Our 2019 Christmas Gift Guide: The hard-to-buy-for teen edition

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Here is a list of suggestions for the tricky teens in your life.



  • Monuments – Ancient gods, modern day Sydney teens, sinister Hounds - this is a fast-paced and witty fantasy novel that will entertain with ease.
  • Poemsia – Author Lang Leav draws on her real life as a famous Insta-poet to tell the story of an aspiring writer faced with unexpected online celebrity.
  • Good Selfie: Tips and Tools for Teens to Nail Life – This beautifully-designed guide and journal by the amazing athlete and motivational speaker Turia Pitt is full of inspiration and activities to complete.
  • Five Feet Apart – With a popular film adaptation in the world, this romantic tearjerker is the story of two unwell teens falling in love with just one minor complication – they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives.
  • Or give them one of the gazillion great graphic novels for teens out at the moment! A couple of our recent recommendations are Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass and Heartstopper: Volume One.



Here are some certified high-quality YA novels that we think haven’t seen enough love yet…

  • Deeplight - A fifteen-year-old orphan, Hark, finds the still beating heart of a terrifying God and uses it to try to save his best friend, triggering his pursuit by smugglers, military scientists and secret fanatical cults. A dark and twisted fantasy by the inimitable Frances Hardinge.
  • SLAY - A wild ride of a novel with a teen genius game developer, an online world implicated in a murder, the ensuing media circus, and a nuanced presentation of the complexities of race, cultural identity, and contemporary online culture.
  • Invisible Boys - A gritty and authentic story about three sixteen-year-old boys living in the small Western Australian town of Geraldton, and their struggles with notions of masculinity, belonging, anger, mental health and sexual identity.
  • With the Fire on High - Award-winning author Elizabeth Acevedo’s second novel is about a young teenage mother pursuing her dream of becoming a professional chef. This is a thoughtful story about food heritage, family and community.

We also suggest taking a look at all of the books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Young Adult Book Prize! Our YA specialist staff handpicked these six books as exciting new contributions to #LoveOzYA so they are very highly recommended.



Fourteen-year-old Bug is a super keen basketball fan, and with his impressive height, a natural player. But when Bug is diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic illness that has numerous effects on his body, including his heart, his parents ban him from playing the game. Unable to give up basketball, Bug assembles a ragtag new team to play in an interschool competition, putting his own health at risk. Funny and heartfelt, Take The Shot is the perfect book to give a reader who knows what it’s like to feel a burning passion for their sport.

Other recommendations include…

En Pointe by Chloe Bayliss
Unmasked (Young Readers' Edition) by Turia Pitt
Able by Dylan Alcott

You can find all our picks of books for sporty teens here.



  • Curious: Life Hacks Through Maths - You’ve no doubt seen the amazing mathematician Lily Serna on SBS TV’s Letters and Numbers. Now let her show you how maths can unlock the secrets of the universe, with easy-to-understand maths logic, simple psychology and engaging anecdotes from her own life.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey - Teen actors, theatre-heads, wannabe directors, playwrights, future set designers, costume-lovers and Harry Potter buffs alike will delight in this detailed guide to the groundbreaking theatre production, packed with stunning photography, interviews and never-before-seen sketches, notes, and candid peeks backstage.
  • Hawking - This intriguing graphic novel biography of brilliant mathematician, physicist and author Stephen Hawking introduces his ideas, theories and life in an engaging visual format.
  • Welcome to Country - This youth edition of Professor Marcia Langton’s renowned guide to Indigenous Australia and the Torres Strait Islands is an essential resource for all young Australians. It covers prehistory, post-colonial history, language, kinship, knowledge, art, performance, storytelling, native title, the Stolen Generations, making a rightful place for First Australians and looking to the future for Indigenous Australia.
  • The Growing Up… series of anthologies continues to grow, with the publication of three excellent new titles this year: Growing Up Queer in Australia, Arab, Australian, Other and Growing Up African in Australia. Featuring vivid recollections of childhood and youth, filtered with the perspective and wisdom of years gone by, these anthologies make for reassuring and relatable teen reading.



  • The Deathless Girls - Get your goth on with this atmospheric and lyrical reimagining of the brides of Dracula story. Traveller sisters Lil and Kizzy are brutally captured and enslaved at the castle of Boyar Valcar, where they hear terrible rumours about the monstrous Dragon and the female sacrifices he demands.
  • Dig - A.S. King is one of the most unique authors working in YA today, and she is as surreal, affecting and uncompromising as ever in Dig – a twisting novel that follows five disparate teens as they bump up against family, class, gender, race and privilege.
  • The Black Flamingo - Michael finds his identity as a Greek-Cypriot-Jamaican gay teen, along with his confidence, when he enters university and creates his drag persona, The Black Flamingo. This illustrated free verse novel is a celebration of being your true individual self.
  • Darwin: An Exceptional Voyage - An outstanding graphic novel account of young Charles Darwin’s round-the world travels on the HMS Beagle for the five years from 1831 to 1836. Lightly touching on Darwin’s important scientific discoveries, this is a lush recreation of his journey that has romance, adventure and good humour.
  • The Little Book of Lost Words - If you know a young language-lover, this A-Z collection of obscure, anachronistic and marvellous words contains not only definitions, but hilarious sample sentence for modern usage and cheeky historical art.



  • Sadie - A captivating contemporary thriller, told in gripping first-person narrative interspersed with the transcript of a true crime podcast. Teens will be transfixed by Sadie’s search for revenge on her sister’s killer.
  • Aurora Rising - A team of misfit graduates from Aurora Academy and reluctantly learn to work together to defeat a terrifying new enemy in this witty, action-packed space opera.
  • How To - Get a dose of absurdity with this very impractical how-to book by author and cartoonist Randall Munroe. By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe entertains and sneaks in a deep understanding of science and technology.

Still stumped? We also sell gift vouchers which can be used in-store and online.

Welcome to Country (Youth Edition)

Welcome to Country (Youth Edition)

Marcia Langton

$29.99Buy now

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