84 books like Book Scavenger

By Jennifer Chambliss Bertman,

Here are 84 books that Book Scavenger fans have personally recommended if you like Book Scavenger. 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 Poet X

Alexandra V. Méndez Author Of What the Jaguar Told Her

From my list on the power of stories and finding your voice.

Who am I?

Stories and the myriad ways they’re told fascinate me. Growing up in Atlanta with Mexican and American heritage, I first learned about Mexican códices—centuries-old books that tell stories through images—on a trip to visit family in Mexico. Later, I studied the history and literature of Latin America at Harvard and got a Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. I’ve studied storytelling in many forms, from Mesoamerican maps to early Spanish chronicles of exploration and invasion, to modern Latin American novels. The books listed here celebrate oral storytelling, written traditions, and artistic expression, and they take seriously the perspectives of young people.

Alexandra's book list on the power of stories and finding your voice

Alexandra V. Méndez Why did Alexandra love this book?

In this novel in verse, Elizabeth Acevedo beautifully evokes the landscape and feel of Harlem through the observant character of Xiomara Batista.

Having lived in upper Manhattan for years, I recognized the neighborhood in the vibrant descriptions. I identified with Xiomara’s need to express herself, how she fills the pages of her notebook with what she feels she can’t speak aloud. Her emotions as she confronts the challenges of friendship, romance, and family feel very real.

When a high school teacher opens up for her the world of spoken word poetry and a whole new set of possibilities for self-expression, I find myself rooting for Xiomara to be brave and take the steps she must take on her personal and artistic journey towards sharing her voice.

By Elizabeth Acevedo,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Poet X 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?

WINNER OF THE THE CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN'S BOOK PRIZE 2019
THE WINNER OF THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
THE WINNER OF THE MICHAEL L.PRINTZ AWARD
THE WINNER OF THE PURA BELPRE AWARD
THE WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE-HORNBOOK AWARD

'I fell in love at slam poetry. This one will stay with you a long time.' - Angie Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give

'This was the type of book where "I'll just do 50 pages" turned into finishing it in 2 reads. I felt very emotional, not just because the story and…


Book cover of Fish in a Tree

Veronica Fuxa Author Of What Is Normal?

From my list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health.

Who am I?

I’m a teacher with passion for history and writing realistic fiction. I published my two books when I was a teenager, and I currently work as a 6th-grade educator teaching writing. I love teaching and working with kids; it keeps me young. When I’m not teaching writing, I love to read realistic fiction, listen to or watch documentaries or horror podcasts, and write short stories.

Veronica's book list on realistic-fiction defining normal and mental health

Veronica Fuxa Why did Veronica love this book?

This book is a great read for parents, teachers, and children. It's breaking down stereotypes in the field of education. It's perfect for book studies or book clubs at any level. I think everyone can get something different from this book.

By Lynda Mullaly Hunt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Fish in a Tree 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?

"Fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts." -Kirkus Reviews

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be…


Book cover of A Thousand Questions

Jennifer A. Nielsen Author Of Words on Fire

From my list on middle-grade books about the power of words.

Who am I?

I grew up on books, every page filling my mind with words. I have since written many novels, but WORDS ON FIRE is my love letter to books and the power of words. From the moment I first discovered the story of the Lithuanian Book Smugglers, I wanted to better understand why these brave people risked their lives to save their books. I came to understand that books were their way to preserve their language, their culture, even the very existence of their country. If it was so important to them, would it not be just as important for us to ensure that children – all children – have access to books.

Jennifer's book list on middle-grade books about the power of words

Jennifer A. Nielsen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Mimi doesn’t want to spend her summer in Pakistan with grandparents she has never met. Instead, she wishes to fill her journal with her letters to her long-absent father. Things brighten when she meets Sakina, who hopes to improve her English so she can get into school. As summer continues, they become united by their many questions. This wonderful novel provides a bridge into how people from different cultures might understand each other.

By Sadiaa Faruqi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Thousand Questions 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?

Set against the backdrop of Karachi, Pakistan, Saadia Faruqi's tender and honest middle grade novel tells the story of two girls navigating a summer of change and family upheaval with kind hearts, big dreams, and all the right questions.

Mimi is not thrilled to be spending her summer in Karachi, Pakistan, with grandparents she's never met. Secretly, she wishes to find her long-absent father, and plans to write to him in her beautiful new journal.

The cook's daughter, Sakina, still hasn't told her parents that she'll be accepted to school only if she can improve her English test score-but then,…


Book cover of The Anti-Book

Jennifer A. Nielsen Author Of Words on Fire

From my list on middle-grade books about the power of words.

Who am I?

I grew up on books, every page filling my mind with words. I have since written many novels, but WORDS ON FIRE is my love letter to books and the power of words. From the moment I first discovered the story of the Lithuanian Book Smugglers, I wanted to better understand why these brave people risked their lives to save their books. I came to understand that books were their way to preserve their language, their culture, even the very existence of their country. If it was so important to them, would it not be just as important for us to ensure that children – all children – have access to books.

Jennifer's book list on middle-grade books about the power of words

Jennifer A. Nielsen Why did Jennifer love this book?

Mickey is angry about nearly everything in his life, which makes the ad for the Anti-Book even more tempting. When it comes, it has only one line of instruction: To erase it, write it. He fills the book with everything he dislikes, and soon it begins to change. But is that really what he wants? This is a darkly funny book about life, struggle, and learning to accept change.

By Raphael Simon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Anti-Book 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?

Mickey is angry all the time: at his divorced parents, at his sister, and at his two new step-mums, both named Charlie. And so he can't resist the ad inside his pack of gum: "Do you ever wish everyone would go away? Buy The Anti-Book! Satisfaction guaranteed." He orders the book, but when it arrives, it's blank - except for one line of instruction: To erase it, write it. He fills the pages with all the things and people he dislikes...

Next thing he knows, he's wandering an anti-world, one in which everything and everyone familiar is gone. Or are…


Book cover of Nevermoor

N. R. Eccles-Smith Author Of Kin Seeker

From my list on upper middle-grade fantasy to capture imagination.

Who am I?

I am a full-time Children’s Fantasy author and illustrator; the result of having my imagination captivated by all the stories told before me. When delving into a story my desire is to have my imagination captured and swept up on a dizzyingly wonderful and fantastical ride. When reading, I just want a good, solid adventure. More importantly, I want to feel like I’m with the characters (and that I actually want to be with them)—that I’m seeing the world unfold as they do. I love when my imagination is inspired, invigorated, startled, and surprised. If you’re like me, give the books on my list a go—your imaginations will (hopefully) be captured and swept up, too!

N. R.'s book list on upper middle-grade fantasy to capture imagination

N. R. Eccles-Smith Why did N. R. love this book?

I was privileged enough to be a part of the first wave of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Like many others I’m sure, those books irrevocably captured my imagination, and sparked the flame of my own story-telling pursuits. I didn’t think there’d ever be a story that would match the sheer wonder and imagination that Rowling created. Then I read Nevermoor. And my imagination was re-captured in the same invigorating, child-like wondrous way. This book is something truly special. It’s full of wonder and wit, including a Willy-Wonker-esque patron, a giant talking cat, and a magical, room-changing hotel. And the setting… the setting is marvelously whimsical, magical, with just the right amount of menace to leave you enraptured. You won’t regret following Morrigan into Nevermoor.

By Jessica Townsend,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Nevermoor 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?

A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world--but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination.

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters…


Book cover of Six Feet Below Zero

Linda Joy Singleton Author Of The Curious Cat Spy Club

From my list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries.

Who am I?

My love for magical and mysterious books was inspired by Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Harry Potter. Since I was 8 years old, I longed to write my own mystery series—SO I DID! My latest mystery series, The Curious Cat Spy Club, is based on my own childhood club. My friends and I played cryptic games, spied on suspicious neighbors, and helped abandoned kittens. I love writing about mysteries + animals. And I’m excited to share my favorite mysterious and magical books with you!!

Linda's book list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries

Linda Joy Singleton Why did Linda love this book?

I love a thrilling mystery with secrets, humor, and surprises. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out if anyone would realize Rosie and Baker were hiding their Great-Grandma in a freezer. It was all Great-Grandma's idea! The kids race against time to piece together clues to find a missing will and save the family home from destruction. Reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock story with unexpected twists and heart-pounding danger. Fun mystery!

By Ena Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Six Feet Below Zero 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?

A dead body. A missing will. An evil relative. The good news is, Great Grammy has a plan. The bad news is, she's the dead body.

Rosie and Baker are hiding something. Something big. Their great grandmother made them promise to pretend she's alive until they find her missing will and get it in the right hands. The will protects the family house from their grandmother, Grim Hesper, who would sell it and ship Rosie and Baker off to separate boarding schools. They've already lost their parents and Great Grammy--they can't lose each other, too.

The siblings kick it into…


Book cover of Winterhouse

Linda Joy Singleton Author Of The Curious Cat Spy Club

From my list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries.

Who am I?

My love for magical and mysterious books was inspired by Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Harry Potter. Since I was 8 years old, I longed to write my own mystery series—SO I DID! My latest mystery series, The Curious Cat Spy Club, is based on my own childhood club. My friends and I played cryptic games, spied on suspicious neighbors, and helped abandoned kittens. I love writing about mysteries + animals. And I’m excited to share my favorite mysterious and magical books with you!!

Linda's book list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries

Linda Joy Singleton Why did Linda love this book?

It’s fun to travel and stay at hotels, so I couldn’t resist this mystery set in a very mysterious and magical hotel. When orphaned Elizabeth is sent away to Winterhouse Hotel, she finds a puzzle book and solves cryptic clues that lead to secret passages and magic. Readers will enjoy trying to decipher the secret codes and clever puzzles. Enjoy!!

By Ben Guterson, Chloe Bristol (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winterhouse 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?

An Edgar Award Finalist
An Agatha Award Finalist

An enchanting urban fantasy middle-grade debut―the first book in a trilogy―set in a magical hotel full of secrets.

Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms―most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she…


Book cover of Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

Linda Joy Singleton Author Of The Curious Cat Spy Club

From my list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries.

Who am I?

My love for magical and mysterious books was inspired by Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Harry Potter. Since I was 8 years old, I longed to write my own mystery series—SO I DID! My latest mystery series, The Curious Cat Spy Club, is based on my own childhood club. My friends and I played cryptic games, spied on suspicious neighbors, and helped abandoned kittens. I love writing about mysteries + animals. And I’m excited to share my favorite mysterious and magical books with you!!

Linda's book list on for young readers on puzzling and magical mysteries

Linda Joy Singleton Why did Linda love this book?

When Sammy Keyes witnesses a burglary, she must solve the crime before the thief catches her! Sammy is clever, sneaky, sassy, and brave. Her actress mother is too busy for her, she doesn’t have a father, and she’s living illegally with her grandma in a seniors-only hotel. Exciting, mysterious, and funny! Not many series go past three books, but super sleuth Sammy stars in 18 books! I collected the whole series.

By Wendelin Van Draanen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief 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?

Sammy Keyes must be a magnet for trouble...
 
I mean it's bad enough that she has to live illegally in a seniors-only building with her grandmother while her mother tries to make it as a move star. And worse that she witnessed a burglary in progress--and that the theif saw her. And worse still that nosy neighbor Mrs. Graybill is onto her, and that the thief is after her. But on top of all that, she also manages to make an enemy of the queen of mean at her new school and get suspended on the first day.

Welcome to…


Book cover of When You Reach Me

Jennie Yabroff Author Of If You Were Here

From my list on young readers set in old-school NYC.

Who am I?

Growing up in California, I was enchanted by the idea of New York City—largely due to the visions of it I found in the books on this list. I’ve now lived in NYC for 20 years and love matching real locations with their versions in my imagination. In my time in the city I’ve been a staff writer for Newsweek Magazine, an editor at Scholastic, and a freelancer for many publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post. I’m currently working on a second novel. 

Jennie's book list on young readers set in old-school NYC

Jennie Yabroff Why did Jennie love this book?

Miranda Sinclair is a latchkey kid who lives with her single mom on the Upper West Side of New York City in the late 1970s. I love the way Miranda navigates her dirty, dangerous, yet enchanting city – her street smarts, her fears, her relationships with the adults in the neighborhood who keep a watchful eye over her. And the book, while totally gritty and real, also has a lovely, melancholy element of magical realism that makes the story mysterious and poignant. 

By Rebecca Stead,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked When You Reach Me 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?

Miranda's life is starting to unravel. Her best friend, Sal, gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The key that Miranda's mum keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives:
'I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own.
I ask two favours. First, you must write me a letter.'

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realises that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she…


Book cover of Nooks & Crannies

Courtney King Walker Author Of Molly Pepper & the Night Train

From my list on children’s mysteries with heart taking place in the real world.

Who am I?

I grew up believing there was a mystery or puzzle around every corner. That guy holding a paper bag by the garbage can? Definitely a Russian spy about to make a drop. The giant house at the top of the street? For sure, haunted (or at least hiding buried treasure). My love for clue games and solving puzzles stemmed from the books and movies I loved as a child. Now, as a children’s author, I get to continue conjuring up clue games and secret spies and puzzling old houses from an ordinary world, one that with the right imagination can turn heartache and heavy things into something close to magic.

Courtney's book list on children’s mysteries with heart taking place in the real world

Courtney King Walker Why did Courtney love this book?

This story differs from the others on my list, as it takes place in England in the early twentieth century. Setting and time period aside, the plucky main character Tabitha along with her pet rat and fellow detective (in her mind) steal the show and our hearts. We can’t help but root for her despite all she comes up against and all who belittle her as she follows clues in her unique and endearing manner through a giant and possibly haunted estate. Nooks & Crannies does a fine job balancing humor and wit with more serious subjects such as murder and abuse, and is sure to appeal to fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

By Jessica Lawson, Natalie Andrewson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nooks & Crannies 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?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Clue when six children navigate a mansion full of secrets—and maybe money—in this “delightful gem” (School Library Journal, starred review) with heart.

Sweet, shy Tabitha Crum, the neglected only child of two parents straight out of a Roald Dahl book, doesn’t have a friend in the world—except for her pet mouse, Pemberley, whom she loves dearly. But on the day she receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss, her life changes forever.

Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling, possibly haunted mansion, it turns out the countess…


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