At first I was going to concur with everything said so far. All good advice, but I'll go on a limb and recommend something different for a first timer.
Go to KEH or B&H or other place that has reputable service and look at their used equipment sections. Look for a used Pentax LX or a Nikon F3. These were fantastic, professional quality cemeras of their times (still are), but in today's world of digital, are undervalued and you can probably get a decent one at an affordable (I'm making a presumption on what your neighbours can afford here) price.
They are fully manual as well as have a host of features that will, hopefully, entice then further into the world of photography. I always say the more toys, the more fun!
My first camera was a Pentax ME Super. My dad told me he considered the K-1000 for my birthday, but opted for the former since it had more 'stuff' and knew it would entice me (a 12 year old at the time). It worked. I'm just assuming we're all kids here!