100 books like Big Girl

By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan,

Here are 100 books that Big Girl fans have personally recommended if you like Big Girl. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

David Haynes Author Of Right by My Side

From my list on kids with attitude.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a forty-five-year career educator, sharing my classrooms with students from primary school through graduate programs in creative writing. What I love most in every classroom I enter is sharing the books and stories and poems I love with my students. The best days: when I’m reading one of my favorite parts of the book out loud to the group and I look up and they laugh or gasp, or I look up and see their eyes full of joy. If it’s my own work I’m reading from, all the better!

David's book list on kids with attitude

David Haynes Why did David love this book?

Arnold, known as Junior, is a fourteen-year-old aspiring artist from the Spokane Indian Reservation, who tells us his story in a combination of hilarious cartoons and acerbic narration. Junior’s intimate self-revelations shocked me with their brutal honesty; this kid holds nothing back! Which is why younger readers are so in love with this character and this book: he tells all the things about being a teenager that most young people are too afraid to see. In the end, this is the most honest examination of identity that I know of. What does it mean to be Indian? American? Human and alive?  

By Sherman Alexie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian 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?

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he…


Book cover of Ellen Foster

David Haynes Author Of Right by My Side

From my list on kids with attitude.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a forty-five-year career educator, sharing my classrooms with students from primary school through graduate programs in creative writing. What I love most in every classroom I enter is sharing the books and stories and poems I love with my students. The best days: when I’m reading one of my favorite parts of the book out loud to the group and I look up and they laugh or gasp, or I look up and see their eyes full of joy. If it’s my own work I’m reading from, all the better!

David's book list on kids with attitude

David Haynes Why did David love this book?

I saw this quirky little book on the “New Titles” table, “little” being the keyword. Algonquin published this short novel’s first edition in a smaller format, and I was, honestly, drawn to the size and to its evocative cover art—rumpled lines on an ornate cast iron bed. Inside I found feisty eleven-year-old Ellen, abused and ill-treated her family, abandoned to the foster care system. This wise and smart and funny narrator holds her next to the best talkers in all of literature. Among other things, Ellen (by way of Kaye Gibbons) taught me some of what I needed to know to write my own book. I fell in love with Ellen Foster and you will too!

By Kaye Gibbons,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Ellen Foster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Filled with lively humor, compassion, and intimacy."
—Alice Hoffman, The New York Times Book Review

"When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy." With that opening sentence we enter the childhood world of one of the most appealing young heroines in contemporary fiction. Her courage, her humor, and her wisdom are unforgettable as she tells her own story with stunning honesty and insight. An Oprah Book Club selection, this powerful novel has become an American classic.

Winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the Ernest Hemingway…


Book cover of Rich in Love

David Haynes Author Of Right by My Side

From my list on kids with attitude.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a forty-five-year career educator, sharing my classrooms with students from primary school through graduate programs in creative writing. What I love most in every classroom I enter is sharing the books and stories and poems I love with my students. The best days: when I’m reading one of my favorite parts of the book out loud to the group and I look up and they laugh or gasp, or I look up and see their eyes full of joy. If it’s my own work I’m reading from, all the better!

David's book list on kids with attitude

David Haynes Why did David love this book?

Ah, these juvenile narrators: they think they know it all. Lucille Odem has it all figured out. She can fix her broken family and heal her parent’s broken hearts—because of course she can. For me, the pleasure of a great young adult narrator is watching as even the smartest of these smarty pants comes to learn that we all have blind spots and that it’s often the things we can’t see or don’t know that are the most important part of the equation. What a sweet book this is.  

By Josephine Humphreys,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rich in Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the age of seventeen, Lucille Odom finds herself in the middle of an unexpected domestic crisis. As she helps guide her family through its discontent, Lucille discovers in herself a woman rich in wisdom, rich in humor, and rich in love.


Book cover of Rule of the Bone

David Haynes Author Of Right by My Side

From my list on kids with attitude.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a forty-five-year career educator, sharing my classrooms with students from primary school through graduate programs in creative writing. What I love most in every classroom I enter is sharing the books and stories and poems I love with my students. The best days: when I’m reading one of my favorite parts of the book out loud to the group and I look up and they laugh or gasp, or I look up and see their eyes full of joy. If it’s my own work I’m reading from, all the better!

David's book list on kids with attitude

David Haynes Why did David love this book?

Escaping his abusive home life in upstate New York, fourteen-year-old, Chappie—called Bone after his tattoo—falls in with an assortment of drug dealers and Rastafarians. Angry and hard, Bone is also resilient and proves to have the biggest heart with a soft spot for others who have been dealt a terrible hand by life. In Rule of the Bone, Russell Banks masterfully explores the themes of class and race and the lives of the forgotten in rural America. Chappie has a lot to say about everything, and you may not like how he says it, but he is more often right than wrong.  

By Russell Banks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rule of the Bone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bone is a punked-out teenager, living in a trailer with his alcoholic mother and abusive stepfather. Rejected by his parents, out of school and in trouble with the police, he's now into drugs and shoplifting as he drifts through dope squats and shopping malls. Until, breaking away from a group of biker thieves, he finds refuge in an abandoned school bus with I-Man, an exiled Rastafarian who dramatically changes his life.


Book cover of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color

Caroline Heldman Author Of The Sexy Lie: The War on Women’s Bodies and How to Fight Back

From my list on stop worrying about your body.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child raised in abject rural poverty and homeschooled in a Pentecostal Evangelical household, my intense experiences of sexism at home and church piqued my early interest in gender justice. As a Women’s Studies professor, my work centers on how social norms perpetuate patriarchy. Decades of research on body hatred has convinced me that anti-fat bias is a pressing social justice issue that harms us all. These books, especially if read in order, bust myths of fatness, unpack the racist origins of fatphobia, provide a chilling look at the personal wounds inflicted by anti-fat bias, and provide practical tools to reject the body hatred that plagues women by design. 

Caroline's book list on stop worrying about your body

Caroline Heldman Why did Caroline love this book?

Virgie Tovar’s The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color is exactly what it sounds like: A toolkit for practicing radical self-love.

Tovar challenges harmful diet culture and beauty culture messaging and teaches readers to spot intersecting sexism and racism in media. She encourages readers to reject cultural messages that promote body hatred, and instead, build lasting body empowerment by silencing our inner critic and moving beyond our body as the basis for our worth.

Every book Tovar has written will rock your paradigms about body size and fatness, but I especially recommend The Self-Love Revolution because it opens a space to truly imagine a world without fatphobia. And it comes with the tools and confidence boost to build that world. 

By Virgie Tovar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Self-Love Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's time to ditch harmful, outdated beauty standards and build real, lasting body positivity. It's time for a self-love revolution!
Every day we see movies, magazines, and social media that make us feel like we need to change how we look. This takes a toll on how we think about ourselves-and how we allow others to treat us. And while many teens feel shame about their body, being a teen girl of color can be hard in unique ways. Maybe you feel alienated by the mainstream image of beauty, which is still thin, white and able-bodied. In addition to that,…


Book cover of The Big Princess

Maria Gulemetova Author Of Beyond the Fence

From my list on beyond good and bad, right and wrong.

Why am I passionate about this?

Unburdened with prejudice or beliefs, children are open to the world. I find great joy in books that reflect the child’s fresh perception and playful spirit. Such books have no intention to teach a moral lesson. They rejoice in freedom. In the non-stereotypical, not yet molded to conform reality of the child. Books beyond good or bad may shine with the light of freshness, the unfiltered seeing. In times of great political divisions, non-didactic books can be a window to the glorious amoral way of perceiving.

Maria's book list on beyond good and bad, right and wrong

Maria Gulemetova Why did Maria love this book?

It seems to me that the kind of imaginative senseless play (beyond good/bad, right/wrong), feels similar to the way a small kid would tell stories. A wonderful fantastic tale with joyful illustrations. Plus children and adults find very, very, very big things fascinating. Enjoy this masterpiece! (As well as Taro Miura’s other books.)

By Taro Miura,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A king, a queen and one very big princess... A witty, wonderful and warm-hearted prequel to The Tiny King by acclaimed picture book maker, Taro Miura.

Once upon a time ... a king and queen discover, among their flowers, the teensiest, tiniest princess. Such a charming, sweet little thing! They are instantly taken with her - she becomes the daughter they never had, the child they had always dreamed of. The Queen immediately sets about finding her a perfect-sized bed and only a tiny ring box will do. But, in no time at all, the princess grows too big for…


Book cover of The Littlest Yak

Kevin Asla Author Of Autumn's Halloween

From my list on fables with moral through the eyes of animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I enjoy stories with morals & adventure! The animal kingdom has always been a favourite of children around the world, and a perfect way of conveying these fables without boring the reader. My particular love for foxes has always been there but also extends to other forest creatures. They are always my first choice when picking a book that kids will love and also for my video game designs.

Kevin's book list on fables with moral through the eyes of animals

Kevin Asla Why did Kevin love this book?

I love the scenery in this book. Great Himalayan mountains and crisp snow. Gertie is a perfect character that lets us see what many children struggle with. Gertie is not happy, she feels inferior, but an opportunity arrives which allows showing how valuable she is. Fun is intertwined within the pages of the books. The pictures are beautiful! Another fable story with a moral center!

By Lu Fraser, Kate Hindley (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Littlest Yak 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?

WINNER of Oscar's Book Prize 2021!
WINNER Book of the Year and Best Picture Book at the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards 2021!

Perfect for fans of Rachel Bright and Julia Donaldson, The Littlest Yak is a joyous, rhyming caper that teaches little ones to celebrate their own unique talents!

On the tip of the top of a mountain all snowy, where the ice-swirling, toe-curling blizzards were blowy, in a herd full of huddling yaks, big and small, lived Gertie . . . the littlest yak of them all.

Gertie is the littlest yak in her whole herd, and she's feeling…


Book cover of Scaling: Why Is Animal Size So Important?

Mark S. Blumberg Author Of Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us about Development and Evolution

From my list on seeing science differently.

Why am I passionate about this?

Even though I am a scientist who has written over 130 scientific articles, I have a longstanding passion for scientific books that are written for non-scientists. I love books about science, no matter how distant they are from my area of expertise. To me, the best science books convey the excitement of science and scientific thinking in an accessible manner, but without pandering or dumbing things down. My favorite books tackle big ideas and respect the reader’s intelligence. My choices here reflect my core interests in biology, evolution, and behavior—and the aesthetics of science, too. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Mark's book list on seeing science differently

Mark S. Blumberg Why did Mark love this book?

The diverse, complex world of animals can seem chaotic. But we can bring order to this chaos by looking for grand principles that simplify and explain. One such grand principle concerns the foundational role of body size in shaping animal biology: From our skeletons to our use of energy to our longevity, size matters! And no one was better able to explain the importance of size in simple, straightforward terms than the inimitable physiologist, Knut Schmidt-Nielsen. This is a must-have book for anyone with even a passing interest in the diversity of life on our planet.  

By Knut Schmidt-Nielsen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book is about the importance of animal size. We tend to think of animal function in chemical terms and talk of water, salts, proteins, enzymes, oxygen, energy, and so on. We should not forget, however, that physical laws are equally important, for they determine rates of diffusion and heat transfer, transfer of force and momentum, the strength of structures, the dynamics of locomotion, and other aspects of the functioning of animal bodies. Physical laws provide possibilities and opportunities for an organism, yet they also impose constraints, setting limits to what is physically possible. This book aims to give an…


Book cover of Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture

Elise Hu Author Of Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital

From my list on challenging beauty standards and diet culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest and curiosity in this topic primarily came from life experience: not fitting in as a gangly Asian girl growing up in white suburbs and picked on for how I looked, working as a teen model in the late 1990s and early aughts, becoming a mother to three girls while opening up NPR’s first-ever bureau and living in Seoul, South Korea, the plastic surgery capital of the world. Ever since graduating from The University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism, I’ve been a professional journalist. Most of my career has been as an NPR correspondent, but I’ve also worked as a reporter for VICE and appeared in The Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, and numerous other publications.

Elise's book list on challenging beauty standards and diet culture

Elise Hu Why did Elise love this book?

Few people write as clearly and cogently as Virginia Sole-Smith about the way thinness is the reigning beauty standard across the globe, and how punishing and marginalizing that standard is for those who aren’t “straight sized.”

This book is not just sweeping and rigorously investigated, it is also chock full of practical tips for addressing fatphobia in our own thinking, in our own families, and in the wider culture. There’s a reason this book was an instant New York Times bestseller. I could not recommend it more full-throatedly.

By Virginia Sole-Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

'Fearless and game-changing.' - Emily Oster

'Hard recommend.' - Pandora Sykes

'A must-read.' - Aubrey Gordon

'Essential.' - Laura Thomas, PhD

'Revolutionary!' - Bethany Rutter

'Pivotal.' - Anita Bhagwandas

Change the way you talk about food, weight, and self-worth, forever.

We live in a world designed to make us hate our bodies. By the time children start school, most have learned that 'fat' is bad. As they get older, many pursue thinness to survive in a society that ties their value to their size. Parents worry both about the risks of their kids fixating on unrealistic beauty…


Book cover of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care

Ohad Ouziel Author Of 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting

From my list on keeping your sanity as a parent.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I became a parent, I immediately became an expert on it. Don’t worry, you will too. Children are great. They fill your life with a sense of purpose. They are very good at being really cute, and they can be really fun to be with. Yet... let's face it, the little bugger wreak havoc in your life. Harnessing my experience as a writer for television, and being a man, I immediately started whining and ranting about the difficulties of raising kids, the result was the book 100 Hidden Truths of Parenting that sold the world over. I love my kids, so will you, but it is a difficult journey and you need to know you are not the only one having a hard time sometimes.

Ohad's book list on keeping your sanity as a parent

Ohad Ouziel Why did Ohad love this book?

This classic is actually a very good guide to maintaining you sanity and for helping you through those first few month. My parents read this when they had me, and so did probably yours. Get one of the older editions though, none of this wishy-washy modern parenting for us. 

By Benjamin Spock, Robert Needlman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the pediatrician whose advice has shaped parenting practices for more than half a century comes the essential parenting book—fully revised and updated with the latest research and written in clear, accessible prose for parents of all backgrounds.

Generations of parents have relied on the influential bestseller Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care as the most authoritative and reliable guide for child care. This timeless yet up-to-date edition has been revised and expanded by Dr. Robert Needlman, a top-notch pediatrician who shares Dr. Spock’s philosophy and has applied his research in his career.

In this tenth edition, you can gain…


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