100 books like Akata Witch

By Nnedi Okorafor,

Here are 100 books that Akata Witch fans have personally recommended if you like Akata Witch. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of True Grit

Sabrina Reeves Author Of Little Crosses

From my list on a fierce female protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Boston and New York and currently live in Montreal. I have worked primarily in writing performance texts and plays. I founded the performance company Bluemouth Inc., with whom I have written and staged over a dozen works. In 2018, I completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Concordia University, where I was awarded the Dean of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. As for my expertise in compiling this list, I am the daughter of a strong force-of-nature woman who fought for what she had and taught her kids they can get through anything as long as they have humor, music, and books.

Sabrina's book list on a fierce female protagonist

Sabrina Reeves Why did Sabrina love this book?

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross has got grit.

This book was recommended to me by my firefighter brother, who often reads what I call “he-man” books. The titles always have words like mutiny, bullets, gangsters, firestorm, etc. So, when he suggested I read this book, I had my reservations. (In fairness, the books he recommends consistently end up on my list of all-time favorites–I guess that’s what I get for pre-judging!) In any case, over the years, I have learned the one thing we both love in a protagonist–and now I have a name for it–is grit. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

By Charles Portis,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked True Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down…


Book cover of A Monster Calls

Sarah Allen Author Of The Nightmare House

From my list on where the monsters are more than monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my high school creative writing class, my teacher once said that good writing was a bit like looking at a star. If you look directly at it, it gets a little fuzzy and hard to see. But if you look just off to the side, the star becomes vivid and clear. That, to me, is exactly the power of spooky stories for young readers. We all deal with monsters, to varying degrees, throughout our lives. Even kids. But if we look at it just off to the side, through the angle of a fun, spooky story, those monsters suddenly become much more comprehensible. More faceable. More beatable. 

Sarah's book list on where the monsters are more than monsters

Sarah Allen Why did Sarah love this book?

It’s been said by smarter people than me how writing horror for kids isn’t about scaring them, it’s about showing them how brave they are.

A Monster Calls is the perfect illustration of that. The scariness and the spookiness are a stand-in for the real-life horrors that this kid is facing. Kids deal with a lot, and this book is the perfect example of how to survive when the worst happens.

The artwork too—wow! I wish I could get some of this artwork to hang on my walls. Absolutely gorgeous book.

By Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Monster Calls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The bestselling novel and major film about love, loss and hope from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness.

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don't quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there's a visitor at his window. It's ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking…


Book cover of The Tombs of Atuan

Seymour Hamilton Author Of The Laughing Princess

From my list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was six, my father, a tall, bearded naval officer, read me Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” I thought it might be autobiography. Ever since, I've been fascinated by stories where fantasy and reality meet and blend. I studied English literature, taught Dead English Poets to undergraduates, became an editor/writer for hire. Along the way, I canoed, hiked the Rockies, and learned to sail a traditional Nova Scotian schooner. I have two sons, to whom I read stories night after night when they were much younger than they are now. Since retiring, I write fantasy adventure novels set aboard real sailing ships and stories about dragons who talk to exceptional people.

Seymour's book list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld

Seymour Hamilton Why did Seymour love this book?

The second of LeGuin’s Earthsea books is a story made of fantasy, adventure, horror, mystery, and myth. 

Tenar, the high priestess must choose between her lifelong training and her unexpected compassion for a thief named Ged, who she must execute in the Tombs of Atuan. Tenar leads Ged through darkness and terror to a place where she decides who she will become.

LeGuin’s prose is direct, evocative, and compelling. Read out loud, the story is spellbinding. It stays with me even though it’s years since my first reading. Each time I return to the fantastic yet entirely believable world she created, the characters I meet reveal some fresh insight into what it is to be human.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Tombs of Atuan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The second book of Earthsea in a beautiful hardback edition. Complete the collection with A Wizard of Earthsea, The Furthest Shore and Tehanu

With illustrations from Charles Vess

'[This] trilogy made me look at the world in a new way, imbued everything with a magic that was so much deeper than the magic I'd encountered before then. This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking' Neil Gaiman

'Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it' David Mitchell

In this second novel in the Earthsea series, Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless…


Book cover of Howl's Moving Castle

A.K. Caggiano Author Of Throne in the Dark

From my list on fantasy that makes you giggle and swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

Every morning when I sit at my computer, I’m reminded by a post-it note stuck to my monitor that my self-ordained purpose is to “bring readers joy.” Like many, I escaped into books as a child, and I’ve been seeking out stories that encapsulate wonder, delight, and, most importantly, love ever since. I began my self-publishing journey in 2020 and am thrilled to have found my place in the fantasy romance genre, writing romcoms with a heaping spoonful of ridiculous magic. I’ve written a number of standalone novels as well as a (sub)urban fantasy series, Vacancy, and a traditional fantasy romance series with a satirical twist, Villains & Virtues.

A.K.'s book list on fantasy that makes you giggle and swoon

A.K. Caggiano Why did A.K. love this book?

I don’t think I’ve ever been giddier than when I first read this book. Jones crafts a whimsical and cozy world that’s so easy to sink into again and again, and her sharp wit and droll observations always have me laughing from cover to cover.

Even under a curse, Sophie feels like a good friend with her humor and charm, and broody, flamboyant, spoiled wizard Howl is so frustrating on every page that I can’t help but utterly adore him. As a couple, they just have that warm and fuzzy 'It Factor' for me, and I find myself picking this book up at least once a year.

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked Howl's Moving Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Now an animated movie from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, the oscar-winning director of Spirited Away

In this beloved modern classic, young Sophie Hatter from the land of Ingary catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell...

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, Sophie makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above her town, Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl, whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls...

There Sophie meets Michael, Howl's apprentice, and Calcifer…


Book cover of The Thief

Jenya Keefe Author Of The Uncanny Aviator

From my list on heroes in disguise.

Why am I passionate about this?

It’s just my favorite trope, that’s all: the character who isn’t what he seems. I love the deception, I love the complications, I love the clues dropped along the way, I love the big reveal. I love the sensation I get when I, the reader, know just a little bit more than the characters do but still feel surprised and wonder when the whole truth is unveiled. When I sit down to write, I know I want to create that exact sensation in my readers.

Jenya's book list on heroes in disguise

Jenya Keefe Why did Jenya love this book?

We know from the beginning of this book that Gen is a liar. We see him lying, pretty much constantly, to everyone he meets. And yet the twist ending of this book, when all lies drop away, and all truths are revealed, is so surprising and satisfying, I can hardly stand it.

The squee, the squee! That twist reframes the entire plot of the book, and I had to immediately flip right back to the first page and read it again. Avoid spoilers; grab this book and let it take you for a ride.

By Megan Whalen Turner,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Discover the world of the Queen's Thief New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner's entrancing and award-winning Queen's Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin. Eugenides, the queen's thief, can steal anything-or so he says. When his boasting lands him in…


Book cover of Astrid the Unstoppable

S. E. Grove Author Of The Glass Sentence

From my list on young adult stories about secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think secrets are part of who we are. Everyone has things they keep secret and things they don’t want others to know. Why is this? I’ve always been fascinated by it, even though I don’t have any major secrets myself – but I still have aspects of how I think that I don’t wish to share. I see the same thing with my eight-year-old, who just doesn’t want to tell me about that one nightmare… Hm. We keep secrets perhaps because, somehow, having other people not know is critical to how we imagine ourselves. And they make for great stories, don’t they?

S. E.'s book list on young adult stories about secrets

S. E. Grove Why did S. E. love this book?

This book is for slightly younger readers, but I think it has genuine multi-generational appeal. I read it aloud to my eight-year-old, who laughed aloud and loved it – in fact, it was the first read-aloud chapter book that he stuck with. And his grandmother is also reading and loving it! Astrid has the feel of a classic, with its humor and its gentle wisdom. Though it’s a story about a feisty girl who loves sledding, it’s also a story about how someone you love can keep a hurtful secret. How does one forgive such a thing? Astrid figures it out. 

By Maria Parr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Astrid the Unstoppable as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

"Classic storytelling at its best, delightful and moving. I loved it." M. G. Leonard, author of Beetle Boy

Maria Parr's second novel is a hilarious and heart-warming story about family and friendship that will delight fans of Pippi Longstocking.

Astrid Glimmerdal loves to spend her days racing down the mountainside on her sledge and skis - the faster the better! She just wishes there were other children to share in her adventures. Instead, she has to put up with a grumpy 74 year old for a best friend (although secretly, she knows she wouldn't have it any other way).

Astrid's…


Book cover of Chirp

Shelly X. Leonn Author Of The Ghost and the Wolf

From my list on girl MCs who are owning life.

Why am I passionate about this?

My novel choices were part of the Afterschool Literacy & Building Modules for an organization called LitShop. It encourages growth in literacy, making, building, and leadership in girls ages 10-15 in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m honored to lead the writing classes. All of the LitShop books feature strong girls who believe they can make and build their way to a better world, and I aim to include similar characters in my stories. Stories can provide us with motivation, inspiration, and companionship, and all of these books have done just that… for the girls of LitShop as well as myself.

Shelly's book list on girl MCs who are owning life

Shelly X. Leonn Why did Shelly love this book?

This pick has the distinguished honor of convincing me to try cricket flour. It also manages to present a layered storyline, one that combines an almost classic mystery plot with a traumatized character’s journey of self-healing. This book serves as a powerful reminder that we are more than the incidents that victimized us. And yes, even an insect hater like me enjoyed learning so much about the many uses of crickets! 

By Kate Messner,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Chirp as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"[A] deftly layered mystery about family, friendship, and the struggle to speak up." - Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Shout

From acclaimed author Kate Messner comes the powerful story of a young girl with the courage to make her voice heard, set against the backdrop of a summertime mystery.

When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she's recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she'd rather forget.

Mia's change in scenery brings day…


Book cover of Practical Magic

Patricia Marcantonio Author Of Misbehaving at Cactus Lanes

From my list on taking on a second chance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to tell stories, a love I discovered ever since I was a kid listening to my family who love to tell stories. Mine defy genres because the voice and characters guide me into how their tales should be told. I've written mysteries, YA and middle-grade books, a graphic novel, and courtroom drama. My newest book is driven by the character of Margaret Adams, who's seeking a new life after years of being buried alive with sometimes hilarious results. I just had to listen...

Patricia's book list on taking on a second chance

Patricia Marcantonio Why did Patricia love this book?

Alice Hoffman beautifully excels at bonding the real with the mystical until they're one. And here that shines like a magic fireball with the tale of sisters Gillian and Sally Owens.

They come from a family of witches, not exactly welcome in their hometown but secretly courted by those who want their talents. Whether the hocus pocus is real doesn't matter, this story makes you appreciate the wonders of love and life, and that is indeed magic. 

By Alice Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Practical Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*25th Anniversary Edition*-with an Introduction by the Author!

The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of Magic, Magic Lessons, and The Book of Magic.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and…


Book cover of The True Meaning of Smekday

Danika Dinsmore Author Of Brigitta of the White Forest

From my list on adventurous girls in fantastic worlds.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since my first trip to Oz, Dad’s voice traveling me to sleep, I’ve been in love with fantastic worlds, from the microscopic to the intergalactic. I’m drawn to the observations of poets, astronomers, and metaphysicians, but there’s a special place in my heart for children’s authors. Someone once told me middle grade is the “sweet spot.” Readers start making independent choices, exploring stories that resonate with them. I’ve been teaching world-building to students and writers of all ages since 1998, and there is something magical about those 8-12 year-olds with their wild imaginations and eagerness to explore. I wrote my fantasy series for 10-year-old me, lost in such worlds.  

Danika's book list on adventurous girls in fantastic worlds

Danika Dinsmore Why did Danika love this book?

I. Love. This. Book.

Author Adam Rex and I apparently have the same sense of humor because I think this book is laugh-out-loud-fall-on-the-floor-hold-your-stomach funny. Not only are the situations and dialogue hysterical, I love its satirical social commentary that pokes fun at human folly. It’s wonderfully ridiculous. 

Intermixed with the funny are these poignant moments between our heroine, Gratuity, and her new Boov alien travel mate, J.Lo. Gratuity and J.Lo are thrown together on a quest to find Gratuity’s mother after the Boovs invade Earth… and then a second alien invasion happens on top of the first. And the second aliens are much meaner. 

You can see their friendship developing from a mile away, but it still feels warm, fuzzy, and genuine. And the very, very end of the story was so surprisingly moving. How often does a middle-grade book make you both laugh and cry? It’s one of those…

By Adam Rex,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The True Meaning of Smekday as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The glorious leader of the Boovs, Captain Smek, has called for the invasion of Earth. But the plan goes very wrong when a cute and cuddly - and utterly hopeless - Boov makes a huge mistake. Now something much more dangerous is heading their way . . . Will human girl, Tip, be able to save her home?

The original and hilarious comic sci-fi adventure that inspired the major Dreamworks film, HOME.


Book cover of Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

Henry Lien Author Of Future Legend of Skate and Sword

From my list on readers who wish Hermione had her own series.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m qualified to talk about Hermione Granger because she’s a bold rip-off of my own experience at boarding school. My family didn’t have a lot of money. However, I was always the smartest, most original, hardest-working kid at school. Then I got a fat scholarship to an exclusive and fabulously wealthy boarding school 3,000 miles from home. I arrived as a poor, immigrant, POC, gay, transfer student into the eleventh grade. I was the muggle-born kid plopped into a world of privilege and power with something to prove, just like Hermione. But because the author did such a good job of capturing my life, I won’t sue.

Henry's book list on readers who wish Hermione had her own series

Henry Lien Why did Henry love this book?

Like many of the Potter books, this book is sort of a puzzle box built around an object that is governed by clear rules. The main character, Molly Moon, discovers a book that teaches her to control animals and people around her with the power of hypnotism. The book drops Molly's character into a clear set of rules and then has fun watching what she does with it, in a way that reminds me a bit of Hermione’s use of that special object in Prisoner of Azkaban. It also is a fantasy about unlimited power. Seriously, what if you could make anyone anywhere do anything you wanted them to?

By Georgia Byng,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Orphan Molly Moon was found as a baby in a box marked 'Moon's Marshmallows'.

For ten miserable years she's lived under the cruel rule of Miss Adderstone in grim Hardwick House. But her life changes overnight when she finds a mysterious book on hypnotism and discovers an amazing talent - the power to make people do anything she want them to. Escaping from the orphange, Molly flies to New York in search of fame and fortune. But her adventures in hypnotism lead her into the clutches of a dangerous enemy . . .

The bestselling Molly Moon's Incredible Book of…


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