1. A tour guide to area their college is in
No matter where your child is going to college – a big city or a rural area – you can likely find some sort of guide to the area they are in, such as good restaurants to eat at, where to shop, etc. Example: the Not-For-Tourist’s Guide to NYC
2. Microwave Recipes
There are many books that provide recipes that require only a microwave to prepare. This is a great gift for a college freshman, as although most freshman are required to have meal plans, they may want to make something after cafeteria hours in their dorm room, or they may run out of their allotted meals before the week is up. Example: Microwave Recipes for One: Annette Yates
3. Oh, the Places You’ll Go: Dr. Seuss
Although a children’s book, this is great for a high school graduate just starting their journey into the real world.
4. Moonwalking with Einstein: Joshua Foer
This is a self-help book by definition, but not one your graduate will be embarrassed to read. In this book, Foer teaches trick to improve the memory, something every college graduate will need when midterms and finals come around.
5. The Modern Girls Guide to Life: Jane Buckingham
This book is a collection of many useful things a girl might need to know upon venturing out on her own: Everything from changing a tire, to roasting a chicken, to building a work wardrobe.
6. Do What You Are: Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger
A book that focuses on figuring out one’s personality type, and picking a career based on it. This could be very useful to a high school graduate who isn’t sure what he or she would like to do later in life, or is even unsure of what major to declare in college.
7. Getting the Best Out of College: Peter Feaver, Sue Wasiolek, Anne Crossman
This book describes things a student may not learn in orientation, but will certainly need to know for college: How to form close relationships with professors, maintaining relationships with those back home or at different colleges, etc. An interesting and useful read.
8. The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues you Might Run Into in College: Harlan Cohen
This book shares possible horrific college scenarios, such as highly unusual roommates, and how to handle them.
9. Been There, Should’ve Done that: 995 Tips for Making the Most Out of College: Suzette Tyler
A Collection of things students would likely need to know before starting college, but wouldn’t without someone pointing them out.
10. The Giver: Lois Lowry
The Giver, although likely already read by the graduate as part of their high school, or even middle school, curriculum, it provides an important message. Other great choices in the fiction category include 1984 and Animal Farm. These all provide insight into dystopian societies, and will encourage the reader to reflect on his or her own society.