10 books like Edisto

By Padgett Powell,

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

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Dear Edward

By Ann Napolitano,

Book cover of Dear Edward

I am recommending this work of fiction selected by The Compassionate Friends Sibling Grief Book Club. Ann, with grace, handles not only the sibling loss of a brother, a boy the sole survivor of a plane crash, but the depth and breadth of grief from the aunt and uncle Edward lives with. Edward’s aunt grieving the loss of an unborn child and her sister, says to Edward, “You’re not okay. We are not okay. This is not okay.” I’m certain other bereaved siblings can relate, “he mourns what his brother has lost.” I related to how in a family we handle grief differently and often are unable to communicate how we are feeling. 

Dear Edward

By Ann Napolitano,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A transcendent coming-of-age story about the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles: there are 192 people aboard. When the plane suddenly crashes, twelve-year-old Edward Adler is the sole survivor.

In the aftermath, Edward struggles to make sense of his grief, sudden fame and find his place in a world without his family. But then Edward and his neighbour Shay make a startling discovery; hidden in his uncle's garage are letters from the relatives of other passengers - all addressed him.…


Canada

By Richard Ford,

Book cover of Canada

You’re fifteen years old, living unhappily with your feckless parents and unstable older sister in a small town in Montana. And then your family implodes: your parents are arrested for bank robbery and your sister flees to parts unknown. As troubling as the premise is, Canada becomes even darker and more ominous as young Dell Parsons travels alone to Saskatchewan to live with erstwhile family friends, but in fact enters a whole new world of intrigue and violence. Dell is a stoic character, and you desperately want to see his life take a turn for the better. What you get instead is a case study in resiliency and survival. Ford’s prose is powerful; every word counts, every sentence pulls you deeper into the story.

Canada

By Richard Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then the murders, which happened later.

In 1956, Dell Parsons' family came to a stop in Great Falls, Montana, the way many military families did following the war. His father, Bev, was a talkative, plank-shouldered man, an airman from Alabama with an optimistic and easy-scheming nature. Dell and his twin sister, Berner, could easily see why their mother might have been attracted to him. But their mother Neeva - from an educated, immigrant, Jewish family - was shy, artistic and alienated from their father's small-town world of money scrapes and living…


Skippy Dies

By Paul Murray,

Book cover of Skippy Dies

Skippy Dies is nearly 700 pages long, but I wished it had been longer, it was that fun to read. It’s both tragically sad and laugh-out-loud funny—a difficult feat for any writer to pull off, and Irish novelist Paul Murray does so brilliantly. I’m not giving away anything by saying that the protagonist dies—after all, he dies in the book’s title—but I won’t reveal how or the circumstances. Let’s just say that if you are a diminutive, shy, buck-toothed 14-year-old at an all-boys boarding school in Dublin and somehow manage to develop a crush on the girlfriend of an older, drug-dealing, violent bully…well, things can’t turn out good. The cast of characters—the teenagers, the teachers, the school principal—are wonderfully drawn. Murray’s dialogue captures the boasting machismo as well as the angsty insecurities of teenage boyhood. A real gem.

Skippy Dies

By Paul Murray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bestselling and critically acclaimed novel from Paul Murray, Skippy Dies, shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Book Awards, longlisted for the 2010 Booker Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory?

Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy's…


Bruiser

By Ian Chorao,

Book cover of Bruiser

Bruiser is only nine years old, younger than most “coming of age” protagonists, but his anxiety-ridden family life in a Manhattan apartment has aged him. His father is a philanderer who rarely is home and often physically abusive when he is; his mother is a deeply depressed poet. Bruiser spends most of his time running around his Upper West Side neighborhood with a make-shift gang of older boysand has the bruises to show for it, hence his nicknameor hiding at the bottom of the clothes hamper when his parents are going at it. He befriends a 10-year-old girl, Darla, who lives across the courtyard with her drug-addled mother and who convinces him to run away with her. Their journey, which takes them first to West Virginia in search of Darla’s father and eventually to North Carolina, is the book’s magic. Both kids are pre-puberty, so it’s…

Bruiser

By Ian Chorao,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After spending another morning hiding in the clothes hamper eavesdropping on his miserable parents, Bruiser realizes it's time to change his life. It's New York City during the late 1970s, and in the middle of a chilly autumn night he takes to the open road with Darla, a kindred spirit who lives across the alleyway. Their flight from the mounting tensions of home -- an adventure dotted with frightening episodes and surprising revelations -- is a journey in search of liberation and emotional truth.

This is Bruiser's tale in his own words, captured by first-time novelist Ian Chorao with uncanny…


The Secret Life of Bees

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Book cover of The Secret Life of Bees

At the center of The Secret Life of Bees is fourteen-year-old White girl Lily Owens, who is haunted by clouded memories of the afternoon her mother was killed. After her “stand-in mother” confronts racists in their town, they move to Tiburon, South Carolina, where they are taken in by three Black beekeeping sisters. There, Lilly finds a long-needed safe harbor in this mesmerizing novel about a bedrock longing for acceptance and the power, the divinity of the female spirit. Like a lot of kids from wildly dysfunctional Southern families, I ached for inclusion, for a sign that I was going to be okay, just like Lily. I get her—her questions, her struggles, her doubts, and I think you will too.

The Secret Life of Bees

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Secret Life of Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The multi-million bestselling novel about a young girl's journey towards healing and the transforming power of love, from the award-winning author of The Invention of Wings and The Book of Longings

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted Black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina-a town that holds the secret to her mother's…


The Calling

By Cathryn Clinton,

Book cover of The Calling

In 1962 South Carolina, it is not acceptable for a girl to declare she has been called to preach. Especially at the young age of twelve. But Esta Lea Ridley knows she is called to the Lord and she says so. She seems to have the gift of healing too. Some who support her have their own selfish motives. In the end,  we and Esta Lea must figure out what her calling means. This book handles serious matters with a light touch.

The Calling

By Cathryn Clinton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The story of an ardent young heroine's first spiritual journey—told with warmth and humor.

During the annual family reunion and pie competition at Beulah Land Healing and Holiness Church, twelve-year-old Esther Lea Ridley is suddenly drenched by a baptism of fire. She knows just what it means: "Esta Lea," she says to herself, "you are called to the Lord." That day marks the beginning of a healing crusade from church to church, and revival tent to revival tent, in the sleepy backwater towns of South Carolina. Travelling with her boy-crazy sister, Sarah Louise, and her uncle Peter Earl—who has been…


The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Book cover of The Invention of Wings

Sue Monk Kidd’s book, The Invention of Wings, blends fact and fiction in this pre-Civil War story of two young women. I was fascinated by reading chapters that alternated between Sarah Grimke, a historical character, representing South Carolina’s aristocracy and Hetty, called “Handful,” who is given as an enslaved maid to Sarah on her eleventh birthday. Sarah’s conscience won’t allow this division to endure. I loved the memorable scene where the two girls escape through a hatch in the roof to drink tea and tell each other secrets. For me, this image of flight in a shared hope for independence and voice, illustrates the heart of this novel. Organized religion fails both women; instead, spiritual comfort comes for Handful in the story-filled quilt that she attempts to complete.  

The Invention of Wings

By Sue Monk Kidd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees and the forthcoming novel The Book of Longings, a novel about two unforgettable American women.

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something…


Chasing Freedom

By Gloria Ann Wesley,

Book cover of Chasing Freedom

After the American Civil War, the British promised freedom and land to the slaves in the British Colonies in exchange for their loyalty. Sadly, their new home turned out to be anything but a place of refuge when they found just as much hate and cruelty on this side of the border. Can Sarah and her family persevere and truly find freedom against the odds? The book is an easy read and an interesting lesson on this part of Canadian history.

Chasing Freedom

By Gloria Ann Wesley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Young Adult Historical Fiction

A story of the struggle of Black Loyalists and their arrival in Nova Scotia.

NEW: Teaching Guide Available Here

Shortlisted for The Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature.

The American Revolutionary War is being waged, and the fate of slaves in the colonies is on the line. Sarah Redmond, a slave on a South Carolina plantation, watches with a heavy heart as her father steals away in the dead of the night to join the British army, enticed by promises of freedom, land and provisions for his whole family. But before her father can return,…


The Parker Inheritance

By Varian Johnson,

Book cover of The Parker Inheritance

AKA the book I wish I’d written. but I’m not a colored boy from the 1910s nor a 1940s Negro tennis player nor a contemporary Black girl.

Varian Johnson has so expertly woven rich heritage and unique characters in these three time periods that this book is a master class in writing. More than that, it’s a compelling story that centers on a girl who temporarily moves to her late grandmother’s house, where she finds a letter revealing the first clue to a puzzle, one that may lead to a fortune. The excitement of the plot, a page-turning mystery, also showcases a remarkable depth of culture that has brought me a greater understanding of the Black South then and now.

The Parker Inheritance

By Varian Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina,
she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother,
who left the town in shame. But the letter describes
a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery
enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who
solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she
begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep
into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and
one great love; and deeper into…


Beautiful Creatures

By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl,

Book cover of Beautiful Creatures

A contemporary storyline mixed with historical details give book one in this four-book, gothic fantasy series a rich backdrop for family conflict on an unexpectedly dark scale as the main character, Lena, faces a cursed countdown to her 16th birthday. The movie version of this book is good, but as often is the case, the book is better. Stellar writing, plotting and a believable, swoon-worthy, and fated romance combined with an intriguing cast of characters make this book one of my favorites for coming-of-age magical stories. 

Beautiful Creatures

By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book in the instant New York Times bestselling gothic fantasy series; a modern paranormal romance set against the gothic backdrop of an isolated southern town.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in South Carolina, bildungsroman, and coming of age?

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