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 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.
Hyperbole and a Half
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.
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.
The Princess Diarist
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.
Seriously… I’m Kidding
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.
Born a Crime
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.
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.
Messages of Encouragement, Inspiration, and Love
Light, loving illustrated hardbacks make perfect graduation gift books.
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.
Becca Anderson’s book teaches daily self-affirmation with humor and bold, feminist power.
A Year of Positive Thinking
This colorful book contains reflections on gratitude and hope that will help carry your grad through their first year post-high school.
The Wisdom of Wonder Woman
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.
Do It Scared
Soukup offers messages of courage in this direct, positive book of encouragement and purpose.
Every Tool’s A Hammer
Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage’s book is a “permission slip” to try, fail, and create, full of lessons from famous creators of entertainment, business, and
Any movie fan, storyteller, or aspiring manager will find valuable wisdom in this Pixar executive’s reminiscences and lessons.
Steal Like an Artist
The Moment of Lift
This first book from
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.
You Are Here
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.
Stories of Icons, Inspiration,
and Overcoming Odds
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.
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.
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.
Strange the Dreamer
What better than a story that’s literally and thematically about dreaming? Laini Taylor’s gorgeous prose draws readers into an inspiring fantasy world.
Andy Weir’s follow-up to his sleeper hit The Martian is a thrilling, unexpectedly touching near-
The Gilded Wolves
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.
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.
Learning to Adult
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
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
Do Your Laundry Or You’ll Die Alone
With straightforward, motherly sass, Becky Blades lays out the basics of housekeeping, finances, and the essentials of good posture.
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.
Paddle Your Own Canoe
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.
For the College-Bound
Goodnight Dorm Room
Sam Kaplan and Keith Riegert
The Freshman Survival Guide