100 books like Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day

By Tameka Fryer Brown, Charlotte Riley-Webb (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day fans have personally recommended if you like Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Soul Food Sunday

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Who am I?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

This is absolutely a new classic - an award-winning coming-of-age story about the Sunday a soul food cooking grandmother finally opens up her culinary secrets to the next generation. Winsome Bingham’s vivid language is perfectly matched with C.G. Esperanza’s electric illustrations. I also appreciate the tiny details like the uncle who watches the football game on an itty bitty TV. Brings me back (kids will never understand that pre-smartphone life!) And apparently, the mac n’ cheese recipe is on point, so don’t miss that.

By Winsome Bingham, C.G. Esperanza (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Soul Food Sunday as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Granny teaches her grandson to cook the family meal in this loving celebration of food, traditions, and gathering together at the table

On Sundays, everyone gathers at Granny's for Soul Food.
But today, I don't go to the backyard or the great room.
I follow Granny instead.
"You're a big boy now," Granny says. "Time for you to learn."

At Granny's, Sunday isn't Sunday without a big family gathering over a lovingly prepared meal. Old enough now, our narrator is finally invited to help cook the dishes for the first time: He joins Granny in grating the cheese, cleaning the…


Book cover of Family Reunion

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Who am I?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

Written by a father and son duo, Family Reunion starts with a boy’s reluctance to join a family reunion and ends with him having a change of heart after bonding with a cross-generational group of relatives. Personally, the mini-scenarios throughout the book were so relatable, it made me wonder if the Richardsons were at one of my family reunions! Ashleigh Corrin’s bright cheerful illustrations seal the deal.

By Chad Richardson, Dad Richardson, Ashleigh Corrin (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Family Reunion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this contemporary #OwnVoices tale, a boy is reluctant to go to his family reunion, which he's sure will be boring. Vivid, poetic language and rich illustrations bring readers along for the boy's emotional journey, as he ultimately finds himself enjoying the large and joyous gathering in spite of himself. This modern kid's-eye view depiction of a Black American extended family celebrates the importance of kinship and intergenerational ties.


Book cover of The Electric Slide and Kai

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Who am I?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

I don’t know if this book necessarily takes place in summer, but it’s centered around one of my favorite ‘African-American Joy Rituals’ - the Electric Slide! Kai agonizes over his failure to get a dance nickname from his very cool grandfather because of his two left feet. When his aunt gets married, he’s determined to conquer the Electric Slide at her reception.

Who doesn’t love a good, all-inclusive line dance? I still remember learning the Electric Slide when I was 6– to this day if I’m at a party and it’s playing, you’ll know where to find me (the dance floor!). Fun book.

By Kelly J. Baptist, Darnell Johnson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Electric Slide and Kai as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

Kai is the only member of his family who can't get the dance steps to the Electric Slide right. But Kai is determined to bust a move in this fun and sweet celebration of Black families.

Kai's aunt is getting married, and everyone in the Donovan family is excited about the wedding ... except Kai. The highlight of every Donovan occasion is dancing the electric slide--a groovy line dance with footwork that Kai can't quite figure out. More than anything, he wants to prove that he can boogie with the rest of his family and earn…


Book cover of Together We Ride

Elizabeth Verdick Author Of Bike & Trike

From my list on bikes and biking for kids.

Who am I?

I’m a Minnesota-based children’s writer focusing on a mix of books for kids ages baby to teen. I love writing stories as well as nonfiction books focused on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). After more than 25 years spent writing for a young audience, I started thinking about how I may be old but don’t necessarily feel old. An image came to mind: a rusty, dusty old tricycle. How might “Trike” feel if a happy, snappy new bike were to appear in the garage? Bike & Trike is the story that arose, one about old vs. new and a daring challenge to determine which bike will be the winner on wheels.

Elizabeth's book list on bikes and biking for kids

Elizabeth Verdick Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Learning to ride a bike is no easy feat, so it helps when your encouraging dad is along for the inaugural ride.

This warm story of father-daughter bonding celebrates a bike-riding milestone and the feeling of freedom that comes from an afternoon spent outside on wheels. The story is lyrical and upbeat, with a whiff of nostalgia.

By Valerie Bolling, Kaylani Juanita (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Together We Ride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learning to ride is no easy feat! But with a little courage, a guiding hand from her dad, and an enthusiastic bark from her pup, one brave girl quickly learns the freedom that comes from an afternoon spent outside on a bike.

Experience the fear, the anticipation, and the delight of achieving the ultimate milestone in this energetic, warm story that celebrates the precious bond between parent and child.


Book cover of My Papi Has a Motorcycle

Janet Sumner Johnson Author Of Help Wanted, Must Love Books

From my list on children and their fathers.

Who am I?

As a picture book author and mom, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. I love watching my children, and I love how they adore their dad and he adores them in return. So many of my stories have been inspired by their interactions. While I am no expert on fatherhood, I have been fortunate to have had a loving dad who played “Monster in the Middle,” who took us for rides on his motorcycle, and reminded us that we could accomplish anything we put our mind to. I love books that remind us of the power of a loving father-child relationship and hope you, too, will be lifted by these joyful stories.

Janet's book list on children and their fathers

Janet Sumner Johnson Why did Janet love this book?

My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a unique look at not just a father-daughter relationship, but at how they connect with their whole community. My own dad had a motorcycle, and from waiting for him to get home from work, to slipping that big helmet on, to holding onto him tightly as we flew down the streets, I connected with this story and the bond between father and daughter. A special outing with Dad, or Papi, is always a treat, and this book brings that to life.

By Isabel Quintero, Zeke Peña (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Papi Has a Motorcycle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo.

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.

But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.

With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl's love letter to her…


Book cover of Divergent Social Worlds: Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide

Douglas S. Massey Author Of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass

From my list on how neighborhoods perpetuate inequality.

Who am I?

My mother was the child of immigrants from Finland with grade-school educations who grew up in a small Alaskan town with no roads in or out. She came down to the “lower 48” during the Second World War to work her way through the University of Washington, where she met my father. He was a multigenerational American with two college-educated parents. His mother graduated from Whitman College in 1919 and looked down on my mother as a child of poorly educated immigrants. She was also openly hostile toward Catholics, Blacks, and Jews and probably didn’t think much of Finns either. Witnessing my grandmother’s disdain for minorities and the poor including my mother, I learned about racism and class prejudice firsthand. But I am my mother’s son, and I resented my grandmother’s self-satisfied posturing. Therefore I’ve always been on the side of the underdog and made it my business to learn all that I could about how inequalities are produced and perpetuated in the United States, and to do all I can to make the world a fairer, more egalitarian place.

Douglas' book list on how neighborhoods perpetuate inequality

Douglas S. Massey Why did Douglas love this book?

Peterson and Krivo meticulously demonstrate how residential segregation creates and maintains inequality in neighborhood crime rates using data from their groundbreaking National Neighborhood Crime Study. Using a nationally representative sample, the authors provide a more comprehensive picture of the social conditions underlying neighborhood crime and violence than has ever before been drawn.

By Ruth D. Peterson, Lauren J. Krivo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Divergent Social Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than half a century after the first Jim Crow laws were dismantled, the majority of urban neighborhoods in the United States remain segregated by race. The degree of social and economic advantage or disadvantage that each community experiences―particularly its crime rate―is most often a reflection of which group is in the majority. As Ruth Peterson and Lauren Krivo note in Divergent Social Worlds, "Race, place, and crime are still inextricably linked in the minds of the public." This book broadens the scope of single-city, black/white studies by using national data to compare local crime patterns in five racially distinct…


Book cover of A Nation of Neighborhoods: Imagining Cities, Communities, and Democracy in Postwar America

Todd Swanstrom Author Of The Changing American Neighborhood: The Meaning of Place in the Twenty-First Century

From my list on why neighborhoods still matter.

Who am I?

I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a neighborhood that was stable, safe, and stimulating. After my freshman year in college, I signed up for an “urban experience” in Detroit. It turned out to be the summer of the Detroit riots. I woke up to U.S. Army vehicles rumbling into the park across from my apartment. Over the next month, I witnessed the looting and burning of whole neighborhoods. I remember thinking:  what a waste! Why are we throwing away neighborhoods like Kleenex? I have been trying to answer that question ever since.   

Todd's book list on why neighborhoods still matter

Todd Swanstrom Why did Todd love this book?

Benjamin Looker shows how an idealized image of neighborhoods animated cultural and political identities from World War II to the Reagan era.

I was particularly fascinated by his treatment of the 1970s when “power to the neighborhoods” was a rallying cry for both the left and the right. Jimmy Carter used neighborhood rhetoric to mobilize urban ethnics in 1976, while Ronald Reagan outdid him in 1980, using the gauzy rhetoric of neighborhood empowerment to mask his lack of support for federal policies to help neighborhoods.

This incredibly well-researched scholarly book is wonderfully written and sparkling with insights.   

By Benjamin Looker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Nation of Neighborhoods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite the pundits who have written its epitaph and the latter-day refugees who have fled its confines for the half-acre suburban estate, the city neighborhood has endured as an idea central to American culture. In A Nation of Neighborhoods, Benjamin Looker presents us with the city neighborhood as both an endless problem and a possibility. Looker investigates the cultural, social, and political complexities of the idea of "neighborhood" in postwar America and how Americans grappled with vast changes in their urban spaces from World War II to the Reagan era. In the face of urban decline, competing visions of the…


Book cover of Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City

Beryl Satter Author Of Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America

From my list on urban history.

Who am I?

I never read much urban history until I wrote one. For me, the problem was that most urban histories felt repetitive – they presented the same story over and over, just set in different locations. This was because most narrated the results of deeper, structural shifts (in spheres such as federal strategies of home finance, technological developments, demographic shifts, the rise or decline of manufacturing, political realignments, etc.) without sufficiently illuminating the causes. Regardless of whether they focus on Las Vegas or Philadelphia or Chicago or Dallas, each of these books – which I am presenting in order of publication date, not quality, as they are all excellent – will leave you smarter about the forces that shape our cities.  

Beryl's book list on urban history

Beryl Satter Why did Beryl love this book?

Sandoval-Strausz examines Latino neighborhoods in Chicago and Dallas to explain “How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City.” Along the way, he illuminates federal policies and private industries that together damaged cities. These include U.S. immigration policies that combined with economic conditions in Mexico and Central America to spur Latino immigration while creating obstacles to legal settlement within the U.SExplaining everything from international labor flows to urban architectural styles to the politics of gentrification, Barrio America is also an implicit account of how Latinos became “white.” Also recommended is anything by Arlene Davila, whose specialty is understanding the implications of neoliberalism on Latino communities.

By A.K. Sandoval-Strausz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Barrio America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Starting around 70 years ago, white flight out of America's major cities caused rapid urban decline. Now we are witnessing a resurgence of American urbanism said to be the result of white people's return. But this account entirely passes over the stable immigrant communities who arrived and never left: as whites fled for the suburbs and exurbs in increasing numbers, Latin Americans immigrated to urban centres in even greater numbers. Barrio America charts the vibrant revival of American cities in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, arguing that we should attribute this revival to the influx of Latin American immigrants --…


Book cover of Alternate Side

Barbara Josselsohn Author Of Secrets of the Italian Island

From my list on set on an intriguing island or coastline.

Who am I?

A native of New York’s Long Island, I’ve always been obsessed with the shoreline. My best early memories are of traveling with my family to the eastern edge of Long Island for our two-week summer vacation. My parents didn’t earn a lot of money, and we didn’t vacation often, so those two weeks in August were heavenly. As an adult, I gravitate to coastlines and islands. I’ve always been a fan of books with a strong sense of place, especially when that place is the shore. And I loved setting my current book on an island in the Mediterranean, delving into the qualities and characteristics that make a coastline so evocative and so appealing. 

Barbara's book list on set on an intriguing island or coastline

Barbara Josselsohn Why did Barbara love this book?

Full disclosure—I’m a former New Yorker who adores the Big Apple.

So how could I not include a book set on the vibrant, unpredictable island of Manhattan? Anna Quindlen has long been one of my go-to writers, and this is my favorite of her novels – sophisticated, subtle, and thought-provoking.

It revolves around a series of characters—some earnest, some quirky, but all flawed—who live in an apartment building rocked by a disturbing act of violence. I love this book because of all the questions it raises about family, loyalty, and community—and I love the way the building becomes a kind of island itself.

To me, Quindlen is a top-notch chronicler of contemporary motherhood, marriage, and family—and with this story, she is at her best.

By Anna Quindlen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alternate Side as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Elizabeth Strout and Anne Tyler comes a brilliantly provocative novel from the Richard and Judy Book Club and Number One bestselling author Anna Quindlen.

'Mesmerizing. Quindlen makes her characters so richly alive, so believable, that it's impossible not to feel every doubt and dream they harbour . . . Overwhelmingly moving' New York Times

Anna Quindlen follows her highly-praised novel Miller's Valley - 'reads like a companion to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge', Elisabeth Egan - with a captivating novel about money, class and self-discovery set in the heart of New York where the tensions in a tight-knit…


Book cover of A Man Called Ove

Sally Jenkins Author Of Little Museum of Hope

From my list on life-affirming.

Who am I?

I like books driven by characters who ride the same emotional rollercoaster as we all do in real life. Characters who love the wrong people or who lose the people they were right to love or who fail to match the norms expected by society. Characters I can empathise with, root for, and learn from. A fairytale happy ending is not necessary and can detract from the magic of a book. But I do like to be left with a feeling of hope. If a fictional character can learn to approach life more positively, then maybe I can too! This is what I try to achieve in my own books.

Sally's book list on life-affirming

Sally Jenkins Why did Sally love this book?

A Man Called Ove was recommended to me by my husband. He is a voracious reader who has no qualms in casting a book to one side if it doesn’t immediately grab him – so I take his recommendations seriously. 

Ove is a grumpy old man who doesn’t want to continue living after the death of his wife. It sounds depressing and I nearly didn’t bother. But Backman’s skill as an author turns Ove’s story into an absolute delight. Ove may be grumpy, intolerant, and set in his ways but he is unable to turn his back on anyone in need – including an unattractive, large cat.

The book is a testament to everyone’s need for community.

By Fredrik Backman,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked A Man Called Ove as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'THE PERFECT HOLIDAY READ' Evening Standard

'A JOY FROM START TO FINISH' - Gavin Extence, author of THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS

There is something about Ove.

At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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