10 books like Dear Librarian

By Lydia M. Sigwarth, Romina Galotta (illustrator),

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

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Planting Stories

By Anika Aldamuy Denise, Paola Escobar (illustrator),

Book cover of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

In this story about Pura Belpre, the Puerto Rican librarian, we learn about her journey of planting story seeds throughout the country. It all starts when she moves to the United States. Working as a bilingual librarian assistant, she notices there are no Puerto Rican stories. So, she writes her own and plants also dream seeds. This is a sparse, lyrical book with vivid and sweet illustrations. 

Planting Stories

By Anika Aldamuy Denise, Paola Escobar (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FOLLOW LA VIDA Y EL LEGADO OF PURA BELPRE, THE FIRST PUERTO RICAN LIBRARIAN IN NEW YORK CITY

When she came to America in 1921, Pura carried the cuentos folkloricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura's legacy.

This portrait of the influential librarian, author, and puppeteer reminds us of the…


Waiting for the Biblioburro

By Monica Brown, John Parra (illustrator),

Book cover of Waiting for the Biblioburro

As a book-loving child who grew up poor in rural Utah and who eagerly awaited the bi-monthly visit of the bookmobile to our little farming community, Waiting for the Biblioburro sings to me. Set in the mountains of Colombia and inspired by the mission of real-life teacher and librarian Luis Soriano, Waiting for the Biblioburro tells the story of little Ana who looks forward with great anticipation to the arrival of Luis and his two burros, Alfa and Beto, who carry books to her little mountain village. The colorful folk-artsy illustrations by John Parra perfectly bring to life Brown’s story.

According to the author’s note: “This book is a celebration of Luis and all the teachers and librarians who bring books to children everywhere—across deserts, fields, mountains, and water.” 

Waiting for the Biblioburro

By Monica Brown, John Parra (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Waiting for the Biblioburro as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ana loves stories. She often makes them up to help her little brother fall asleep. But in her small village there are only a few books and she has read them all. One morning, Ana wakes up to the clip-clop of hooves, and there before her, is the most wonderful sight: a traveling library resting on the backs of two burros‑all the books a little girl could dream of, with enough stories to encourage her to create one of her own.
 
Inspired by the heroic efforts of real-life librarian Luis Soriano, award-winning picture book creators Monica Brown and John Parra…


The Lady with the Books

By Kathy Stinson, Marie LaFrance (illustrator),

Book cover of The Lady with the Books: A Story Inspired by the Remarkable Work of Jella Lepman

In the dark era of post-World War II Germany, journalist, author, and translator Jella Lepman organized a traveling exhibit of over 2,000 books from 14 countries. The Lady with the Books is a fictionalized account of Lepman’s project, told through the eyes of siblings Annelise and Peter, who enter the exhibit hoping to find food and discover something even more sustaining—books, and the hope of better days to come.

The Lady with the Books

By Kathy Stinson, Marie LaFrance (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lady with the Books as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by true events, a fictionalized retelling of how one woman brought a world of books to children in Germany after World War II, and changed their lives forever. Anneliese and Peter will never be the same after the war that took their father's life. One day, while wandering the ruined streets of Munich, the children follow a line of people entering a building, thinking there may be free food inside. Instead, they are delighted to discover a great hall filled with children's books --- more books than Anneliese can count. Here, they meet the lady with the books, who…


The Library Bus

By Bahram Rahman, Gabrielle Grimard (illustrator),

Book cover of The Library Bus

The Library Bus offers a glimpse into the importance of mobile libraries, showing how one bus run by a mother and daughter delivers books, school supplies, and lessons to other young girls in Afghanistan. Told of the course of one day, with the bus leaving Kabul in the very early morning and ending at bedtime, the story explains the restrictions women and girls faced under Taliban rule in a clear and age-appropriate way.

The Library Bus

By Bahram Rahman, Gabrielle Grimard (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Author Bahram Rahman grew up in Afghanistan during years of civil war and the restrictive Taliban regime of 1996-2001. He wrote The Library Bus to tell new generations about the struggles of women who, like his own sister, were forbidden to learn.

It is still dark in Kabul, Afghanistan when the library bus rumbles out of the city. There are no bus seats-instead there are chairs and tables and shelves of books. And there are no passengers-instead there is Pari, who is nervously starting her first day as Mama's library helper. Pari stands tall to hand out notebooks and pencils…


The Efficient, Inventive (Often Annoying) Melvil Dewey

By Alexis O'Neill, Edwin Fotheringham (illustrator),

Book cover of The Efficient, Inventive (Often Annoying) Melvil Dewey

All those numbers on the spines of library books? This book tells the story of the man who invented the first widely-used library cataloguing system: Melvil Dewey. Sometimes biographies gloss over difficult personalities, but this one doesn’t pretend Dewey was always admirable. Instead, it suggests that his bull-headedness might have been part of the reason his decimal cataloguing system was ultimately adopted. And Fotheringham manages to make a book about books lively and fun in the illustrations.

The Efficient, Inventive (Often Annoying) Melvil Dewey

By Alexis O'Neill, Edwin Fotheringham (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Efficient, Inventive (Often Annoying) Melvil Dewey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year

Who was Melvil Dewey? Learn how Dewey's love of organization and words drove him to develop and implement his Dewey Decimal system, leaving a significant and lasting impact in libraries across the country.

When Melvil Dewey realized every library organized their books differently, he wondered if he could invent a system all libraries could use to organize them efficiently. A rat-a-tat speaker, Melvil was a persistent (and noisy) advocate for free public libraries. And while he made enemies along the way as he pushed for changes-like his battle to establish…


The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

By Joshua Hammer,

Book cover of The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts

I have to admit that it’s the title that drew me to this book in the first place. As a retired English teacher, the word Librarians intrigued me. A true story, The Bad-Ass Librarians opened up a whole new world of manuscripts over 500 years that I never knew existed! The courage of the preservers of these works surprised and humbled me. But, it is also a historical history of smugglers and the heroic actions of the dedicated people of Timbuktu to preserve their heritage even if it meant their death. You won’t be able to put this down.

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

By Joshua Hammer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world's patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door.
Joshua Hammer writes about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world's greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction.…


The Strange Library

By Haruki Murakami, Ted Goossen (translator),

Book cover of The Strange Library

Murakami's world is magic realist by default. It's often infused with American pop culture, jazz, secret passageways, and curious cats. The Strange Library is a perfect introduction to the author's world and it makes a nice gift. The book is adorned with pop illustrations and highly saturated colors. In this short novel a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep/man plot their escape from a nightmarish library. I have read the author's 1Q84 opus of 1,000 pages but it is his short works -- his short stories and novellas -- that have stayed with me the most.

The Strange Library

By Haruki Murakami, Ted Goossen (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fully illustrated and beautifully designed, this is a unique and wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight Murakami fans.

'All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'.

On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake.

Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only…


Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery Book 1)

By Allison Brook,

Book cover of Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery Book 1)

I liked the unique addition of a library ghost in this book. The main character, Carrie Singleton, is hired as a program director in the small town of Clover Ridge, Connecticut. During her first event at the library, she witnesses a murder and is later aided by the library ghost in discovering the killer. I enjoyed the mystery, the characters, and, as a cat lover, I also loved Smoky Joe, the library cat who “adopts” Carrie and also helps her. Great start to a fun, paranormal cozy series.

Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery Book 1)

By Allison Brook,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery Book 1) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Miranda James and Jenn McKinlay comes an enthralling series debut featuring a librarian who solves mysteries with the help of a ghost in the stacks

Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she's offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites…


Ronan the Librarian

By Tara Luebbe, Becky Cattie, Victoria Maderna (illustrator)

Book cover of Ronan the Librarian

The first thing that attracted me to this book is the terrific title – and the cover illustration. My kids and I enjoyed the humor, adventure, and unexpected twists in this entertaining tale about a barbarian clan that finds a treasure box of books. I’m not sure what made the kids giggle more – the fact that barbarians make terribly odd library patrons, or the little flyers and other details in the illustrations. (Definitely don’t miss reading the little flyers in the illustrations!)

Ronan the Librarian

By Tara Luebbe, Becky Cattie, Victoria Maderna (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This humorous picture book from sister duo Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie and illustrator Victoria Maderna follows Ronan the Barbarian as he he grows from being just a rough-and-tumble warrior to Ronan the Librarian--a rough-and-tumble warrior who loves books.

Ronan was a mighty barbarian.
He invaded. He raided. And back home, he traded.
He always found the greatest treasures.
Until one day, Ronan found something no barbarian wants:
A BOOK.

At first, his fellow barbarians are skeptical of his newfound passion for reading, but in the end, even they aren't immune to the charms of a good book.


Checked Out

By Elizabeth Spann Craig,

Book cover of Checked Out: The Village Library Mysteries Book 1

Like most cozies, the first book of the Village Library Mysteries takes place in a small town, Whitby, North Carolina. The main character, Ann Beckett, like me, is a reference librarian. When a patron sets her up with a blind date and the mystery man turns up dead, Ann steps up to help solve the murder with the help of a few patrons. I loved and related to the library setting and the situations in which Ann found herself and also really enjoyed the addition of Fitz, the rescued library cat. I consider this a purrfect start to the series.

Checked Out

By Elizabeth Spann Craig,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There are no renewals when you’re permanently checked out.

When librarian Ann Beckett finally reluctantly agrees to being set-up on a blind date by one of her over-eager patrons, she figures the worst that could happen would be the two of them wouldn’t hit it off.

Little did she know that she’d be stood up...because her date was murdered.

With help from her patrons, Ann tries to find out who might be responsible in the small town of Whitby before more residents are permanently checked out.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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