Flashlight Reads: Can’t-Put-‘Em-Down Books for All Ages

Flashlight Reads: Can’t-Put-‘Em-Down Books for the Kids (and Grown-ups) in Your Life

Christmas break is one of those perfect, read-by-flashlight-under-the-covers breaks, isn’t it? Days are short, nights are long. There’s no homework, which means more fun reading time. If you’re looking for books that are hard to put down, books that practically beg readers to sneak in some more pages by flashlight, we’ve got you covered.

These books would make great Christmas gifts (especially if you participate in the Icelandic Jólabókaflóðið (Christmas book flood) tradition like Betsy’s family does), but they would also be fun library checkouts if you’ve already got your Christmas shopping done.

flashlight reads

FLASHLIGHT READS: CAN’T-PUT-‘EM-DOWN-BOOKS FOR ALL AGES

Titles are linked to amazon (affiliate links*) with links to RR reviews following.

Bolivar cover image

Chapter Books (for newly independent readers)

Realistic Fiction: Tales from Deckawoo Drive by Kate DiCamillo (RR Review of Leroy Ninker Saddles Up; don’t miss the Mercy Watson books if you haven’t seen them yet!)

Realistic Fiction: Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay (RR Review)

Christian Fiction: Tree Street Kids Series by Amanda Cleary Eastep (RR Review)

Talking Animals: Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake (RR Review)

Graphic Novel: Bolivar by Sean Rubin (RR Review)

Graphic Novel: Zita the Spacegirl and Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke (RR Review of Mighty Jack)

cover of mist mantle

Middle Grades (~ages 8-12)

Many of these make great family read alouds if you need a “whole family” type of gift!

Animal Fantasy: Urchin of the Riding Stars (Mistmantle Chronicles) by M. I. McAllister (RR Review)

Fantasy: Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston (RR Review)

Sci-Fi: We’re Not From Here by Geoffrey Rodkey (RR Review)

Animal Sci-Fi: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

Realistic Fiction:  Across the Desert by Dusti Bowling (RR Review)

Realistic Fiction: Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr (RR Review)

Mystery: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (RR Review)

Sports Fiction: Ghost by Jason Reynolds (RR Review)

Suspense: The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart (RR Review)

Christian Fiction: The Prince Warriors by Priscilla Shirer (RR Review)

cover of Fallout

Teens (ages 12+)

As always, if you are unfamiliar with a title, we encourage you to read reviews; that is especially true for this age group because teens are maturing at such different rates. You know your children best!

Thriller: MindWar Trilogy by Andrew Klavan (RR Review of first book)

Fantasy: Imaginarium Geographica Books by James Owen (RR Review of first book)

Fantasy: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (RR Review)

Realistic Fiction: Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork (RR Review)

Realistic Fiction: You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins (RR Review)

Memoir: Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri (RR Review)

Nonfiction: Fallout by Steve Sheinkin (RR Review)

Christian Memoir/Nonfiction: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi (RR Review)

Christian Memoir/Nonfiction: Kisses From Katie by Katie Majors

Want grown-up suggestions? See our Gift Books for Grown-Ups List!

Find all our Gift List Ideas here.

*We are participants in the Amazon LLC affiliate program and others; purchases you make through affiliate links like the ones above may earn us a commission. Read more here.

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Stay Up to Date!

Get the information you need to make wise choices about books for your children and teens.

Our weekly newsletter includes our latest reviews, related links from around the web, a featured book list, book trivia, and more. We never sell your information. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

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Betsy Farquhar

Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Southeast.

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3 Comments

  1. Amie E. McIntosh on December 18, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    I’m zooming through your reviews and lists again as the Christmas rush is on us and I’m reminded again why I LOVE Redeemed Reader. So many choices, so many categories, so much good stuff. Thank you for reading ahead for us. I love to give books as gifts and I just am so, so, so glad for your help. I’ve encouraged every young Mom I know to use your site! Merry Christmas and Many thanks!

    • Janie Cheaney on December 20, 2021 at 6:42 am

      Amie–Thanks so much for your comment and patronage. It encourages us no end!

  2. aj on June 27, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    LOVE Kisses from Katie!!!

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