I have 2 girls, 8 & 9. I like to buy books for my children to take to birthday parties. If I know the child's interests I buy a related book and include the gift receipt in case they want to return it. Sometimes I pick up a gift card to a bookstore so they can pick out their own. My daughter just went to a party and I bought the recipient, who is a good reader, the book The City of Ember. Not only is it a great book with wide appeal, the movie is coming out later this month. It is part of a 4 part series of books - sort of post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi. The entire 4th grade at my kids school was required to read it and most kids loved it. Hope this helps.