92 books like Cougar Crossing

By Meeg Pincus, Alexander Vidal (illustrator),

Here are 92 books that Cougar Crossing fans have personally recommended if you like Cougar Crossing. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Secret Place

Erica Silverman Author Of Wake Up, City!

From my list on celebrating cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning author of picture books and early readers. I have set my stories in many kinds of locations, including a haunted house, an Eastern European shtetl, an English Renaissance village, and a working cattle ranch. For Wake Up, City, I turned to the setting I know best, the city. I drew on memories of walking to kindergarten in early morning Brooklyn. This book is my love song to cities everywhere. As a lifelong city dweller, I worry about the impact of urban spread on the planet, but I feel hopeful, too, because many cities are becoming more nature and wildlife-friendly. The books I'm excited to share celebrate city wildlife. 

Erica's book list on celebrating cities

Erica Silverman Why did Erica love this book?

This is based on the L.A. River (which is undergoing an exciting revitalization) but it could be any industrial downtown: freeways, warehouses, graffiti, smog. A boy discovers a secret place, where a river still runs through a concrete bed. In hushed tones, he tells us who else knows his secret - an egret, a green-winged teal, nesting mallards, coyotes, and possum. The vivid description makes me feel as if I am right there with him, sharing his sense of wonder. This deceptively simple book offers a powerful argument for restoring green space. 

By Eve Bunting, Ted Rand (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A small boy finds a secret place in the city that he shares with a white egret, mallards, and even ducklings.


Book cover of Old Pearl

Curtis Manley Author Of The Rescuer of Tiny Creatures

From my list on empathy for the world’s creatures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in the natural world. I grew up seeing the birds, raccoons, and deer that lived in the woods near my home in Western Pennsylvania. But over the years I began watching smaller things more carefully: tiny creatures with many legs—or no legs at all! I learned that even though earthworms are blind they can sense light. I realized that among “identical” ants, some behaved differently. I found out that if I was gentle, honeybees didn’t mind being petted. Even if we think they’re icky, we owe these tiny creatures our understanding and compassion.

Curtis' book list on empathy for the world’s creatures

Curtis Manley Why did Curtis love this book?

Perhaps the soft spot I have for this book is because it’s another story about rescuing a wild animal and giving it a further chance.

Every day at the park, Theo makes sure the slow bird with the raggedy wing gets some of the birdseed he throws to the younger, quicker birds. But when a dog runs at the birds, Theo learns that old Pearl, as he names her, can’t fly. He saves Pearl and brings her home, and he and his grandma take care of the bird. Theo’s heartfelt concern allows Pearl to live the rest of her life out of danger, and she and Theo become close companions. But with animal friends, there will come a time to have to say goodbye...

By Wendy Wahman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Old Pearl 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 young boy deals with the sadness of losing a pet in this gentle, sweet ode to how nothing can take away what lives in our heart.

Theo loves feeding the birds. All the birds. But he tries his hardest to aim his seeds to the old bird with the raggedy wing—Pearl.

Soon, they are sharing apples and peanut butter, enjoying a good breeze, and sitting heartbeat to heartbeat.

But sometimes friends have to say goodbye…


Book cover of Finding Wild

Erica Silverman Author Of Wake Up, City!

From my list on celebrating cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning author of picture books and early readers. I have set my stories in many kinds of locations, including a haunted house, an Eastern European shtetl, an English Renaissance village, and a working cattle ranch. For Wake Up, City, I turned to the setting I know best, the city. I drew on memories of walking to kindergarten in early morning Brooklyn. This book is my love song to cities everywhere. As a lifelong city dweller, I worry about the impact of urban spread on the planet, but I feel hopeful, too, because many cities are becoming more nature and wildlife-friendly. The books I'm excited to share celebrate city wildlife. 

Erica's book list on celebrating cities

Erica Silverman Why did Erica love this book?

Told in lyrical language, two children wander through their city, looking for “wild” and finding it in motion, size, sounds, touch, and smell.“It leaps and pounces and  shows its teeth.” The words dance around, hinting at flora and fauna, using adjectives and verbs to suggest and evoke. This journey arouses awareness of the natural world that lives all around us in the city. Young readers will enjoy guessing what is being hinted at. This is such an original way to talk about the urban wild!  

By Megan Wagner Lloyd, Abigail Halpin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

A lovely, lyrical picture book with gorgeous illustrations that explores the ways the wild makes itself known to us and how much closer it is than we think.
 
There are so many places that wild can exist, if only you know where to look! Can you find it? Two kids set off on an adventure away from their urban home and discover all the beauty of the natural world. From the bark on the trees to the sudden storm that moves across the sky to fire and flowers, and snowflakes and fresh fruit. As the children make their way through…


Book cover of Tokyo Digs a Garden

Erica Silverman Author Of Wake Up, City!

From my list on celebrating cities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning author of picture books and early readers. I have set my stories in many kinds of locations, including a haunted house, an Eastern European shtetl, an English Renaissance village, and a working cattle ranch. For Wake Up, City, I turned to the setting I know best, the city. I drew on memories of walking to kindergarten in early morning Brooklyn. This book is my love song to cities everywhere. As a lifelong city dweller, I worry about the impact of urban spread on the planet, but I feel hopeful, too, because many cities are becoming more nature and wildlife-friendly. The books I'm excited to share celebrate city wildlife. 

Erica's book list on celebrating cities

Erica Silverman Why did Erica love this book?

I love fairy tales and this is a fairy tale for our time. Surrounded by skyscrapers, Tokyo wishes his home could be surrounded by nature, just as it was when his grandfather was a boy. When a mysterious woman hands him three wishing seeds, a magical transformation brings. Trees grow taller than buildings, wildflower meadows cover cement, the river flows through the city, and all manner of wildlife romp and climb. When Tokyo’s mother has to take a rowboat to work. Grandfather worries about how they will handle the inconveniences. But Tokyo, whose wish has come true, has words of wisdom: “I think….that we will just have to get used to it.”

By Jon-Erik Lappano, Kellen Hatanaka (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tokyo Digs a Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tokyo lives in a small house between giant buildings with his family and his cat, Kevin. For years, highways and skyscrapers have been built up around the family's house where once there were hills and trees. Will they ever experience the natural world again? One day, an old woman offers Tokyo seeds, telling him they will grow into whatever he wishes. Tokyo and his grandfather are astonished when the seeds grow into a forest so lush that it takes over the entire city overnight. Soon the whole city has gone wild, with animals roaming where cars once drove. But is…


Book cover of Endangered

Margaret Mizushima Author Of Standing Dead

From my list on mysteries transporting you into the great outdoors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by the mountain wilderness and national parks of my home state, Colorado. In my younger days, I hiked to the mountain lakes of the Sangre de Cristo range near my hometown and then later the high-country trails of northern Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. When I began writing the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, I combined my experience as a veterinarian’s wife with my love of the great outdoors and dogs to create Killing Trail, book one of eight in my series that features Deputy Mattie Cobb, her K-9 partner Robo, and veterinarian Cole Walker. Together they solve mysteries in the fictional mountain community of Timber Creek, Colorado.

Margaret's book list on mysteries transporting you into the great outdoors

Margaret Mizushima Why did Margaret love this book?

I love mysteries that are set in the great outdoors, and Pamela Beason’s books definitely fill that bill.

Endangered was the first book of hers that I’ve read and I immediately fell in love with Summer “Sam” Westin, the protagonist of the Sam Westin Mystery series. Sam’s eclectic background combining experience with animals and wilderness environments has landed her an assignment to report on cougars at a Utah park.

When a young child goes missing, the cougars she’s been observing are blamed and Sam embarks on a quest to save both the child and the big cats she’s come to admire. This book taught me about cougars and their habitat and provided a tense whodunit to enjoy.

By Pamela Beason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Summer "Sam" Westin's assignment to report on cougars in a Utah park goes horribly awry when a child vanishes from a campground and the TV news focuses on the local mountain lions as the likely culprits.

As days tick by with no sign of the missing boy and media coverage continues to inflame the public, pressure grows for the park administration to kill the cougars. But Sam was one of the last people to see the child, and she has good reason to suspect a man she spotted in the shadows as little Zachary Fischer ran away from her.

Can…


Book cover of Off Leash

Kim McDougall Author Of Dragons Don't Eat Meat

From my list on urban fantasy with marvelous monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Have you ever pretended to be a superhero? What was your special ability? Mine was always the ability to talk to animals. What an amazing world that would be if I could chat with the squirrel nesting in my shed or the stray cat trotting through my yard! Animals of all kinds have always been part of my world, from my own pets to animals that came through rescue ranches where I volunteered. So it’s no wonder that I seek them out in fiction. For my own books, my love for cats and dogs was easy to translate into a love for dragons and hellhounds. 

Kim's book list on urban fantasy with marvelous monsters

Kim McDougall Why did Kim love this book?

There just isn’t enough Urban Fantasy written about cats. Off Leash, with its nerdy human guy turned mountain lion, satisfied my craving for kitty lit. This story takes off like a rocket, and what a ride! It’s full of unique magic, talking animal familiars, and snappy one-liners. Daniel Potter really nails the feeling of what it would be like to live as a big cat. If you’re looking for a fast-paced story of the “all slaying, no laying” kind, this is it.

By Daniel Potter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

We all have bad days.

Ever have one so bad that it changes your entire life?

A day so bad that talking cats, magical inquisitors, and werewolves now seem normal?

For Thomas Khatt that day was today. From one moment jobless to the next being awakened into a brand new form. Now he has a murder to help solve, a girlfriend to help with family problems and a boss that is just a bit more than your normal hothead.

What would you do in his paws?

Click the button and read this adventure today!


Book cover of The Puma Years: A Memoir

Ellen Dee Davidson Author Of Wild Path to the Sacred Heart

From my list on women’s true stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a woman, I am passionate about valuing the voices of women equally with those of men. When we listen to each other, we will be able to come into a better balance that will help us restore ourselves and our Earth. We need the visions of women to help guide us through these challenging times! I’m also passionate about the wild beauty of nature, especially trees, and spend lots of time hiking and meditating in the ancient redwood forests near my home. This has helped me heal and expanded my perception. In a way, being in the forest has brought me home to myself. 

Ellen's book list on women’s true stories

Ellen Dee Davidson Why did Ellen love this book?

After running into 5 mountain lions while hiking alone in the ancient redwood forests near my home, I was really blown away reading The Puma Years about Laura Coleman's relationships with the big cats. I cannot imagine getting as close to one of them as she does in her memoir about spending time in the middle of the jungle in Bolivia taking care of wild pumas. Set against a background of logging destruction of habitat and illegal wild animal poaching, the author valiantly tries to rehabilitate damaged pumas. The relationships she and her volunteer colleagues have with the big cats are astonishing. They take them out for walks! The author is so candid about how broken she feels in our environmentally and often socially broken world, and yet in the end still manages to leave me with hope and belief in the human spirit.

By Laura Coleman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Puma Years as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this rapturous memoir, writer and activist Laura Coleman shares the story of her liberating journey in the Amazon jungle, where she fell in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life.

Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assigned to a beautiful and complex puma named Wayra. Wide-eyed, inexperienced, and comically terrified, Laura made the scrappy, make-do camp her home. And in Wayra, she made a friend for life.

They weren't…


Book cover of The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature

Melissa Crandall Author Of Elephant Speak: A Devoted Keeper's Life Among the Herd

From my list on wild animals and the humans that care for them.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, let loose to wander the woods around my home, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by animals, not only the dogs and cats we kept at home, but the wild critters I encountered. As I grew, so did my admiration and respect for the creatures that live in the wild. When I volunteered at Oregon’s Washington Park Zoo, and met Senior Elephant Keeper Roger Henneous, a new level of interest opened up as I observed the relationships between the animals and those who care for them. It bothered me that I often read nasty things about keepers, when I knew that most are devoted to those in their care.

Melissa's book list on wild animals and the humans that care for them

Melissa Crandall Why did Melissa love this book?

I’m captivated by this book every time I read it (and I’ve read it a lot). It brings to light the uneasy relationship we have with wild creatures, especially when we unwittingly invite them into our own backyards. A thought-provoking (and often nerve-wracking) narrative about the clash between the citizens of Boulder, CO and the local population of mountain lions, and the distressing expansion of human beings into the few wild areas remaining to them (and, in fact, to all animals). When those pockets of wilderness are gone, where are they supposed to go? How can we alleviate human/animal conflict over resources?

By David Baron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Beast in the Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When residents of Boulder, Colorado, suddenly began to see mountain lions in their backyards, it became clear that the cats had returned after decades of bounty hunting had driven them far from human settlement. In a riveting environmental tale that has received huge national attention, journalist David Baron traces the history of the mountain lion and chronicles one town's tragic effort to coexist with its new neighbors. As thought-provoking as it is harrowing, The Beast in the Garden is a tale of nature corrupted, the clash between civilization and wildness, and the artificiality of the modern American landscape. It is,…


Book cover of The Bangtail Ghost

Bill Lynch Author Of Mekong Belle: Love's Impossible Choice

From my list on time travel on lonely roads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family of journalists. My great-grandfather, grand-aunt, and father were newspaper editors and master raconteurs. I followed in their footsteps, spending 50 years as a small-town newspaper editor. Among family, friends, and neighbors, I was expected to know the stories behind the headlines, and in so doing, I became a raconteur. In a good story, there is a fine line between fact and fiction. The novels I chose for a long road trip are as believable as the true stories I was told and ended up telling when it was my turn. It only takes asking “What if?” to cross the line from fact to fiction.

Bill's book list on time travel on lonely roads

Bill Lynch Why did Bill love this book?

This book, like most of Keith McCafferty’s mystery novels, makes a long, tedious drive, something I look forward to. I’m immediately drawn into the tale, as though I’m looking over the shoulder of Sean Stranahan, the story’s protagonist/private detective/fly-fisherman.

McCafferty makes it possible to be in two places at once, one where I’m in my car with my eyes on the road while the rest of me is solving a murder alongside Sean and a Montana trout stream where we occasionally stop to cast flies to rising trout.

And there are plenty of engaging characters along the way, including Sean’s fiancé Sheriff Martha Ettinger, with whom he eventually brings the killer to justice. I want to keep driving until the case is solved.

By Keith McCafferty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Montana's Gravelly Range, paw prints and a single whisker discovered at a scene of horrific violence suggest a woman has been attacked and carried away by a mountain lion. Sheriff Martha Ettinger employs her fiancé, sometimes-detective Sean Stranahan, to put a name to the gnawed bones comprising all that is left of the body. The woman's is the first of several deaths that Sean suspects are not as easily explained as they appear. 

As a reign of terror grips the Madison Valley, blood in the tracks will lead him from the river below to the snow-covered ridge tops, as…


Book cover of Let's Kill Uncle

Alice Duncan Author Of Domesticated Spirits

From my list on humanity and its often savage inhumanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been blessed (or cursed) with a vivid imagination since childhood. Add to that the fact that my first three years were spent on a farm in Maine with nobody around but my mother and my sister, and I grew into a person who is happy alone and making up stories. After my family moved to California, I went to school with all colors, races, and religions and my sense of inclusiveness is abundant. Most of my stories deal with unfairness imposed upon humans by other humans. Nearly all of my books are funny, too, even when I don’t mean them to be. Absurdity is my pal.

Alice's book list on humanity and its often savage inhumanity

Alice Duncan Why did Alice love this book?

This book made me fall in love with the mystery genre.

It’s set on an unnamed Canadian island after WWII, and features two children, Barnaby and Christie, who at first hate each other, and then become pals and schemers in the murder of Barnaby’s uncle before the uncle can kill Barnaby in order to gain Barnaby’s inheritance.

Enhanced by wonderful characters, including an RCMP sergeant (the only survivor of all the islanders’ sons who fought in WWII and feels guilty about it), a one-eared cougar, a vicious bull, and a village idiot, I fell in love with everything about this book.

It was published in 1963, and still holds up today in all its eccentricity, wit, and a little (or a lot of) darkness.

By Rohan O'Grady,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let's Kill Uncle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When recently-orphaned Barnaby Gaunt is sent to stay with his uncle on a beautiful remote island off the coast of Canada, he is all set to have the perfect summer holiday. Except for one small problem: his uncle is trying to kill him. Heir to a ten-million-dollar fortune, Barnaby tries to tell everyone and anyone that his uncle is after his inheritance, but no one will believe him. That is, until he tells the only other child on the island, Christie, who concludes that there is only one way to stop his demonic uncle: Barnaby will just have to kill…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cougars, Los Angeles, and California?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cougars, Los Angeles, and California.

Cougars Explore 13 books about cougars
Los Angeles Explore 345 books about Los Angeles
California Explore 380 books about California