Think beyond Oh, The Places You’ll Go!Graduation gift books make the perfect send-off for a young adult.

Here are fifty ideas for graduation presents for the high school graduate in your life. This list includes some classic favorites as well as lots of recent releases, perfect for the class of 2019.


Memoirs of Growth, Resilience,
and Laughing at Ourselves

Why Not Me?
Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling of The Office and The Mindy Project is sharp, introspective, and hilarious in her second memoir of life in comedy writing. Her chapters on earned confidence make perfect lessons for new graduates.

~find a copy here~

Hyperbole and a Half
Allie Brosh

Be careful–this hysterical graphic novel will draw you in with stories of hapless dogs and cake-seeking children, then hit you with tearjerking chapters on cartoonist Allie Brosh’s real struggles with depression.

~find a copy here~

Furiously Happy
Jenny Lawson

Like Allie Brosh, Jenny Lawson takes a humorous approach to an honest reckoning with anxiety and depression. Based on her viral blog post, Lawson’s book will encourage a grad to be recklessly, fearlessly happy in the face of trials.

~find a copy here~

The Princess Diarist
Carrie Fischer

Does your Star Wars-loving grad know that Carrie Fischer was also an award-winning writer? Her last book, released not long before her death, takes us back to her early years in show business. With dry wit and brutal honesty, Fischer reckons with her younger self in this unexpectedly touching meditation on growth. For a truly memorable gift, look for the audiobook, read by the princess herself.

~find a copy here~

Seriously… I’m Kidding
Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres’ first book remains her best. While a high school grad likely knows her from her genial daytime talk show, they might not be familiar with her groundbreaking, uphill journey through television history.

~find a copy here~

Born a Crime
Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is a familiar face to Gen Z thanks to his role on The Daily Show. This memoir gives a new perspective on his journey from his childhood in South Africa to his fight to break into American televison.

~find a copy here~

Shrill
Lindy West

Before it was a hit Hulu series, Shrill was a bold, hilarious memoir by Lindy West. Her raw, honest voice is a great fit for an emerging adult.

~find a copy here~


Messages of Encouragement, Inspiration, and Love

Light, loving illustrated hardbacks make perfect graduation gift books.

Gmorning, Gnight!
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonny Sun

Thousands of Hamilton fans have loved Lin-Manuel Miranda’s encouraging, original daily tweets. Now they can have an entire book of endearingly illustrated messages of hope for new days.

~find a copy here~

Badass Affirmations
Becca Anderson

Becca Anderson’s book teaches daily self-affirmation with humor and bold, feminist power.

~find a copy here~

A Year of Positive Thinking
Cyndie Spiegel

This colorful book contains reflections on gratitude and hope that will help carry your grad through their first year post-high school.

~find a copy here~

The Wisdom of Wonder Woman
Signe Bergstrom

With a gorgeous embossed cover, this book makes a perfect gift for a high school graduate who could use a little Wonder Woman wit and wisdom.

~find a copy here~

Do It Scared
Ruth Soukup

Soukup offers messages of courage in this direct, positive book of encouragement and purpose.

~find a copy here~


Creativity and
Problem-Solving

Every Tool’s A Hammer
Adam Savage

Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage’s book is a “permission slip” to try, fail, and create, full of lessons from famous creators of entertainment, business, and technology.

~find a copy here~

Creativity, INC.
Ed Catmull

Any movie fan, storyteller, or aspiring manager will find valuable wisdom in this Pixar executive’s reminiscences and lessons.

~find a copy here~

Steal Like an Artist
Austin Kleon

This clever, illustrated guide to embracing influence will help new graduates let go of their fear and simply create.

~find a copy here~

The Moment of Lift
Melinda Gates

This first book from philantropy leader Melinda Gates is a must-read for any high school graduate looking for answers to some of the world’s biggest problems.

~find a copy here~

The Adult Coloring Book for Coffee Lovers

If your over-caffeinated grad needs to remember to take a breath every now and then, pick them up a copy of this lovely, soothing book of meditative coloring pages.

~find a copy here~

You Are Here
Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson’s clever, honest book of illustrations, reflections, and activities makes a perfect book for a graduate battling stress, self-doubt, or an uncooperative brain.

~find a copy here~


Stories of Icons, Inspiration,
and Overcoming Odds

Hidden Figures
Margot Lee Shetterly

The award-winning film only scratched the surface of the incredible stories of the women of color who did the math to put men on the moon. This book makes a perfect gift for any grad, math-whiz or not, who needs to know that any barrier can be broken.

~find a copy here~

Becoming
Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s memoir was a bestseller this past holiday for a reason. Her memories and lessons make a perfect gift for any student looking for a role model.

~find a copy here~


Fiction for Dreaming Big

There’s no reason to limit yourself to memories and how-tos. Pick up a novel that will light up a grad’s imagination.

Book cover: Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer
Laini Taylor

What better than a story that’s literally and thematically about dreaming? Laini Taylor’s gorgeous prose draws readers into an inspiring fantasy world.

~find a copy here~

Artemis
Andy Weir

Andy Weir’s follow-up to his sleeper hit The Martian is a thrilling, unexpectedly touching near-futire sci-fi of a daring heist on a lunar colony.

~find a copy here~

The Gilded Wolves
Roshani Chokshi

Love the heist story but want something with a little less science? Pick up recent hit The Gilded Wolves, which features a lovable, diverse cast of underdogs in a magical-historical world of art and adventure.

~Katie’s Review~

~find a copy here~

Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell

Sending a fangirl (or boy!) off to college? Have them pack Rainbow Rowell’s sweet and hilarious story of a fanfiction-writing dreamer taking her first steps into the world.

~find a copy here~


Learning to Adult

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo

Before it was a Netflix hit, Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering method was an international bestseller. Your favorite graduate can use the KonMari method to clear out old posessions before packing up for their next adventure.

~find a copy here~

Do Your Laundry Or You’ll Die Alone
Becky Blades

With straightforward, motherly sass, Becky Blades lays out the basics of housekeeping, finances, and the essentials of good posture.

~find a copy here~

Adulting
Kelly Williams Brown

Kelly Williams Brown walks new adults through everything they need to know when buying their first apartment, learning how to cook for themselves, and figuring out how to adult.

~find a copy here~

Paddle Your Own Canoe
Nick Offerman

Your grad might know Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec. His book of anecdotes, rants, and how-tos might inspire them to take a break from the screen and try their hand at paddling the figurative (or literal) canoe.

~find a copy here~


For the College-Bound

Goodnight Dorm Room
Sam Kaplan and Keith Riegert

~find a copy here~

The Freshman Survival Guide

~find a copy here~

Educated
Tara Westover

~find a copy here~


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *