Deciding it’s time to grow up and grow tough, Maggie rechristens herself Ford Falcon—a name taken from a car she lives in near the junkyard. Luckily, Ford and her family are able to survive by scavenging things to barter with at a makeshift town close by. Ford’s family has been making do—despite having to fend off the occasional solar bear and avoid the GreyDevils that are always lurking around. But when she discovers her home has been ransacked and her family missing, Ford must prove she is strong enough to brave this wild world alone and rescue her loved ones.
Nick and Tesla, books 1-4. This is a series that simply ROCKS. We've gotten all of them for review (shout-out to Quirk Books for being totally freaking awesome) and the second they appear... they disappear again because one of the kids takes off with it (usually Boo). A wonderfully entertaining combination of adventure and science, I'm pretty sure these would appeal to a pretty wide range of kids-- boys and girls, elementary and maybe middle school ages.
The Zombie Chasers (series). We've gotten more than one of these for review and while they missed the mark a bit for my kids (a bit too scary for Mister and a bit too... "ew" for Boo), we donated them to Boo's teacher and she keeps telling me which boys in her class are reading them, so they seem to be a hit. I'd say later elementary into middle school (say a precocious 3rd grader up to 8th ish?) and definitely more of a "boy" thing, lol.
Case File 13 (series). Ditto to Zombie Chasers. Didn't quite fit for us, but we donated the copies we got for review and they seem to be a pretty big hit. Little less of a definitively "boy" thing, but still probably ideal for later elementary/middle school boys.
The Graveyard Book: Vol 1 and Vol 2 (graphic novel). We received Vol 1 for review but again it wasn't a great fit for us, but I can see the appeal. Very cool book, especially if you have someone on your list who's a comic/graphic novel fan because the book is done in sections with different big name artists. The appeal here probably extends on up through high school and into adulthood. :)
Alien in my Pocket (series) Mister has LOVED these. We got one of them for review (book 3 I think) and got the others from the library. (Actually the library didn't have them yet, so we suggested they purchase them and they did.) These ones a easier, on the earlier end of elementary school probably. Say 1st or 2nd up to 4th or 5th (especially if you have a struggling or reluctant late-elementary reader). Very cute silly books. Geared more towards boys, but there's probably some appeal for girls.
And of course, last but not least:
Origami Yoda. This series swept through our home this fall and just plain TOOK OVER. There is origami everywhere. We have the entire series, including the companion book Art-2 D2 (which Mister especially loves) out of the library right now and probably need to just buy them all. Universal appeal, I'd say, but especially boys in the 3rd-8th grade range.