at school are playing Secret Santa and Junie needs to decide if she is going to buy something nice for her Secret Santa or not. (128 pages)
Magic Tree House: Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne
We are big Magic Tree House fans and there are two Christmas books in the the series to choose from. This is one of the Merlin Mission books in the series, which are meant for 7-10 year olds to read independently. Jack and Annie visit Camelot in England during the Middles Ages to celebrate Christmas. However, they end up on a quest to save Camelot instead. (144 pages)
Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time by Mary Pope Osborne (Not read, yet.)
This is another Merlin Mission book. Annie and Jack travel to Victorian England to help Charles Dickens get out of jail. (144 pages)
Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald (Not read, yet.)
If you are a fan of the Judy Moody and Stink series then this one will be perfect for the holiday season. A new mailman, Mr. Jack Frost, is a key character in this book. (96 pages)
Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise by Suzy Kline
Horrible Harry books are short, funny reads with lots of onomatopoeia. This one is set against the back drop of Christmas at school, including a Christmas play. (64 pages)
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson (Not read, yet.)
Armand lives a simple life under a bridge in Paris. However, one year before Christmas, he takes in a mom and her three children to care for. He finds he has a ready made family and he needs to find them all a real home. (128 pages)
Laugh-Out-Loud Christmas Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott (Not read, yet.)
If your children love joke books, then this Christmas joke book would be super fun. (144 pages)
Christmas Books, Ages 9-11
When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke
This was my most favorite book out of all the books I read for this post. After borrowing it from the library, I decided to purchase one for our “permanent collection!” In addition to having a great story line, it has wonderful descriptive language and several high level vocabulary words sprinkled through out it like ‘precarious’ and ‘spindly’ and so many more. To me, this book would be filed under Modern Classics.
Niklas is the last true Santa and the Great Christmas Council is trying to capture him. His caravan crashes in small town America where he befriends a local boy who is bullied. Niklas must try to save Christmas before he is captured and turned into chocolate! It is a classic tale of the magic of Christmas vs. the commercialization of Christmas. (192 pages)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Our local children’s theatre puts on this play each year and it is very funny! A family of trouble-making children show up at church (for the snacks) and then wants to be in the Christmas pageant. The other children are shocked and everyone must work together to pull off the show! (128 pages)
The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
This is a less “Christmasy” book than some of the others, but is a good read. Hart, the most popular kid in the sixth grade, ends up in charge of the holiday concert. He learns what it really means to be a leader, how to motivate people, and how much freedom to allow each participant. The holiday concert contains songs and acts from a variety of December holidays. (176 pages)
A Little House Christmas Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder
We are big Little House fans in our house so this is one of our favorites. It contains 9 Christmas themed stories from a variety of Wilder’s books. Each story is about 10-15 pages. (144 pages)
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
As one might expect from L. Frank Baum, this book starts a little differently than one might expect of a book about Christmas. The setting is an ancient forest of immortals where a human baby is left in the grass. A bored nymph adopts him, names his Claus and raises him in the forest. Once he is an adult, Claus decides to be a friend to children and slowly turns into Santa Claus. The book then continues as a more traditional story of Santa Claus’s role as a part of Christmas. (154 pages)
Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald (Not read, yet.)
This book was originally published in 1952 and is by the same author as the Penderwicks series. Nancy and Plum are two sisters who live in an orphanage. They devise a plan to never have to spend another Christmas there and an adventure begins. (240 pages)
Nutcracked by Susan Adrian (Not read, yet.)
Georgie is going to dance the part of Clara in The Nutcracker ballet. She finds when she dances with the Nutcracker doll that she enters into the actual world of the Nutcracker. All is wonderful until it is not wonderful and Georgie has to save her friend and the Nutcracker doll! (240 pages)
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig (Not read, yet.)
Nikolas, who is nicknamed Christmas, has received only one toy in his life from his parents. He is happy with this doll made from a turnip because he knows his parents love him. But, then his father goes missing and Nikolas travels to the North Pole to find him and help bring Christmas spirit back. (240 pages)
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig (Not read, yet.)
By the same author as A Boy Called Christmas, this book brings us a female main character. Amelia was the first child to ever receive a Christmas present, giving Santa the magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now, she finds herself in some bad circumstances. At the same time, the magic levels at the North Pole are dipping and Santa Clause sets out to find Amelia to help him again. (320 pages)
Read Alouds or High School Students
Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien
This book is a collection of the pictures and letters Tolkien wrote his own children each Christmas as if he were Father Christmas. How lucky were those children!? I can imagine how fun it must have been to receive those letters in their stockings each year. This book is full of pictures of the original letters. The text of the letters is also printed to make them easier to read. I list this under ‘read alouds’ because I think children will benefit from help navigating the switching back and forth between pictures of letters and the printed text. (128 pages)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Ah, Dickens! I find if you can push yourself through his books they are well worth the effort, but they are definitely not easy reads. Last year was the first year that we read A Christmas Carol aloud. The boys were 8 and 9 at the time and they really attended to the book much better than I expected. They eagerly sat (or laid!) down each day when it was time to read it.
Now one had seen the play when he was younger and the other had seen the movie relatively recently so I think that helped. Not sure they would have been able to follow the story line if they did not bring this prior knowledge to the story. It would be fun to read this book back to back with the Magic Tree House story above. (64 pages)
Have you found a book here you want to read? Or do you have others you would suggest? Comment below and let us know!
Other Christmas Resources
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