99 books like Ivy and Bean

By Annie Barrows, Sophie Blackall (illustrator),

Here are 99 books that Ivy and Bean fans have personally recommended if you like Ivy and Bean. 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 Wonder

Ruth Leigh Author Of The Diary of Isabella M Smugge

From my list on books you read and re-read even though you know every word by heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I learned to read at four and have been telling stories ever since. Books were my escape from unhappiness into a new and endless world. Left to myself, I’d read ten or so weekly, and my mind was packed with characters, dialogue, jokes, prose, and poetry like an over-brimming literary reservoir. Words are my thing, and I am an avid collector of them. I was reading David Copperfield at eight and specialised in 18th and 19th-century literature at university. I’ve written five books and am working on the sixth. I love writing humour but have also authored Jane Austen Fan Fiction and poetry. Without books, my world is nothing.

Ruth's book list on books you read and re-read even though you know every word by heart

Ruth Leigh Why did Ruth love this book?

I simply love this book and read it at least once a year. It’s in the YA genre, and I am more like an MAA (middle-aged adult) but the main character, Auggie Pullman, and his friends and family are so enticing that I’m drawn in every time.

Auggie has an incredibly rare facial deformity and when we first meet him, he’s off to school for the first time. The book is written with a light touch and from many different voices, something the author pulls off with aplomb. It’s notoriously difficult to get away with multiple narrators, but this really works.

I root for Auggie every time, and the sheer humanity of the book, along with great humour and characterisation means that I come back to it again and again.

By R.J. Palacio,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Has the power to move hearts and change minds' Guardian

'Tremendously uplifting and a novel of all-too-rare power' Sunday Express

'An amazing book . . . I absolutely loved it. I cried my eyes out' Tom Fletcher

Read the award-winning, multi-million copy bestselling phenomenon that is WONDER in this new tenth anniversary edition.

'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other…

Book cover of Because of Winn-Dixie

Jennifer Marshall Bleakley Author Of Finding Grace: The Inspiring True Story of Therapy Dogs Bringing Comfort, Hope, and Love to a Hurting World

From my list on making you fall in love with dogs all over again.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a painfully shy child, I found friendship and ultimately my own voice reading about, and spending time with, animals—especially dogs. Dogs didn’t judge, didn’t expect anything from me, and I never had to worry about what to say to them. They gave me the gift of their presence and time to practice communication—gifts that ultimately led me to obtain a master’s degree in counseling and work as a children’s grief counselor. Thankfully I overcame my extreme shyness. And there is no denying the role that dogs—and books about dogs—have played in my life. I hope this list helps you find that same comfort and inspiration.

Jennifer's book list on making you fall in love with dogs all over again

Jennifer Marshall Bleakley Why did Jennifer love this book?

Since there was a Winn-Dixie grocery store less than two miles from my house growing up, I was first drawn to this book because of the title.

But the moment I opened it I was swept into the heartwarming story of a lonely little girl who finds, and rescues, a stray dog at Winn-Dixie. This is a beautiful story of how a relationship with a dog can transform your life. It’s a book about friendship, compassion, and courage—and a story that stayed with me long after I closed the book.

By Kate DiCamillo,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Because of Winn-Dixie 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?

Funny and poignant, this 2001 Newbery Honor novel captures life in a quirky Southern town as Opal and her mangy dog, Winn-Dixie, strike up friendships among the locals.

One summer's day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries - and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It's because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it's because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that…

Book cover of Forget Me Not

Kate Foster Author Of All the Small Wonderful Things

From my list on middle grade about neurodivergent kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an autistic person and mother of an autistic child and a huge part of my book-loving life is finding characters like us. Up until the last few years that’s not been easy, but this lack of fair representation has driven me to seek out books that shine a spotlight on neurodivergent children, smashing stereotypes and harmful notions that continue to be promoted and adored via mainstream media. Recommending books that portray neurodivergent characters in a way that does more harm than good and reinforces the stigma and treatment of neurodivergent people in real life, so I use my platform to talk about the right books telling the right stories. 

Kate's book list on middle grade about neurodivergent kids

Kate Foster Why did Kate love this book?

Calliope June has Tourette Syndrome and is one of the stars of this dual-POV novel – with Calliope’s chapters told in verse and Jinsong’s in prose.

At times it’s a tough story to read as it doesn’t shy away from Calliope’s struggles and the bullying she experiences at school and at home, but it’s also jam-packed with hope and beauty and small moments that can change a life forever.

I also think this was the first book I read starring and written by someone with Tourette, and it challenged virtually everything I’d ever known about the disability. I read it in an hour several years ago and it still has a firm place in my heart and soul.  

By Ellie Terry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Forget Me Not 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?

Calliope June has Tourette syndrome. Sometimes she can't control the noises that come out of her mouth, or even her body language. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But soon the kids in her class realise she's different. Only her neighbour, who is also the class president, sees her as she truly is - a quirky kid, and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?

As Callie navigates school, she must also face her mother's new relationship and the fact that she might be moving again…

Book cover of Because You'll Never Meet Me

Deanna Cabinian Author Of One Night

From my list on unlikely friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by the intensity of friendships, whether they last a few months or a lifetime. For me, unlikely friendships have always been the most interesting, whether it be differences in class, age, hobbies, etc. I think all people can find common ground if they just listen to one another and talk for a minute. I love books featuring unlikely duos and almost always include them in my own novels. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do, and they remind you of the best friends you’ve ever had.

Deanna's book list on unlikely friendships

Deanna Cabinian Why did Deanna love this book?

Because You’ll Never Meet Me is a YA novel that takes quirky friendships to a different level. Ollie is allergic to electricity and Moritz suffers from a rare heart condition. He was also born without eyes. Because of their medical issues, Ollie and Moritz can never meet. Ollie’s mom and doctor urge him to befriend someone like him and he and Moritz become long-distance pen pals. Their friendship is brought to life through the heartfelt letters they write to each other. There’s also a dark secret about their past and where they came from. 

By Leah Thomas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Because You'll Never Meet Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ollie and Moritz are two teenagers who will never meet. Each of them lives with a life-affecting illness. Contact with electricity sends Ollie into debilitating seizures, while Moritz has a heart defect and is kept alive by an electronic pacemaker. If they did meet, Ollie would seize, but turning off the pacemaker would kill Moritz.

Through an exchange of letters, the two boys develop a strong bond of friendship which becomes a lifeline during dark times - until Moritz reveals that he holds the key to their shared, sinister past, and has been keeping it from Ollie all along.

Book cover of Horton Hears a Who!

Simon Mills Author Of The Secret of Scrufflewood Wood

From my list on children’s stories written in rhyme.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written poetry since I was a little boy. Rhyme came naturally to me, and I found it to be a world to escape to. This led me to songwriting and touring in bands, and it grew into my vocation as a jingle writer in Australia. Eventually, I wrote the jingle that won the World’s Best Jingle award in Hollywood, and this, in part, inspired me to move to New York City from Australia. The other driving force was getting my first book, How To Steal From Banks—an autobiography—published in America. Writing and rhyming are deeply embedded in my soul and cells. 

Simon's book list on children’s stories written in rhyme

Simon Mills Why did Simon love this book?

Of all the Dr. Seuss books, Horton hit me hard.

It’s not just the rhyme or the time or the tale. It’s not the Who ocean on which Horton sails… Seriously though, it is the title that shines even among the genius of other Suess titles. Horton was my biggest influence in becoming a children’s author, and it helped me to find my own rhyming voice.

To tell a powerful story in rhyme is far more difficult than writers and readers may think, and this book goes deep—a rich example of Dr. Seuss’ brilliance and rhyming excellence in storytelling. 

By Dr. Seuss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Horton Hears a Who! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

When Horton the Elephant hears a tiny voice calling for help from a speck of dust, he is determined to save his new friend.

'A person's a person, no matter how small..'

Horton the elephant sets out to save the inhabitants of a speck of dust, in this classic and hilarious tale about friendship and respect, from the inimitable Dr. Seuss.

As part of a major rebrand programme, HarperCollins is relaunching Dr. Seuss's bestselling books, including such perennial favourites as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Fox in Socks. In response to consumer demand, the bright…

Book cover of All the Broken Places

Mary Carroll Moore Author Of Last Bets

From my list on badass women who don’t start out that way.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long been intrigued by what makes a woman a hero in her own life. My three novels feature characters who are not obvious heroes—they are trying to shed a difficult past, they may run towards risky second chances, and they eventually stand up to their history and heal it and themselves. A lot of my inspiration for my stories comes from my mother, who was a pilot in World War II. I grew up with the legacy of women as heroic; it fostered an intense curiosity about female ambition and morality, women who would risk personal freedom and safety to find something greater than they expected.

Mary's book list on badass women who don’t start out that way

Mary Carroll Moore Why did Mary love this book?

What makes a woman a hero? Irish writer John Boyne’s narrator was a last choice for me—the daughter of a top-ranking Nazi war criminal who carries the burden of her past at 90. But I came to love the voice of this narrator, her brutal honesty with herself and her circumstances, and her growing awareness of her culpability, even as a child, for what happened.

Boyne elegantly explores the question of whether terrible acts by fathers make their children responsible or if children are inherently innocent. The story’s ending was a complete surprise, bringing this character to hero status in my eyes, as she chooses honor above safety. 

By John Boyne,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked All the Broken Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Beautifully told and gripping from first page to last' Sunday Express
'An incredible feat of storytelling... and an old-fashioned page-turner' Donal Ryan
'Gripping and well-honed...consummately constructed, humming with tension' Guardian
'You can't prepare yourself for the magnitude and emotional impact of this powerful novel' John Irving

From the author of the globally bestselling, multi-million-copy classic, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, comes its astonishing and powerful sequel.

Gretel Fernsby is a quiet woman leading a quiet life. She doesn't talk about her escape from Germany seventy years ago or the dark post-war years in France with her mother. Most…

Book cover of Katie the Catsitter

Heather Alexander Author Of Project Startup

From my list on kids starting businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write both fiction and nonfiction for kids and with Eat Bugs, I got to combine both loves. The book was inspired by two real-life female entrepreneurs, who literally cooked up an edible bug business in their college dorm room. After I watched them land a deal on Shark Tank, we met and I reimagined their story as if they’d started their business in sixth grade. I’ve always been fascinated by entrepreneurs who have the courage and tenacity to follow their dreams–no matter how wacky the idea may seem.

Heather's book list on kids starting businesses

Heather Alexander Why did Heather love this book?

In this purr-fectly irresistible graphic novel, twelve-year-old Katie wants to earn money so she can go to summer camp with her best friend and starts a catsitting business for her mysterious upstairs neighbor. The problem? The woman has 217 cats! And that’s not all...the cats have superpowers! And the neighbor may be a notorious supervillian! Talk about a tough job! I laughed, cheered, and crossed my fingers for Katie!

By Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yue (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Katie the Catsitter 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?

Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! Introducing an irresistible new middle-grade graphic novel series about growing up, friendship, heroes, and cats (lots of cats!)--perfect for fans of Guts, Awkward and Real Friends (not to mention anyone who loves cats!)

Katie is dreading the boring summer ahead while her best friends are all away at camp--something that's way out of Katie and her mom's budget, UNLESS Katie can figure out a way to earn the money for camp herself. But when Katie gets a job catsitting for her mysterious upstairs neighbor, life get interesting. First, Madeline has 217 cats (!) and they're…

Book cover of If I Had Your Face

Elise Hu Author Of Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital

From my list on challenging beauty standards and diet culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest and curiosity in this topic primarily came from life experience: not fitting in as a gangly Asian girl growing up in white suburbs and picked on for how I looked, working as a teen model in the late 1990s and early aughts, becoming a mother to three girls while opening up NPR’s first-ever bureau and living in Seoul, South Korea, the plastic surgery capital of the world. Ever since graduating from The University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism, I’ve been a professional journalist. Most of my career has been as an NPR correspondent, but I’ve also worked as a reporter for VICE and appeared in The Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, and numerous other publications.

Elise's book list on challenging beauty standards and diet culture

Elise Hu Why did Elise love this book?

If you are looking for a character-driven novel that takes you to modern Seoul and gets into the personal and social motivations for the cosmetic procedures that go unquestioned in South Korea, look no further than Frances Cha’s debut.

It’s an engrossing read with layered characters who are easy to root for, and a text that goes a long way to help us understand how the motivations for upgrading ourselves are not limited to just those on the other side of the Pacific.

By Frances Cha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If I Had Your Face as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania
“Powerful and provocative . . . a novel about female strength, spirit, resilience—and the solace that friendship can sometimes provide.”—The Washington Post

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • NPR • Esquire • Bustle • BBC • New York Post • InStyle 

Kyuri is an achingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a Seoul “room salon,”…

Book cover of Let the Right One in

Katie Marie Author Of A Man in Winter

From my list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror is my passion and most things I read and everything I write fits neatly into the genre. But I am also passionate about telling stories from a unique perspective, or if not entirely unique then at least one that is underused. My novella A Man in Winter is told from the perspective of an elderly chap with dementia for instance. I have also found that many people think books with child protagonists must be children’s books and it makes me sad to think of all the wonderful work is being missed out on, I hope that my list has convinced you to try one of the above books.

Katie's book list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids

Katie Marie Why did Katie love this book?

So much of Lindqvists writing is fantastic, but this has to be my favorite. I read it while in university and then I re-read it and re-read it until one of my housemates asked why it was taking me so long to read a single book then seemed confused when I admitted that every time I finished it I just started it again. 

I love the take Lindqvist has on the vampire as a ‘monster’ Eli is complex and sympathetic, dangerous and vulnerable it’s a wonderful balancing act. But what I enjoyed most of all was that Eli, while being hundreds of years old, is physically and mentally, twelve. Their long life did not make them an adult in a child’s body, they literally stunted their growth and that makes them so compelling.

By John Ajvide Lindqvist, Ebba Segerberg (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Let the Right One in as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s international bestseller Let the Right One In is “a brilliant take on the vampire myth, and a roaring good story” (New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong), the basis for the multi-film festival award-winning Swedish film, the U.S. adaptation Let Me In directed by Matt Reeves (The Batman), and the Showtime TV series.

It is autumn 1981 when inconceivable horror comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at…

Book cover of An Ordinary Day

Caroline Kusin Pritchard Author Of Where Is Poppy?

From my list on talking about death and loss with your kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author who typically centers humor at the heart of my books but who dipped into heartache to tell this specific story. As a former educator with four kiddos of my own, I’ve been able to witness the myriad ways kids cope with grief, everything from hiding out in blanket forts to holding a backyard funeral service for a beloved pet roly-poly. I hope my book, Where is Poppy? offers kids comfort, peace, and preparation for their own unique journeys with loss. I studied creative writing and political science at Stanford University and hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. 

Caroline's book list on talking about death and loss with your kids

Caroline Kusin Pritchard Why did Caroline love this book?

This book isn’t just powerful because of how it allows kids to think (and ask) about death, but because of the staggering beauty in the storytelling itself.

We see two stories play out in neighboring houses—in one, a child is born; in the other, a dog is put to sleep. These parallel scenes help children see the circle of life in a way that is both accessible and, at times, heartbreaking.

I’ve read this story to our kids no less than 20 times, and each time, there’s an unmistakable silence as we witness the first and last breaths take place. It’s an absolute stunner and one that I’ve turned to time and again in my own processing of loss.  

By Elana K. Arnold, Elizabet Vukovic (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked An Ordinary Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An ordinary day in an ordinary neighborhood turns out to be quite extraordinary in this moving story about the circle of life.

It’s an average day in the neighborhood—children play, roses are watered, and a crow watches over it all. But then two visitors arrive at two houses, one to help a family say hello to a new baby and one to help a family say goodbye to a beloved pet. This sensitive picture book takes a gentle look at life, death, the bonds of family, and the extraordinary moments that make ordinary days so special.

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