100 books like Counting by 7s

By Holly Goldberg Sloan,

Here are 100 books that Counting by 7s fans have personally recommended if you like Counting by 7s. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Anne of Green Gables

By L.M. Montgomery,

Book cover of Anne of Green Gables

Bruce Bishop Author Of Unconventional Daughters: An Engrossing Family Saga on Two Continents

From the list on Nova Scotia, Canada.

Who am I?

I developed a love for James A. Michener’s sweeping novels as a young man, which coincided with an early stage of my career as a travel journalist. I was fortunate to find myself in places all over the globe that he had written about, and these countries were somehow made more vivid to me because of his words. It wasn’t until the onset of Covid-19 in 2020 that I switched from writing non-fiction to fiction. In doing so, I realized that the small part of the world in which I had been born and raised – Nova Scotia, Canadawas as fascinating and interesting as any place I had visited. 

Bruce's book list on Nova Scotia, Canada

Why did Bruce love this book?

I’m convinced that many young readers in the last century (and this one) have been compelled to become writers themselves if they read Anne of Green Gables (published in 1908) and became enmeshed in the life of spunky, red-haired orphan, Anne Shirley.

The story takes place in Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, and recounts the tale of a child who is mistakenly placed in the care of a pair of middle-aged siblings on their farm.

While I became addicted to reading every Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew novel when I was young, Anne of Green Gables was a book special to my heart because it was set in the same part of the world in which I was born.

By L.M. Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Anne of Green Gables as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anne of Green Gables is the classic children's book by L M Montgomery, the inspiration for the Netflix Original series Anne with an E. Watch it now!

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are in for a big surprise. They are waiting for an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables - but a skinny, red-haired girl turns up instead. Feisty and full of spirit, Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts' affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter. It's not long before Anne finds herself in trouble, but soon it becomes impossible for the Cuthberts to…

Esperanza Rising

By Pam Muñoz Ryan,

Book cover of Esperanza Rising

Nancy Blodgett Klein Author Of Torn Between Worlds: A Mexican Immigrant’s Journey to Find Herself

From the list on young people overcoming obstacles to survive.

Who am I?

I pride myself on my independence and sense of adventure. I started traveling the world with my family when I was 3 and I haven’t stopped since. When you travel, you have to cope with new situations on a daily basis and navigate different obstacles to meet your needs. An interest in adventure and how people cope with new situations are the biggest reasons why I have a passion for books dealing with overcoming obstacles. Before I retired to Spain, I was a teacher of students between 10 and 15 years old. I chose two of the books I recommended to read to my students when I was a teacher. 

Nancy's book list on young people overcoming obstacles to survive

Why did Nancy love this book?

This is a great book about a young girl named Esperanza living a good life on a ranch in Mexico when she and her mother are forced to leave the country after family tragedy strikes. They go to the US during the Great Depression and have serious financial problems that they never had to deal with before. When she lived in Mexico, they had servants to do everything for them, so living in poverty in the US is a major adjustment. She doesn’t even know how to use a broom! This kind of detail makes for an interesting saga about a young lady overcoming obstacles to survive. 

By Pam Muñoz Ryan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Esperanza Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Esperanza Rising joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

Esperanza thought she'd always live a privileged life on her family's ranch in Mexico. She'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike…


By R.J. Palacio,

Book cover of Wonder

Samantha Caprio-Negret Author Of Rainbow Crystal

From the list on children’s fantasy with friendship, magic, and adventure.

Who am I?

I have an expertise for middle-grade and fantasy because I’ve been writing in those genres for over fifteen years. However, it’s my passion for that age group and theme that has me writing for them to begin with. I feel that the age group of about nine to thirteen is just such a magical, free time. They’re not too young to get it yet, but not old enough to have been tainted either. They’re in that beautiful state of curiosity, play, adventure, exploring where they fit in. Just the fact that there’s still this possibility of magic, then there’s hope. And with hope, there’s still a possibility of magic.

Samantha's book list on children’s fantasy with friendship, magic, and adventure

Why did Samantha love this book?

Just an overall, very well-written middle-grade story about a family and a boy who’s different.

He has a special condition that makes him look and learn differently. He would be considered to have special needs in society. But in this story his family and extra love of his mother makes him feel like he is no different than anyone else, and he has his own unique abilities where he stands out. They help him to discover that about himself.

Ironically, through his own unique abilities and talents, he ends up inspiring so many others around him. His disabilities are in fact his super-abilities. I love books with special needs characters. All my books have a special or disabled character in them.

I grew up with a mentally challenged sister and my son is autistic. Special individuals to me are a huge part of my life!

By R.J. Palacio,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Wonder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Has the power to move hearts and change minds' Guardian

'Tremendously uplifting and a novel of all-too-rare power' Sunday Express

'An amazing book . . . I absolutely loved it. I cried my eyes out' Tom Fletcher

Read the award-winning, multi-million copy bestselling phenomenon that is WONDER in this new tenth anniversary edition.

'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other…

When You Reach Me

By Rebecca Stead,

Book cover of When You Reach Me

Jennie Yabroff Author Of If You Were Here

From the 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

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.

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…

To Night Owl from Dogfish

By Holly Goldberg Sloan, Meg Wolitzer,

Book cover of To Night Owl from Dogfish

Danielle Svetcov Author Of Parked

From the list on for a 5th-grade book group.

Who am I?

In addition to being an author of MG fiction, I run two book groups for kids, which means I spend lots of time in libraries, communing with kids’ librarians, placing wagers on which books will win the Newbery, so that I can pass along great books to my groups. While there are all kinds of terrific MG books out there, I find that boisterous group meetings require something special – i.e. books with a controversial idea or character or act that merits debate/discussion. I remember when we read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler -- one girl just could not get past the idea that two kids left home without telling their parents. I love that sort of passionate objection!

Danielle's book list on for a 5th-grade book group

Why did Danielle love this book?

An entire book group of girls decided to try sleep-away camp after reading this hilarious title. Constructed entirely of emails between anxious Avery Bloom (NYC) and gonzo Bett Devlin (Los Angeles), it’s about an unlikely friendship that is aided-and-abetted by the existence of the Internet and summer camp…and theatre…and love-at-first-sight…and unvarnished truth.

By Holly Goldberg Sloan, Meg Wolitzer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked To Night Owl from Dogfish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Avery (Night Owl) is bookish, intense, likes to plan ahead, and is afraid of many things. Bett (Dogfish) is fearless, outgoing, and lives in the moment. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and their dads are dating each other.

Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same camp for the summer vacation. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends - and possibly, one day, even sisters.…

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

By Elizabeth George Speare,

Book cover of The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Mary Kendall Author Of The Spinster's Fortune

From the list on vintage gothic suspense by iconic authors.

Who am I?

Sometimes I have to take a trip back to my reading "roots": gothic mystery and suspense. This list is a deep dive into some of my very favorite vintage gothic authors and ones that I consider to be icons of the genre. These writers formed the foundation not only for my reading tastes but also for who I have become as a writer. The memories of my younger self come flooding back when I revisit these authors and their works as I have done with this list. Some of these novels are hard to come by now but, in my opinion, the older and more beat-up paperback, the better. 

Mary's book list on vintage gothic suspense by iconic authors

Why did Mary love this book?

I adored this book as a kid and decided to pick it up and re-read as an adult. I was not disappointed.

I loved it all over again and also gave myself a little pat on the back for having good book taste at a young age.

The witchcraft trial era of early colonial history in the US is so well crafted here with the accuracy of the historical details blended into the evocative setting.

Published in 1958 and a Newberry Medal winner in 1959, it is young adult but I think non-YA readers could easily enjoy it as a compelling variation of the genre.

Sad to admit that I had forgotten a lot of the plot and details. But happy to say, I have benefited from the reread now.

By Elizabeth George Speare,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Witch of Blackbird Pond as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, a girl faces prejudice and accusations of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Connecticut. A classic of historical fiction that continues to resonate across the generations.

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met.

Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when…

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

By Brigid Kemmerer,

Book cover of A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Melissa Marr Author Of The Hidden Dragon

From the list on if you want to go on a magical adventure.

Who am I?

I grew up on fairy tales and folklore in the Appalachian Mountains. Stories of adventure and dusty fairy tale books in my grandmother’s attic were my entertainment. The library trips we took “into town” added to my reading. I discovered that the step from fairy tales to classics wasn’t as wide as folks argue. Years later, when I went off to college, I became an English major, then a graduate student, and then started teaching literature at college. From childhood to adulthood, magic and fiction were my life... which led to selling a book of my own. Over the last 17 years, I’ve been writing fantasy.

Melissa's book list on if you want to go on a magical adventure

Why did Melissa love this book?

I had stopped reading children’s and teen fiction for a couple of years, for the first time in my half a century of life, and then I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

There’s a different sort of adventure here, and I think I related to Harper a little bit extra because I have a chronic illness and when it flares up, my limp is so very obvious. It felt good to see magic + that realism.

The combination of magic, a protagonist I could connect to, and fairy tale elements made me start opening the covers of other books I’d bought and shelved.

By Brigid Kemmerer,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked A Curse So Dark and Lonely as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller! "Has everything you'd want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale." - Jodi Picoult In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer. Fall in love, break the curse. It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the…

Book cover of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

Taylor Tyng Author Of Clara Poole and the Long Way Round

From the list on middle grade series to laugh out-loud.

Who am I?

While one-off stories are fantastic, I love that children's series lets readers return to trusted characters. Series allow children to see a wider arc of character development and decision-making—often imperfect and in transition—when they are trying to figure out how to identify and connect with the world themselves. That shared experience over time is why I only write series myself—to let kids evolve alongside their favorite characters.

Taylor's book list on middle grade series to laugh out-loud

Why did Taylor love this book?

So I'll admit, this book isn't a series. I only include it here because it should be, and apparently, Dan Gemeinhart is working on a sequel! We need more Coyote!

I have never seen anyone with this book that wasn't laughing or crying—or laugh-crying. I do not doubt that Coyote's odyssey with her father Rodeo and the many misfits they encounter along the way will become one of your favorite books. Plus, Gladys, the goat, could carry her own series by herself!

By Dan Gemeinhart,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five years. That's how long twelve-year-old Coyote and her dad, River, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters.

Coyote hasn't been home since, but when she learns that the park in her old neighbourhood is being demolished - the very same park where she, her mum, and her sisters buried a memory box - she devises a plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state.

On the way, they'll pick up an eclectic group of folks. Lester…

Many Points of Me

By Caroline Gertler,

Book cover of Many Points of Me

Linda Oatman High Author Of One Amazing Elephant

From the list on children’s books about grief and not facing it alone.

Who am I?

I have passion for the topic of grief among middle-school-aged children, as I struggled with my grief when I was ten and my beloved grandmother died. My dad came from a very large family, and so other relatives passed during my childhood, with me always dealing with feelings of confusion after the loss. I think that children need to know that they are not alone when they are facing a loss, whether it be of a human or a pet.

Linda's book list on children’s books about grief and not facing it alone

Why did Linda love this book?

Another middle-grade novel that includes a journey in a search for meaning after grief, Caroline Gertler’s book is also about the beauty of self-discovery. In a search for her father (and his artwork) the main character Georgia finally finds herself...as well as healing, hope, and family. In the end, Georgia learns that “home” is where she belongs, with the people who love her no matter what. A story not only about grief but about unconditional love, Gertler’s novel is a lovely one for those wondering about a lost parent.

By Caroline Gertler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Many Points of Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Sensitive and thoughtful—a story about loss, friendship, and the beauty of self-discovery.”—Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal–winning author of When You Reach Me

When Georgia finds a secret sketch her late father—a famed artist—left behind, the discovery leads her down a path that may reshape everything holding her family and friends together. Caroline Gertler’s debut is a story about friendship, family, grief, and creativity. Fans of Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger, Dan Gemeinhart’s The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will find a new friend in Georgia.

Georgia Rosenbloom’s father was…

Nooks & Crannies

By Jessica Lawson, Natalie Andrewson (illustrator),

Book cover of Nooks & Crannies

Courtney King Walker Author Of Molly Pepper & the Night Train

From the 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

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.

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…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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