100 books like How to Steal a Dog

By Barbara O'Connor,

Here are 100 books that How to Steal a Dog fans have personally recommended if you like How to Steal a Dog. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Bridge Home

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

I’ve been to India three times and I love to share books that show its complex, beautiful, and sometimes brutal culture. When sisters Viji and Rukku leave home to escape their abusive father, readers are given a detailed look at what living on the streets of India is like for many children. It’s a realistic lesson on the caste system and abject poverty, all wrapped in a compelling story; and I am always a fan of books that show siblings that care deeply for one another. I also hope it sparks an interest in that amazing country and its inhabitants.

By Padma Venkatraman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Bridge Home 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?

"Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma shares with us an unflinching peek into the reality millions of homeless children live every day but also infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers and stay with them long after turning the final page."--Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestselling Amal Unbound

Cover may vary.

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman's stirring middle-grade debut.

Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters…


Book cover of Front Desk

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

This is a fantastic book about the hardships many immigrants face, from being taken advantage of by their employers, to language barriers, and of course, racism. What I loved about this book is its portrayal of community. Growing up poor, I know that it’s often those with nothing who give the most. Kids will cheer for Mia as she works the front desk, helps those around her, and stands up to injustice.

By Kelly Yang,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Front Desk 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?

Four starred reviews and over ten best-of-year lists!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Winner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewMia Tang has a lot of secrets.Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean…


Book cover of The Same Stuff as Stars

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

Life is tough for Angel—her dad is in jail, her mom is irresponsible, and she has to take care of her seven-year-old brother. Paterson doesn’t hold back in this unflinching look at family brokenness, but as sad as the circumstances are, there is hope! Angel meets some new adults and through their small kindnesses, she learns that she is stronger than she ever knew. It’s a great message for any kid who is struggling with too much responsibility. It has a redemption arc that I also loved. 

By Katherine Paterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Same Stuff as Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Angel's dad is in jail and her mum's abandoned her and her little brother at their great-grandmother's crumbling farmhouse. Grandma can't even look after herself, let alone two children, so Angel finds that it's left up to her. In a dreary and lonely world there is only one bright spot - a mysterious stranger who appears on clear nights to teach Angel all about the stars. Katherine Paterson is an internationally acclaimed author who has won the Newbery Medal (twice), the National Book Award for Children's Literature (USA) twice, and the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award.


Book cover of Once You Know This

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

This beautiful book opens with the line, “Every day Mr. McInnis tells us to imagine our future.” Unfortunately, for Brittany, she can’t envision a future that holds anything good. Her mother is in an abusive and controlling relationship and her grandmother suffers from dementia. I love that this book shows a positive teacher, a mom who, despite her own bad choices, truly loves her children, and a family willing to go to bat for one another. Extra points for the intergenerational storyline of a grandmother who lives with the family.

By Emily Blejwas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Once You Know This as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A girl wishes for a better life for herself, her mom, and her baby brother and musters the courage to make it happen in this moving and emotionally satisfying story for readers of Kate DiCamillo and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

“Once You Know This reminds me of a flower blooming in the crack of a sidewalk. It’s important, and it’s special. Just read it.”—Ali Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Thing About Jellyfish
 
Eleven-year-old Brittany knows there has to be a better world out there. Lately, though, it sure doesn’t feel like it. She and her best friend, Marisol,…


Book cover of Wish

Linda MacKillop Author Of Hotel Oscar Mike Echo

From my list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

For decades I have volunteered in different capacities, helping the hurting and those living on the margins by tutoring and teaching literacy to the formally incarcerated or homeless, teaching parenting in a maximum-security jail, and teaching ESL to resettled immigrants. Because my own suburban father fell into homelessness at the end of his life due to depression, job losses, divorce, and more, I feel tremendous compassion for anyone in this situation. And as the mother of four grown sons, we filled our home with books—especially books that taught compassion so our sons would grow into men with big hearts towards others. I believe we succeeded.

Linda's book list on hard family circumstances for middle-grade readers

Linda MacKillop Why did Linda love this book?

Brash eleven-year-old Charlie Reese battles her emotions, especially her anger, as a result of her parents’ inability to appropriately care for her.

When she is sent to Colby, North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, her anger bubbles over, spilling onto the new people in her life—people who have shown her nothing but kindness.

While I didn’t necessarily find Charlie’s tendency to blurt out cruel comments and call people “hillbillies” very endearing, the townsfolk moved me when they only showed this girl love and forgiveness in return. Wish inspires me to love difficult people with the same gusto as Gus, Bertha, and all the Odoms.  

By Barbara O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same silent wish since fourth grade, hoping that some day it j will come true. When her irresponsible parents send her to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family members she doesn't know, she needs that wish to come true more than ever. A stray dog, a great friend, and the love of a big-hearted aunt and uncle just might make it happen.


Book cover of Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie

Mike Peterson Author Of Chaco's First Day at Work

From my list on dogs we can learn from.

Why am I passionate about this?

Chaco’s First Day at Work is based on my real life furry best friend, Chaco. Chaco is a Miniature Australian Shepherd and has been an amazing companion over the last 13 years. I work in Human Resources and am always focused on developing leaders in the company and am surprised by some of the things that people do. There are not many children’s books about leadership so I thought it would be great to pass along some new leadership lessons early to children through Chaco’s First Day at Work

Mike's book list on dogs we can learn from

Mike Peterson Why did Mike love this book?

Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie is a beautiful book packed full of life lessons. This book is a great way to instill good behaviors in your children from a young age using easy-to-understand concepts and rhyming that makes the book a ton of fun to read! 

By Chalaine Kilduff, Sally Brodermann (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie 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?

Imbue good character and confidence within your child through easy life lessons, from a doggie!

Dogs make us laugh, and dogs bring us joy. But what can they teach us about life? With its lovable pictures and songlike rhymes, kids will pick up valuable lessons they can use throughout their lives. Sit Stay Love teaches that no matter how we are different, how we are the same is what matters most.

With so many things to learn in life, who'd knew that the best life lessons would come from a dog!

Children thrive on simple phrases, and easy to remember…


Book cover of Mayor Good Boy Turns Bad

Brandon T. Snider Author Of Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines

From my list on middle-grade reads full of humor & heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone who was both a funny kid and a lover of superheroes, it was always exciting to find a book where those two things crossed paths. In the young readers' books I’ve written for Marvel and DC Comics, I always try to inject humor where I can. Humor can be healing. If I couldn’t laugh, especially about things that have caused me pain, I don’t know that I would be around today. I love books about funny, sensitive kids with big hearts. The world is a cold place sometimes, but whenever I see a young person making positive change and having fun along the way, it reminds me that anything is possible.

Brandon's book list on middle-grade reads full of humor & heart

Brandon T. Snider Why did Brandon love this book?

Just when I thought there were no great leaders anymore, here comes Mayor Good Boy.

With this series, Dave Scheidt and Miranda Harmon have cornered the market on sweet, funny, and heart-warming. It’s got a high-concept family sitcom energy that is so pure in the best way. A highlight for me is the friendship between Abby and Aaron (and not just because I share their love of comics). How they support and encourage one another makes the world a better place. And the Mayor himself is an absolute hoot.

There are silly moments and potty humor, but there’s also depth. This story left me feeling all warm and fuzzy, which is a big plus in my book. A vote for Mayor Good Boy is a vote not wasted.

By Dave Scheidt, Miranda Harmon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mayor Good Boy Turns Bad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Goodbye politics! Goodbye stardom! Mayor Good Boy is turning over a new leaf and this time...he's going BAD! Maybe even...bad to the bone.

Mayor Good Boy might not be as GOOD as the town of Greenwood thought. In fact, it turns out that Abby and Aaron's favorite very good boy might actually have been...A BAD BOY this whole time?!

Everyone's favorite dog mayor is back in this hilarious graphic novel series featuring all-new hijinx and all-new fun!

"Mayor Good Boy will make you sit, stay, and roll over with laughter!" -- John Patrick Green, creator of the New York Times…


Book cover of The Prophet of Yonwood

S. Kirk Pierzchala Author Of Echoes Through Distant Glass

From my list on human determination to survive in the face of doom.

Why am I passionate about this?

My imagination has always been captivated and fired up by reading traditional myths and fairy tales, as well science fiction. Growing up in the ’80s, I was particularly steeped in cinematic masterpieces such as Bladerunner and The Road Warrior, but I also loved reading classic sci-fi, as well as British literature, particularly the Brontes and Jane Austen. I enjoy and write speculative fiction because I believe it offers some of the best, creative ways to explore the timeless, universal truths underlying the human experience. Whether that exploration happens in subtle scenes of interpersonal interactions, or in the epic events woven in threads of dark and light across the tapestry of history, it’s all valuable and relevant.

S.'s book list on human determination to survive in the face of doom

S. Kirk Pierzchala Why did S. love this book?

This YA story deals with the threat of apocalyptic destruction, and shows how easily a vulnerable population can be manipulated by fear and uncertainty with only a few rumors. These themes are just as valid today as ever. I like the way DePrau’s protagonist, Nickie, is a relatable character caught in a frightening situation, but trying to make the best of it by forming bonds in her community, as they all face a terrifying future. The haunting sense of dread that permeates this simple novel has stayed with me for years.

By Jeanne DuPrau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prophet of Yonwood 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?

A prequel to the modern-day classic The City of Ember. This highly acclaimed adventure series has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies!
 
Nickie will grow up to be one of the first citizens of the city of Ember. But for now, she’s an eleven-year-old girl whose father was sent away on some mysterious government project.
 
So when the opportunity to move presents itself, Nickie seizes it. But her new town of Yonwood, North Carolina, isn’t what she’d anticipated. It’s a place full of suspicion and mistrust, where one person’s visions…


Book cover of A Fine White Dust

Caroline Starr Rose Author Of Miraculous

From my list on mysterious strangers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write books to make sense of the world  — this gloriously weird, sometimes heartbreaking, marvelous place we call home. Years ago, while visiting a museum in St. Louis, I heard a woman give a talk on charlatans (people who intentionally deceive others for their personal gain). It sparked a number of questions in me: Why do we believe the things that we do? What might we be willing to try to change our circumstances? Exploring these ideas was the starting point for my book, Miraculous, and its mysterious stranger, Dr. Kingsbury. I hope the stories you read in these pages fill you wonder as they did me.

Caroline's book list on mysterious strangers

Caroline Starr Rose Why did Caroline love this book?

Pete’s whole life changes the summer the Preacher Man comes to town. Hearing the Man speak fills Pete with purpose. No one understands Pete like the Preacher Man — neither Pete’s parents, who no longer attend church, nor his best friend, who is an atheist — and Pete will do anything to hold fast to his devotion.

I read this short, deceptively simple book twice while working on Miraculous. It is an honest look at the longings and purpose so many of us search for, the power a persuasive individual can have, and the flaws that make us all human. I’ll never forget this book.

By Cynthia Rylant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Fine White Dust 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?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Book cover of The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book about Living

Jennie Dear Author Of What Does It Feel Like to Die?: Inspiring New Insights Into the Experience of Dying

From my list on the experience of dying.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my mother enrolled in hospice after years of living with cancer, the nurse asked her: Do you want to know what will happen to your body as it starts shutting down? That was the first time anyone talked with us about the dying process. The question came as an immense relief, eventually inspiring this book. After witnessing the difficulties and surprising joys of my mother’s dying experience, I began hospice volunteering. Later, I spent three intensive stints volunteering at San Francisco’s Zen Hospice Project. And as a former journalist and associate professor of English, I began researching and interviewing experts. Their deep caring and knowledge inform this book.

Jennie's book list on the experience of dying

Jennie Dear Why did Jennie love this book?

I sometimes read aloud from this book to hospice patients because when you’re dying, it’s easy to believe that it’s too late—too late to make amends, too late to reconnect, too late to do anything more for the world you’re leaving behind. Byock, a doctor who has worked extensively with dying people, says that’s not the case. Instead, he urges his patients to communicate with their friends and family members, to say thanks, to forgive, to apologize, and to express their love. The book is filled with examples of times people on the edge of death were able to connect more deeply or heal old wounds, changing the lives of those close to them for the better.

By Ira Byock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Four Things That Matter Most as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Four simple phrases-"Please forgive me," "I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you"-carry enormous power to mend and nurture our relationships and inner lives. These four phrases and the sentiments they convey provide a path to emotional wellbeing, guiding us through interpersonal difficulties to life with integrity and grace.

Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, explains how we can practice these life-affirming words in our day-to-day lives. Too often we assume that the people we love really know that we love them. Dr. Byock demonstrates the value of "stating the obvious" and provides practical insights into…


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