78 books like Frindle

By Andrew Clements,

Here are 78 books that Frindle fans have personally recommended if you like Frindle. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

Brandon Todd Author Of Bright Star: An Acorn Book

From my list on finding adventure in your backyard.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family and I moved to a new neighborhood a few years ago and for the first time we discovered what a community can feel like. We feel connected to a diverse group of people. We explore our park and surrounding streets, regularly supporting local shops and frequently bumping into our neighbors and other familiar faces. It’s given us a sense of place. All these books, as well as The Adventure Friends series, encourages this sense of wonder for your local community. You don’t have to go to far off lands to find adventure. Often, it’s right in your backyard!

Brandon's book list on finding adventure in your backyard

Brandon Todd Why did Brandon love this book?

All a kid needs for an adventure is a tool and the tool Sam and Dave have is a shovel.

I personally spent multiple recesses trying to dig a hole to the other side of the world or underground cave so this took me right back to that time. The words and pictures are in perfect balance with each other and each page turn reveals new and fun surprises, all the way to the very end!

This is a book that celebrates kids being kids and highlights the optimism and perseverance they have. Barnett and Klassen are probably also my favorite duo making books today.

By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sam & Dave Dig a Hole 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?

With perfect pacing, the multiple award-winning, best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen dig down for a deadpan tale full of visual humour.

From the award-winning team behind Extra Yarn, and illustrated by Jon Klassen, the Kate Greenaway-winning creator of This Is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back, comes a perfectly paced, deadpan tale full of visual humour. Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find ... nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all.…

Book cover of Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Travis Nichols Author Of A Witch's Last Resort

From my list on friendly freaks, monsters, and cryptids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong monster fiend. I love horror and sci-fi, and I especially love stories that really dig into characters and how they smash into each other. My favorite scary books (and movies, etc.) are funny, and my favorite funny books are kinda scary. It can be super healing and empowering to read books about terrible things that are handled with a heaping scoop of empathy and humor and absurdity.

Travis' book list on friendly freaks, monsters, and cryptids

Travis Nichols Why did Travis love this book?

What can I say? It’s the goated friendly freaks book.

This collection of super short connected stories stars one kid per tale. The kids are weird and wild, and something that has really stuck with me my whole life is that some of the kids are rotten and stay rotten. Not everyone needs to grow and change in 120 pages.

Let a character stink. Let a kid be a wet rat. Let a nasty teacher be eaten. Anyway, there’s this incredible way that the author employs a third-person limited POV that gets me every time, even on the hundredth read.

A few illustrators have graced the pages of this all-time favorite. I grew up reading an edition illustrated by the amazing Julie Brinkloe. I also have a copy illustrated by Adam McCauley, which I also really love.

By Louis Sachar, Tim Heitz (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Sideways Stories from Wayside School as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

There has been a terrible mistake. Instead of having thirty classrooms side by side, Wayside School is thirty storeys high! (The builder said he was sorry.) Perhaps that's why all sorts of strange and unusual things keep happening - especially in Mrs Jewls's classroom on the very top floor.

There's the terrifying Mrs Gorf, who gets an unusually fruity comeuppance; Terrible Todd, who always gets sent home early; and Mauricia, who has a strange ice-cream addiction. Meanwhile, John can only read upside down, and Leslie is determined to sell her own toes.

From top to bottom, Wayside is packed with…

Book cover of The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Chris Harris Author Of My Head Has a Bellyache: And More Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

From my list on kids and grown-ups will laugh, gasp, and grin at.

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading with your kid can be a delight, but it’s tough to find a book that both grown-up and child think is hysterical. I mean, I tried reading Catch-22 to my three-year-old, but for some reason the incisive social commentary just didn’t resonate with her. My kids and I both let out genuine chuckles and guffaws while reading all of these books—an experience that I treasured. These books are all giggly, snickery proof that you don’t have to dumb things down to appeal to a wide age range—a goal that I aim for myself in the children’s books and TV shows that I write. 

Chris' book list on kids and grown-ups will laugh, gasp, and grin at

Chris Harris Why did Chris love this book?

This is the book that made my kids’ heads explode (not literally—this book is perfectly safe (as far as I know)) as it helped them discover the idea of parody: taking something familiar and twisting it in a funny, unexpected way.

We rolled and lol’ed together as we read Jon’s wild, hysterical takes on old fairy tales. The non-twist twist ending to his take on the ugly duckling story is still a running joke in our family. Jon’s The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and The Real Dada Mother Goose are also great for the same reason.

By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The entire book, with its unconventional page arrangement and eclectic, frenetic mix of text and pictures, is a spoof on the art of book design and the art of the fairy tale. The individual tales, such as The Really Ugly Duckling and Little Red Running Shorts, can be extracted for telling aloud, with great success. Another masterpiece from the team that created The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!
-Horn Book

Book cover of I Can Only Draw Worms

Kyle Scheele Author Of A Pizza with Everything on It

From my list on for goofy kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a goofball. When I was a kid, I was constantly getting in trouble for making my friends laugh in the back of the room. But then I would get out of trouble by making the teacher or the principal laugh. Humor and absurdity have always had a special place in my heart, and I love books like these that encourage us to not take ourselves quite so seriously!

Kyle's book list on for goofy kids

Kyle Scheele Why did Kyle love this book?

This book is such a fun example of taking something that could be seen as a limitation (for instance, the fact that you can only draw worms) and turning it into something more. The book is narrated by the author/illustrator, who explains that he can only draw worms. 

He then introduces a cast of worms and tells us about their various adventures. But whenever he describes something non-worm-like (Worm Six is riding on a flying unicorn!) he quickly reminds us that he can’t draw those things, because he can only draw worms. Never fails to get my kids laughing!

By Will Mabbitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Can Only Draw Worms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A hilarious picture book in bright, neon colors that is perfect for fans of The Book With No Pictures and The Day the Crayons Quit.

This is part counting book, part introduction to worms, but all superbly silly. The fact that the author/illustrator can only draw worms will not take anything away from the laugh-out-loud adventure readers will have as they turn the pages of this slightly subversive picture book.

Book cover of The A-Zs of Worldbuilding

J Lenni Dorner Author Of Writing Book Reviews as an Author: Inspiration to Make It Easier

From my list on created from the April blogging #AtoZChallenge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have taken part in the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge #atozchallenge since 2014. I volunteered on A to Z founder Arlee's group early on. I was elevated to co-host in 2017 and became the Team Captain in 2018. In 2019, I ran the "#AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!" My own book, Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier, was created because of the challenge. I used my method of writing book reviews, broken down alphabetically, to create a month of blog posts. Then compiled those posts into a book. Authors depend on book reviews, but struggle to write them for others.

J's book list on created from the April blogging #AtoZChallenge

J Lenni Dorner Why did J love this book?

I love that the dedication is to the A to Z Challenge bloggers of 2014. (I was one of them!) Here's a well-written and comprehensive reference guide. There's a strong author voice and a great amount of information. It covers the importance of including diverse characters. I recommend The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch to writers building a fictional world, and to writers using an unfamiliar setting. A necessary reference tool for authors.

By Rebekah Loper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask 'what if' and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.

In The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.

Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.

Book cover of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant: And Other Poems

Bob Raczka Author Of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

From my list on children’s poetry that also appeals to adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

Many people are intimidated by poetry. For a big part of my life, I was too. So much of the poetry I had been exposed to was either indecipherable or irrelevant to me. Then I discovered some poems that I loved—accessible poems about subjects I related to. I started collecting poetry books, by both adult and children’s poets. Eventually, I was inspired to write poetry of my own. Today, I’m a poetry advocate, recommending my favorites to anyone who shows interest. The satisfaction I get from poetry boils down to this: When I read a good poem, I think to myself, “Wow, I didn’t know words could do that.”

Bob's book list on children’s poetry that also appeals to adults

Bob Raczka Why did Bob love this book?

As an example of just how inventive poetry can be, this book is hard to top. The subject of each poem is a fictitious animal created by combining two dissimilar words that share common sounds. For example, umbrella + elephant = umbrellaphant. The rhythm in Prelutsky’s poems is always smooth, making them fun to read out loud. This book makes me want to drop everything and play with words, which for me is the essence of poetry. Here’s an excerpt from "The Ballpoint Penguins":

The Ballpoint Penguins do not think,
they simply write with endless ink.
They write of ice, they write of snow,
for that is all they seem to know.

By Jack Prelutsky, Carin Berger (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jack Prelutsky has written a series of truly inventive and entertaining poems that are perfectly paired with Carin Berger’s witty collage pieces. It’s a beautiful picture book with a look and feel unlike any of Prelutsky’s prior work.

So put on your pith helmet and prepare to explore a wilderness of puns and rhymes where birds, beasts, vegetables, and flowers have been mysteriously scrambled together to create creatures you've never seen before—and are unlikely to meet again!

Your guides—Jack Prelutsky, poet laureate of the elementary school set, and award-winning illustrator Carin Berger—invite you to join them on an adventure you…

Book cover of The Synonym Finder

Cara Bristol Author Of Naughty Words for Nice Writers: A Romance Novel Thesaurus

From my list on reference and writing for romance authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

After writing more than sixty romance novels, I can sometimes find myself at a loss for words, unable to think of the right word or find myself using the same ones. Having a good thesaurus is invaluable. I use my own thesaurus, Naughty Words for Nice Writers, all the time. I wrote it as a survival guide—it was the book I needed that didn’t exist when I started writing romance. Besides Naughty Words, the thesauri/reference books I’m recommending are tools I couldn’t live without. 

Cara's book list on reference and writing for romance authors

Cara Bristol Why did Cara love this book?

If you want a general thesaurus, I believe The Synonym Finder with more than 1 million synonyms is the best one on the market.

I’ve used it for more than 30 years and had to replace my original copy because it was so well-used, it fell apart. What makes this thesaurus stand out is the quality of synonyms and the ease of use. It is super easy to find the words you’re looking for. Every author should have this book!

By J.I. Rodale,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With a simple alphabetical arrangement this book has been expanded to include thousands of new words and expressions that have entered the language in recent years, and includes clearly labelled slang and informal words and expressions.

Book cover of The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fiction

Sally Ember Author Of This Changes Everything

From my list on speculative fiction authors every sci fi author needs to read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading sci-fi in 1962 with 1957's Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars and have loved it ever since. I became a sci-fi writer with my first three books in utopian speculative fiction, The Spanner Series. Unfortunately, I stalled out due to a TBI, a cross-country move, and other distractions, but I do plan to continue with the other 7 volumes in my utopian speculative fiction series some day. The writers in my “best of” list are some of my lifelong inspirations, so I hope newer readers can enjoy and learn from their works as much as I have.

Sally's book list on speculative fiction authors every sci fi author needs to read

Sally Ember Why did Sally love this book?

Wilhelm is credited with having the best writing that inhabits “speculative fiction” (Robert Heinlein's coined term in 1947). I agree with that wholeheartedly, even though many others have contributed. She has dozens of novels, including mystery, suspense, and speculative sci-fi, but start with this book. Each story is unique and they don't actually connect in any way except that she put them all into this book, so I can't summarize them. Please read them all: every single one is a gem and an amazing example of great sci-fi writing.

By Kate Wilhelm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Downstairs Room and Other Speculative Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Contents: Unbirthday Party (1968) Baby, You Were Great (1967) When the Moon Was Red (1960) Sirloin and White Wine (1968) Perchance to Dream (1968) How Many Miles to Babylon? (1968) The Downstairs Room (1968) Countdown (1968) The Plausible Improbable (1968) The Feel of Desperation (1964) A Time to Keep (1962) The Most Beautiful Woman in the World (1968) The Planners (1968) Windsong (1968) The stories range from speculative fiction, to science fiction, to fantasy. “The Planners” (1968) was a Nebula winner, for example.

Book cover of My Dark Vanessa

Catherine Evans Author Of All Grown Up

From my list on books about girls lured into inappropriate relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

Men have always been attracted to young women, who possess a glow that their mothers have possibly lost. Girls are more vulnerable and impressionable and are more likely to believe what they are told. Their passionate desire to be loved, combined with their conviction that no one understands them, makes them uniquely vulnerable to predators. But there is another side to the story. Girls do not passively wait to be seduced or exploited. They thrill in actively testing their own sexual power and often put themselves in physical and emotional danger with no understanding of the long-term consequences of relationships where the power dynamic leaves them exposed to exploitation and abuse.

Cathy's book list on books about girls lured into inappropriate relationships

Catherine Evans Why did Cathy love this book?

My Dark Vanessa is a highly compelling, if disturbing read. I loved the book as I related so closely to the idealistic fifteen-year-old Vanessa, who is groomed by her English teacher, Jacob Strane, believing him to be the love of her life.

The book opens to Vanessa at thirty-two, leading a lonely and unfulfilling life in a dead-end job at the beginning of the #MeToo era, when other girls come forward to accuse Strane. She finds herself torn: how can she do anything but defend him? Otherwise, she would have to admit to herself that their great love has been a great lie.

By Kate Elizabeth Russell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked My Dark Vanessa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2021 DYLAN THOMAS AWARD

'A package of dynamite' Stephen King

'Powerful, compulsive, brilliant' Marian Keyes

An era-defining novel about the relationship between a fifteen-year-old girl and her teacher


Vanessa Wye was fifteen-years-old when she first had sex with her English teacher.

She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.…

Book cover of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Kevin Clouther Author Of Maximum Speed

From my list on literary fiction about the passage of time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I live in the past, even as the wellness industry tells me to be present. I try to be present! Of course, I also worry about the future. Time for me, inexorably, moves both backward and forward. I’m always writing things down, scared of forgetting. How do other people do it? That’s why I read fiction (or one of the reasons). As Philip Roth said of his father in Patrimony, “To be alive, to him, is to be made of memory—to him if a man’s not made of memory, he’s made of nothing.”

Kevin's book list on literary fiction about the passage of time

Kevin Clouther Why did Kevin love this book?

The popularity of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie may have obscured its structural genius.

Never have I read a book so comfortable drifting between present and future within a single paragraph, even a single sentence. The short novel simultaneously exists inside a classroom in the 1930s and throughout the lives the students will later have as women.

If the Scottish author Muriel Spark had a literary model for this design, I’ve yet to discover it. Sometimes an artist creates something entirely new.

By Muriel Spark,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The brevity of Muriel Spark's novels is equaled only by their brilliance. These four novels, each a miniature masterpiece, illustrate her development over four decades. Despite the seriousness of their themes, all four are fantastic comedies of manners, bristling with wit.
Spark's most celebrated novel, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, tells the story of a charismatic schoolteacher's catastrophic effect on her pupils. THE GIRLS OF SLENDER MEANS is a beautifully drawn portrait of young women living in a hostel in London in the giddy postwar days of 1945. THE DRIVER'S SEAT follows the final haunted hours of a woman…

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