100 books like Garcia & Colette Go Exploring

By Hannah Barnaby, Andrew Joyner (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Garcia & Colette Go Exploring fans have personally recommended if you like Garcia & Colette Go Exploring. 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 Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil Degrasse Tyson

Tami Lewis Brown Author Of Perkin's Perfect Purple: How a Boy Created Color with Chemistry

From my list on inspiring your young scientist.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a girl who defied death to set nearly every aviation record in a rickety bi-plane, to a team of young women who literally invented computer coding with no guidance and very little credit, to a boy who revolutionized chemistry when he used the scientific method to create the color purple from coal tar, I write books about young people who followed their dreams to accomplish amazing things. There’s no reason to wait until you grow up to become a scientist. The books I’ve chosen will inspire your young scientist to explore and invent - right now!

Tami's book list on inspiring your young scientist

Tami Lewis Brown Why did Tami love this book?

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson visited New York’s Hayden Planetarium for the first time when he was just nine years old and the stars grabbed him. In Starstruck, non-fiction master Kathleen Krull and co-author Paul Brewer use relatable incidents, like a family trip when young Neil sees the dazzling night sky and decides to give up his ambition to be a baseball player to become an astrophysicist. Concepts like the Big Bang Theory and the reclassification of Pluto are explained simply but intelligently. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s road from inspired boy to world acclaimed scientist wasn’t easy, but it’s hard to imagine any kid- or adult- who won’t be motivated by this star-crossed journey.

By Kathleen Krull, Paul Brewer, Frank Morrison (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Starstruck 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?

A Step into Reading easy-to-read biography on science superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson, the groundbreaking American astrophysicist whose work has inspired a generation of young scientists and astronomers to reach for the stars!

This Step 3 Biography Reader introduces children to a young Neil deGrasse Tyson who was starstruck when he first visited the sky theater at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He couldn't believe the crowded, glittering night sky at the planetarium was real--until a visit to the country years later revealed the impossible.

That discovery was like rocket fuel for Neil's passion about space--taking him from the…


Book cover of Pluto Gets the Call

Nidhi Kamra Author Of Simon's Skin

From my list on space exploration.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who doesn’t like space? I love learning about space! Tip: Picture books are easier to comprehend compared to graduate courses – there’s only so much of Newton-Euler dynamics, inertia tensors, eccentricity vectors, etc. one can handle. Plus, there are no nasty mind-boggling equations in picture books. I mean, do you really want to calculate the maximum flight path angle and the true anomaly at which it occurs? Or solve Kepler’s equations for hyperbolic eccentric anomaly? No, right? Always stick to the picture book if you have a choice! I mentioned some fun picture books (fiction and non-fiction) with amusing or complementing illustrations that helped me on my journey to understanding space. Enjoy!

Nidhi's book list on space exploration

Nidhi Kamra Why did Nidhi love this book?

Poor Pluto! Earthlings are wretched, despicable creatures. How dare they ask Pluto if they can call him Plutoid!

In this hilarious, fact-filled book, Pluto gets the call from us dreadful, “Earth’s meanest jerks” – humans, giving him the ‘news.’ All of us on Earth heard the news, but Pluto was informed of his downgrade a wee bit later. Follow newly-demoted Pluto and the rest of the planets on a fun journey of acceptance. The author has done a fabulous job of interleaving (mostly) facts and fiction. The story is told with speech bubbles, many of which will leave you chuckling. There are also some great puns. Don’t miss this one!

By Adam Rex, Laurie Keller (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pluto Gets the Call as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Pluto gets a call from Earth telling him he isn’t a planet anymore, so he sets out on a journey through the solar system to find out why in this funny and fact-filled romp that’s perfect for fans of The Scrambled States of America.

Pluto loves being a planet. That is, until the day he gets a call from some Earth scientists telling him he isn’t a planet anymore! You probably wanted to meet a real planet, huh? So, Pluto takes the reader on a hilarious and informative journey through the solar system to introduce the other planets and commiserate…


Book cover of Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover

Linda Zajac Author Of Robo-Motion: Robots That Move Like Animals

From my list on robots for little kids with big-tech taste.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by robots. As a former computer programmer, systems analyst, and consultant, I’ve had an interest in technology since my first programming class in high school. I’ve been to robotics labs in Boston, Massachusetts, and Lausanne, Switzerland. My husband is a mechanical/software engineer, so STEM is a big part of our lives. In addition to Robo-Motion, I’m the author of a number of Minecraft books with STEM and coding sidebars. I’ve also published many magazine articles, one of which was the inspiration for this book. I wrote about the CRAM cockroach robot for the March 2017 issue of MUSE.

Linda's book list on robots for little kids with big-tech taste

Linda Zajac Why did Linda love this book?

This nonfiction picture book takes an unusual approach in presenting the story of the Curiosity rover. Curiosity tells the reader about her extraordinary journey to Mars. I was fascinated and enlightened reading details about the construction, launch, and landing of this complex robot. The illustrator’s earthy palette compliments the subject matter. The last illustration of the tiny rover on the red planet left me in awe. It reminded me of standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon and gazing at a scene so vast I couldn’t possibly take it all in. Check out the rover’s path here!

By Markus Motum,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Curiosity 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?

A stylishly illustrated non-fiction book about the search for life on Mars, told from the unique perspective of NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity.

Discover the incredible story of the search for life on Mars, told from the unique perspective of Curiosity, the Mars Rover sent to explore the red planet. Markus Motum's stylish illustrations and diagrams reveal how a robot travelled 350,000,000 miles to explore a planet where no human has ever been.
Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2018.


Book cover of Planet Kindergarten

Nidhi Kamra Author Of Simon's Skin

From my list on space exploration.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who doesn’t like space? I love learning about space! Tip: Picture books are easier to comprehend compared to graduate courses – there’s only so much of Newton-Euler dynamics, inertia tensors, eccentricity vectors, etc. one can handle. Plus, there are no nasty mind-boggling equations in picture books. I mean, do you really want to calculate the maximum flight path angle and the true anomaly at which it occurs? Or solve Kepler’s equations for hyperbolic eccentric anomaly? No, right? Always stick to the picture book if you have a choice! I mentioned some fun picture books (fiction and non-fiction) with amusing or complementing illustrations that helped me on my journey to understanding space. Enjoy!

Nidhi's book list on space exploration

Nidhi Kamra Why did Nidhi love this book?

In this brilliant book, the author draws parallels between the first day of kindergarten and a space mission – it turns out the two are not that different, after all. There are gravity issues in kindergarten as well, with kids trying hard to stay in their seats, and hands flying up. There’s the equivalent commander in the teacher, mission control in the principal, crewmates, experiments, and a flight plan! Peppered with space lingo, this charming book is double the reading pleasure, with its combined introduction to space and kindergarten. I am all set for kindergarten now. Can’t wait! Again, a great read for little humans.

By Sue Ganz-Schmitt, Shane Prigmore (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Planet Kindergarten 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?

Suit up for a daring adventure as our hero navigates the unknown reaches and alien inhabitants of a planet called . . . Kindergarten. This clever book will prepare bold young explorers for their next mission-whether it's a strange, new world . . . or somewhere much closer to home.


Book cover of This Was Our Pact

Liam Francis Walsh Author Of Red Scare: A Graphic Novel

From my list on graphic novels for adventurous kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my opinion, a good adventure story does two things at once: it compels you to turn pages, while, paradoxically, also enticing you to get off the couch and go out into the beautiful, magical world, pregnant with unlimited possibilities, right outside your door, just waiting for you to notice it. I’ve hitchhiked, I’ve been lost in the jungle, I’ve sailed, I’ve run whitewater rivers, and I’ve written and drawn New Yorker cartoons and picture books. I hope these books are as hard for you to put down as they were for me, and when you do put ‘em down, it’s only to throw on your rucksack and head out in search of adventure!

Liam's book list on graphic novels for adventurous kids

Liam Francis Walsh Why did Liam love this book?

This is one I just discovered (and have only read once, so far) but I immediately ordered copies for all my nieces and nephews. An important element of the kind of adventure graphic novel I love is art that conveys a carefully observed world, one which reminds us that if we slow down and pay attention marvels will reveal themselves to us. This Was Our Pact does precisely that. It starts off with kids on bikes setting off into the night, following their curiosity, and then swerves into the fairy tale territory of ancient rituals and magical creatures.

By Ryan Andrews,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked This Was Our Pact as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars. This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and they made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.

The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn't long before…


Book cover of Unicorn Power!

Kit Rosewater Author Of The Derby Daredevils

From my list on middle grade with radical and epic friend groups.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I had a lot of experience having a close group of friends… and a lot of experience looking into other groups from the outside. I waded from circle to circle, trying on friendships like some people try on hats. The books I’m recommending represent the best of fictional friend groups—the groups that topped any clique I saw in real life. Reading these books made me feel like an in-kid in the best possible way. Many of the characters remain the absolute coolest people I know, and serve as inspiration for the friend group dynamics I get to explore in my own stories. 

Kit's book list on middle grade with radical and epic friend groups

Kit Rosewater Why did Kit love this book?

Nothing bonds friends quite like climbing a disappearing mountain and ending up stranded on a literal cloud. The Lumberjanes series takes place at the coolest summer camp ever, which was my ultimate dream as a kid. But in addition to all the tropes we love in a camp story, the series also features magical creatures so charming that they ought to star in their own Pixar movies. Plus, the name of the camp is Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. I mean… best friend group setting ever, or best friend group setting ever

By Mariko Tamaki, Brooklyn Allen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin-Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley-love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella's, where the woods contain endless mysteries.

Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they've ever seen, things don't go quite as planned. For one, they didn't…


Book cover of Uglies

Candace Kade Author Of Enhanced: Volume 1

From my list on young adult near future novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family moved from America to rural China when I was four. We never stayed in one place for very long. Ever since, I’ve been searching for home in books and countries around the world. The themes of home, belonging, and identity are important ones to me that I explore in my young adult novels. My love of travel, martial arts, and tech also lend themselves well to writing fast-paced adventure books with epic battles and fight scenes. I hope you enjoy the novels on this list as much as I do!

Candace's book list on young adult near future novels

Candace Kade Why did Candace love this book?

I rarely read a book twice, but this is one of the few that I’ve read multiple times because it is such a unique premise. The concept of people going from “ugly” to “pretty” on their sixteenth birthday (thanks, futuristic technology) is such an interesting one to dive into. 

Also, I love how the main character straddles both the world of the pretties and that of the uglies—not knowing where she belongs. As a third culture kid, and someone who frequently feels like a misfit, I really related to her.

By Scott Westerfeld,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Uglies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

Soon to be a major motion picture streaming on Netflix!

The first installment of Scott Westerfeld’s New York Times bestselling and award-winning Uglies series—a global phenomenon that started the dystopian trend.

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally…


Book cover of The Summer of Broken Rules

Kristyn J. Miller Author Of Seven Rules for Breaking Hearts

From my list on travel romance to take you around the globe.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a romance author, I pull a lot of inspiration from my travels. My husband always says that shared experiences strengthen bonds and I believe that wholeheartedly—which is why I think travel romances just work. Romance as a genre isn’t necessarily known for lush setting descriptions, but travel romances are sort of the exception to the rule, and I eat it up every time. If I close the book feeling like I’ve just got back from a vacation, it’s a five-star read for me. 

Kristyn's book list on travel romance to take you around the globe

Kristyn J. Miller Why did Kristyn love this book?

I discovered this book last year thanks to BookTok and immediately fell in love with it. But I’m not the only one! Just this past month, it found its way onto The New York Times bestseller list two years after its initial publication.

The setting of this one is a little more contained than the previous two books on this list: most of the story takes place on Martha’s Vineyard. K.L. Walther lovingly captures the nostalgia of a warm, seaside, ice-cream-melting New England summer. This one’s also sort of a coming-of-age novel, sitting right on the cusp between young adult and adult.

By K. L. Walther,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Summer of Broken Rules as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

"The feel-good summer read of my dreams!"-Alicia, Goodreads Reviewer
"Boy, did it also give me all the summer feels."-Larissa, Goodreads Reviewer
"This book is bound to become a favorite of all who love contemporary romance."-Kelly, Goodreads Reviewer
"If beachy contemporary romances are your jam, then trust me-you do NOT want to miss this book."-Jessica, Goodreads Reviewer
Meredith's family's annual game of assassin at Martha's Vineyard during a summer wedding is the perfect chance to honor her sister's legacy, and finally join the world again. But when she forms an alliance with a cute groomsman, she's at risk of losing both…


Book cover of Enemy Pie

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a believer that kids can be creative, powerful problem-solvers–for themselves but also as mediators in their schools. I’ve been a school mediation trainer for over 30 years and know that learning someone else’s story brings empathy, understanding, and caring, and solutions can be found. I love delightful picture books that make this truth come alive for kids and adults alike, and I use them in trainings and just for my own inspiration and joy. I’ve also written YA (for all ages), including the novel Encounter: When Religions Become Classmates–From Oregon to India and Back. I want to make ripples for good in our world.

Kathy's book list on picture books that delight and inspire kids to friendship, empathy, and creative problem-solving

Kathy Beckwith Why did Kathy love this book?

The story is clever, engaging, and a whole lot of fun!

Who wouldn’t understand why this boy needs to get Jeremy Ross out of his life so he can have the perfect summer he was planning on? And who wouldn’t be curious about the idea that Dad’s enemy pie could do the trick?

I find it just as fun as the students I read it to when they are training to be mediators for their school! I love that this book invites us to learn more about someone before we put them on our enemy list. And the bold, wild illustrations make me giggle!

By Derek Munson, Tara Calahan King (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Enemy Pie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy!

In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipes for turning your best enemy into your best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.


Book cover of The Secret Life of Squirrels

Donna Howard Author Of Bright-Eyes, Bushy-Tail, And The Nutty Narrows Bridge

From my list on nutty squirrel tail tales.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I fell in love with picture books and the magical, whimsical worlds they opened! I recall snuggling up and listening to these tales being read to me. Later, after a bit of a struggle, I learned to read myself. From there, there was no stopping me. My library card was my most treasured, most loved possession! I quickly moved on to chapter books, then to novels, but never outgrew my love and passion for picture books! As a former teacher and now great-grandparent, I treasure the opportunity to usher children down the rabbit hole of reading!

Donna's book list on nutty squirrel tail tales

Donna Howard Why did Donna love this book?

I love, love, love books that are full of whimsy, and feed my childhood soul. Boy, does this book deliver! Featuring squirrels in miniature, homemade sets enjoying everyday experiences and tiny moments.

By Nancy Rose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of Squirrels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Adorable squirrels as you've never seen them!

You may think you know what squirrels do all day...but Mr. Peanuts is no ordinary squirrel. Instead of climbing trees, he plays the piano. ('Moonlight Sonutta' is his favourite.) Instead of scurrying through the woods, he reads books (such as A Tail of Two Cities). But everything is more fun with company, so Mr. Peanuts writes a letter to Cousin Squirrel and invites him for a visit!

Featuring candid photographs of wild squirrels in handcrafted, homemade miniature settings, this irresistible book is sure to surprise and delight readers and animal lovers of every…


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