My twelve year old had an ear infection at the weekend and as his defences were down, I thought he might agree to put aside his treasured Xbox cheat book (no link to that here, it pains me to even mention it) and read this. Its called Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. He did, and liked it. He said it was "Really good, but a bit sad." His eight year old brother then picked it up at breakfast and after a brief tussle with our ten year old, finished it last night. (Yes, I am boasting that they were fighting over a book!)
So, on the one hand, its a great little stocking stuffer but on the other, it is about a little girl who gets cancer as a result of the bomb on Hiroshima. So not exactly seasonal cheer. Its short, only sixty odd pages, and has instructions at the end on how to make a paper crane. Beautifully written and informative, its quite a change from all the usual fare for older kids.
For background, Bomb by Steve Sheinkin is great. My eldest read it last year and said he enjoyed it mainly because of the "exciting spy stuff." It's got great reviews and we have given it as a birthday present to over tens a few times.