10 books like Darius the Great Deserves Better

By Adib Khorram,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Darius the Great Deserves Better. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Giver

By Lois Lowry,

Book cover of The Giver

The Giver is close to my heart, as it played a huge role in my development as an author and was one of the first book recommendations my mother gave me. This novel shows you what it could take for humanity to reach perfection, and makes you question whether perfection is something really worth reaching for. It also introduced me to the wonderful dystopian genre, and showed me that literature is much more than entertainment: it’s a whole world of important messages that the world needs to hear.

The Giver

By Lois Lowry,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked The Giver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE GIVER is soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift.

Now available for the first time in the UK, THE GIVER QUARTET is the complete four-novel collection.

THE GIVER: It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders.

Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is…


All the Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven,

Book cover of All the Bright Places

For me, All the Bright Places accurately represents the joys and sorrows of life. This book is so full of depth, heart, and incredible characters, when I read it, I forgot it was a book. I was excited for every chapter when Finch and Violet would take me on their adventure. These characters are relatable and true to life. Even if you’ve never been through the situations they have, you can imagine them as kids in your neighborhood, workplace, or school. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking book that I will reread every year and always experience the excitement.

All the Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked All the Bright Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major film starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith on Netflix.

A compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.

Theodore Finch constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself, but each time something good stops him.

Violet Markey exists for the future, counting the days until she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief for her late sister.

When they meet on the ledge of a tower, what might have been their end turns into their beginning.

It's only with Violet that Finch can truly be…


Darius the Great Is Not Okay

By Adib Khorram,

Book cover of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

On the surface, I don’t have much in common with Darius or Khorram. Both are male, Persian, and gay. I’m none of those thingsand haven’t experienced clinical depression personallyyet I felt Darius’ sadness, longing, and social awkwardness in my bones—and heart. His story was one of tremendous tenderness that had me rooting for him from page one. Khorram does a brilliant job with highlighting the subtleties of depression and feeling lost without ever resorting to cliches or forced histrionics. 

Darius the Great Is Not Okay

By Adib Khorram,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Darius the Great Is Not Okay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's a Fractional Persian - half, his mum's side - and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life. Darius has never really fit in at home, and he's sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn't exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they're spending their days together, playing soccer, eating…


The Dangerous Art of Blending In

By Angelo Surmelis,

Book cover of The Dangerous Art of Blending In

The Dangerous Art of Blending In is about Evan, who is trying to figure out his place in the world. He has a strict (read: abusive) Greek immigrant mother, a father who works works works, and he is struggling with his sexuality and the boy he kissed over the summer. Evan’s been silent about so much all this time, that it’s now time for him to find and use his voice. And he does so in such a beautiful and inspiring way. This book will make you feel so many things. 

The Dangerous Art of Blending In

By Angelo Surmelis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dangerous Art of Blending In as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

~Lambda Literary Award finalist for the best LGBT YA novel of 2018~

A raw, powerful, but ultimately uplifting debut novel perfect for fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe from debut author Angelo Surmelis.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict immigrant Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend, Henry, has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared—Evan finds that his only escape is to draw in…


Youth to Power

By Jamie Margolin,

Book cover of Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It

Ignore the word “youth” in the title, because this is not just a book for kids and teens! Jamie is a young, queer activist who has achieved some impressive activism victories at a young age, but best of all, she combines real activist know-how with a sense of hope and optimism that’s hard to find in older activists. This book is an excellent guide to getting involved and staying involved anywhere from the local level up to a global scale. This is a must-read for people who are fired up to take action but don’t know where to start.

Youth to Power

By Jamie Margolin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The 1963 Children's March in Birmingham, Alabama. Tiananmen Square, 1989. The 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protests. March for Our Lives, and School Strike for Climate. What do all these social justice movements have in common? They were led by passionate, informed, engaged young people. Jamie Margolin has been organizing and protesting since she was fourteen years old. Now the co-leader of a global climate action movement, she knows better than most how powerful a young person can be. You don't have to be able to vote or hold positions of power to change the world.

In Youth to Power, Jamie…


Fighting Invisible Tigers

By Earl Hipp,

Book cover of Fighting Invisible Tigers: Stress Management for Teens

I really like the title of this book because it captures why your brain reacts as it does to fear, anxiety, and stress. Because of the fight-or-flight reaction in response to danger, your brain revs your body up to get ready to fight a tiger or run away. But that reaction doesn’t help when your stress is about taking a test, introducing yourself to someone, or handling a rough situation at home. It’s like your brain is reacting to invisible tigers chasing you. Self-care for “tiger bites” is a fun way to think about ways to reduce the impact of stressful situations.

Fighting Invisible Tigers

By Earl Hipp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fresh edition of a popular title offers teens straightforward advice on stress management, anxiety reduction, and digital well-being. Untempered stress among teens is approaching epidemic status. Prolonged and intense anxiety can feel like being stalked by a tiger, never knowing when it will strike. Helping adolescents cope with day-to-day stressors like school, friendships, family, and social media can help curb impulsivity and other risky behaviors. Now in its fourth edition, the revised and updated Fighting Invisible Tigers teaches teens proven techniques and stress management skills to face the rigors of growing up. Packed with useful information on how stress affects…


Fighting for the Rain Forest

By Paul Richards,

Book cover of Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone

African civil wars are not about ethnicity, diamonds, or foreign aid. They are genuine political conflicts about how society is to be organized, created by grievances and political marginalization and also deeply embedded in local cultures. As such, they stem from the same roots as the English Civil War of the 1640s or the American Revolutionary War of the 1770s-1780s. This is all revealed in this brilliant book on the Sierra Leone civil war.

Fighting for the Rain Forest

By Paul Richards,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fighting for the Rain Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do small wars in Africa manifest a 'new barbarism'?
What appears as random, anarchic violence is no such thing. The terrifying military methods of of Sierra Leone's soldiers may not fir conventional western models of warfare,but they are rational and effective nonetheless. The war must be understood partly as a 'performance', in which techniques of terror compensate for lack of equipment.

PAUL RICHARDS is Professor of Technology and Agrarian Development, Wageningen University

Published in association with the International African Institute


Edinburgh

By Alexander Chee,

Book cover of Edinburgh

I’m a huge fan of Alexander Chee’s writing across the board, and it was a toss-up between this and his revelatory book of essays, How To Write An Autobiographical Novel. But Edinburgh is the first novel of his I’d ever read. The craft of it is impeccable. The sentences are sharply honed, beautifully built. Under that craft is a chasm of loneliness, the story of someone seeking to find their footing in a world destabilized by past trauma and current shame, and the ways in which intimacy can rescue us from ourselves – briefly – while never quite transforming the core of who we are. I’ve read this book a few times, each time in a different city. And each time, the book reminded me gently: wherever you go, you are still who you are. It’s up to you to decide to what extent your history will define you.

Edinburgh

By Alexander Chee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A poignant work of mature, haunting artistry, Edinburgh heralds the arrival of a remarkable young writer. Fee, a Korean-American child growing up in Maine, is gifted with a beautiful soprano voice and sings in a professional boys' choir. When the choir director acts out his paedophilic urges on the boys in the choir, Fee is unable to save himself, his first love, Peter, or his friends.


Talking Texts

By Lesley Roessing,

Book cover of Talking Texts: A Teachers' Guide to Book Clubs across the Curriculum

Nothing brings a classroom alive like an engaged and enthusiastic teacher! The best ones know how to guide their students into the heart of a text to make discoveries and connections on their own. I have done hundreds of school visits (virtual and in-person), and I love watching kids beam with pride as they reveal something they’ve learned from reading my book or come to a revelation through our chat. 

Lesley Roessing’s book is not a work of fiction – but it’s an invaluable tool to help teachers guide young readers through the books on this list. The final section of the book is a sample 9/11 book club using all the books on my list (and many more). Any teacher drawn to this list would be well-served by Lesley’s insightful lesson plans.

Talking Texts

By Lesley Roessing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Talking Texts is a guide for teachers to the steps and strategies of implementing text clubs in many forms- fiction and nonfiction book clubs, textbook clubs, article clubs, and even poetry clubs-in the classroom. All strategies presented are applicable to any discipline so that text clubs can be employed across the curriculum in any grade level.


Requiem for a German Past

By Jurgen Herbst,

Book cover of Requiem for a German Past: A Boyhood among the Nazis

Requiem for a German Past: A Boyhood Among the Nazis offers a nuanced glimpse of what it was like to grow up in Germany from 1928 to 1948. Author Jurgen Herbst joined the Hitler Youth or Jungvolk and became a leader because he supported a mythic German past. But the more involved he became as the war wore on, the more he understood and was deeply troubled by the nefarious basis of the National Socialist regime. His descriptions of how fascism slowly overcame a democratic country are particularly chilling. Captured at the end of the war by American forces, Herbst would learn even more of the horrors that had taken place in Nazi Germany, horrors that forced him to leave his home country for the US, pledging never to return.

Requiem for a German Past

By Jurgen Herbst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Requiem for a German Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jurgen Herbst's account of growing up in Nazi Germany from 1928 to 1948 is a boy's experience of anti-Semitism and militarism from the inside. His father was a loving parent, a scholar, a man of principle - and a German officer. Herbst was a middle-class boy in a Lutheran family that saw value in Prussian military ideals and a mythic German past. His is a tale of moral awakening. He recalls his confusion as some of his classmates are no longer welcome at his school, and his consternation as he tries to reconcile what he learned from his favourite teachers…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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