100 books like Kristy's Great Idea

By Ann M. Martin, Raina Telgemeier (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Kristy's Great Idea fans have personally recommended if you like Kristy's Great Idea. 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 J.D. and the Great Barber Battle

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?

Third-grader J.D. has the entrepreneurial and problem-solving spirit I adore. Great at cutting hair, he starts a barbershop in his bedroom! But when the town barbershop loses business because J.D’s charging less than they do, they challenge him to a barber battle. The story made me laugh out loud and cheer for J.D.

By J. Dillard, Akeem S. Roberts (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked J.D. and the Great Barber Battle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Eight-year-old J.D. turns a tragic home haircut into a thriving barber business in this hilarious new illustrated chapter book series

J.D. has a big problem--it's the night before the start of third grade and his mom has just given him his first and worst home haircut. When the steady stream of insults from the entire student body of Douglass Elementary becomes too much for J.D., he takes matters into his own hands and discovers that, unlike his mom, he's a genius with the clippers. His work makes him the talk of the town and brings him enough hair business to…


Book cover of Chirp

Shelly X. Leonn Author Of The Ghost and the Wolf

From my list on girl MCs who are owning life.

Why am I passionate about this?

My novel choices were part of the Afterschool Literacy & Building Modules for an organization called LitShop. It encourages growth in literacy, making, building, and leadership in girls ages 10-15 in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m honored to lead the writing classes. All of the LitShop books feature strong girls who believe they can make and build their way to a better world, and I aim to include similar characters in my stories. Stories can provide us with motivation, inspiration, and companionship, and all of these books have done just that… for the girls of LitShop as well as myself.

Shelly's book list on girl MCs who are owning life

Shelly X. Leonn Why did Shelly love this book?

This pick has the distinguished honor of convincing me to try cricket flour. It also manages to present a layered storyline, one that combines an almost classic mystery plot with a traumatized character’s journey of self-healing. This book serves as a powerful reminder that we are more than the incidents that victimized us. And yes, even an insect hater like me enjoyed learning so much about the many uses of crickets! 

By Kate Messner,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Chirp 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] deftly layered mystery about family, friendship, and the struggle to speak up." - Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Shout

From acclaimed author Kate Messner comes the powerful story of a young girl with the courage to make her voice heard, set against the backdrop of a summertime mystery.

When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she's recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she'd rather forget.

Mia's change in scenery brings day…


Book cover of Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid

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?

I had so many lemonade stands when I was a kid but mine never became a million-dollar business (not even close!)!  If only I’d had Mikaela’s book (and determination) back then... I loved her story of being a kid entrepreneur and her relatable advice for building a purpose-driven, bug-based company. Like the women my book Eat Bugs is based upon, Mikaela got a deal on Shark Tank too.

By Mikaila Ulmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bee Fearless 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 business memoir from lemonade entrepreneur and one of TIME Magazine's Top 30 Most Influential Teens, Mikaila Ulmer, and her advice for life and business--now in paperback!

When Mikaila Ulmer was four, she was stung by a bee--twice in one week. She was terrified of going outside, so her parents encouraged her to learn more about bees so she wouldn't be afraid. It worked. Mikaila didn't just learn what an important role bees play in our ecosystem, but she also learned bees are endangered, and set out to save them. She started by selling cups of lemonade in front of…


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 Bolivar

Barbara Lehman Author Of Red Again

From my list on celebrating city life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I especially love books for children that capture city life in a way that feels both unique and child scaled. I have set most of my books in cities because I love the story possibilities that exist in what are almost entirely human-made environments. Paradoxically, city settings make any kind of connection to the natural world or animals even more important. On this list are all books I feel show a particularly special aspect of city life for children.

Barbara's book list on celebrating city life

Barbara Lehman Why did Barbara love this book?

I love recognizing Central Park, The Met, The Museum of Natural History, the subway, Chinatown, and more in this story of Bolivar, a dinosaur on the loose In Manhattan. The author has a clear affection as well as a keenly observing eye for all details of a contemporary NYC setting, and the story is fun. Everything from rooftop elements to his depiction of subway mosaic tile is lovingly observed and rendered as a rich backdrop to the rollicking storyline.

By Sean Rubin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bolivar 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?

Going extinct isn't for everyone. Sybil knows that there is something off about her next door neighbor, but she can't seem to get anyone to believe her. Everyone is so busy going about their days in the busy streets of New York City that they don't notice Bolivar. They don't notice his odd height, his tiny arms, or his long tail. No one but Sybil sees that Bolivar is a dinosaur. When an unlikely parking ticket pulls Bolivar into an adventure from City Hall to New York's Natural History Museum, he must finally make a choice: Bolivar can continue to…


Book cover of MacDoodle St.

David Kamp Author Of Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America

From my list on coming of age in New York City.

Why am I passionate about this?

“You spend your first 18 years as a sponge and the rest of your life using those early years as material.” Martin Short said this to me when I collaborated with him on his memoir, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. My own writing bears this out. My nonfiction books The United States of Arugula and Sunny Days are not first-person books, but they examine two significant cultural movements that defined my formative years: the American food revolution led by the likes of Julia Child and Alice Waters and the children’s-TV revolution defined by Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Much of my journalism finds me chasing down the cultural figures who captured and shaped my young imagination, e.g., Sly Stone, Johnny Cash, Charles Schulz.

David's book list on coming of age in New York City

David Kamp Why did David love this book?

My curveball choice. In the late 1970s, Stamaty drew a brilliant, phantasmagoric, visually dense comic strip for The Village Voice that captured the chaos, charm, and entropic scuzziness of Manhattan in that era. His protagonist, a bearded nerd named Malcolm Frazzle, travels on a very funny Joseph Campbell-like hero’s journey that involves a talking cow, the Zen of dishwashing, and overpacked subway cars. I’ve spent the last 40 years revisiting this compendium of Stamaty’s strips, whose every page is a loony, trippy world to fall into.

By Mark Alan Stamaty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of legendary absurdist comic strips about life in 1970s New York City, now available in print for the first time in over thirty years.

Every week, from 1978 to 1980, The Village Voice brought a new installment of Mark Alan Stamaty's uproarious, endlessly inventive strip MacDoodle St. Centering more or less on Malcolm Frazzle, a blocked poet struggling to complete his latest lyric for Dishwasher Monthly, Stamaty's creation encompassed a dizzying array of characters, stories, jokes, and digressions. One week might feature the ongoing battle between irate businessmen and bearded beatniks for control of a Greenwich Village coffee…


Book cover of The System

Lee Nordling Author Of BirdCatDog (Three-Story Books)

From my list on wordless books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Eisner-nominated and award-winning graphic novel and comics writer, editor, and book packager. I've worked on staff at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Disney Publishing, DC Comics, Nickelodeon Magazine, and Platinum Studios. My sequential art book, The Bramble, won the 2013 Moonbeam Gold Medal for Picture Books, and I created a new way to read comics with BirdCatDog, a 2015 Eisner Awards nominee, that received the 2015 Moonbeam Spirit Award Gold Medal for Imagination, and was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best children’s books of 2014. SheHeWe, the third book in the series, was a 2016 Eisner Award nominee for Best Publication for Early Readers.

Lee's book list on wordless books

Lee Nordling Why did Lee love this book?

In 1997, Peter Kuper knocked my socks off with The System, a wordless book that exposes the underbelly of New York City as an airbrushed wonderland of strippers, druggies, the homeless, dirty cops, killers, taggers, sleaze-balls, muggers, and—oh, yes—there’s a terrorist with a bomb who wants to blow things up. Never was anything so bright and colorful so decadently revealing.

By Peter Kuper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It has been said that the flutter of insect wings in the Indian Ocean can send a hurricane crashing against the shores of the American Northeast, and such a premise lies at the core of The System, a wordless graphic novel created and painted by award-winning illustrator Peter Kuper. A sleazy stockbroker is lining his pockets, a corrupt cop is shaking down drug dealers, a mercenary bomber is setting the timer, a serial killer is stalking strippers, a political scandal is about to explode, the planet is burning, and nobody’s talking. Told without captions or dialogue, this piece of art…


Book cover of My New York Diary

François Vigneault Author Of Titan

From my list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American-born cartoonist who’s been living and working in Montreal since 2015. My mother is from Quebec, and when I immigrated here I was looking to reconnect with my cultural roots. Reading graphic novels from here was a huge part of how I got to know my adopted community. I might be a bit biased, but I have to say Quebec has one of the world’s most vibrant comic arts scenes; a blend of American comic books mixed with Franco-Belgian bande dessinée. With more and more graphic novels from Quebec getting translated into English you’re sure to find something you’ll dig, whether you’re looking for slice-of-life or science fiction.

François' book list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste

François Vigneault Why did François love this book?

This slim but dense book chronicles the ups and (mostly) downs of a young woman’s life in Montréal and New York in the 80s and early 90s, a scuzzy time capsule full of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Doucet’s maximalist, punk-inflected art packs each and every claustrophobic panel to bursting, a perfect fit for this tale of a suffocating, toxic relationship playing out in the shadow of the Cold War. It’s no exaggeration to say that Doucet, who recently won the Angouléme Festival's Grand Prix, is one of the most important figures in modern comics, she was one of the first women to break into the boys’ club of the alt comix scene and rewrote the rules of the medium. She remains not only a giant in the history of Quebec comics but of the entire graphic novel art form.

By Julie Doucet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My New York Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'My New York Diary' documents the events in Doucet's life during a six-month period in 1991. At that time, she packed her bags and moved to New York and waiting for her was her new boyfriend, an aspiring cartoonist himself who took Julie to his apartment.


Book cover of In the Shadow of No Towers

Michael Tisserand Author Of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White

From my list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was walking across the country in 1986 when I met a journalist named Mike Sager who showed me that writing can also be an adventure. Since then, I’ve edited an alternative weekly newspaper and written books about zydeco, Hurricane Katrina, comics, and old Kodachrome photos. So far, most everything I write seems to be centered in some way around my adopted home state of Louisiana, a place that never seems to run out of stories. Also, I still like to walk.

Michael's book list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies

Michael Tisserand Why did Michael love this book?

Unlike the other books on this list, this isn’t primarily a reprint collection of early-twentieth-century comics. Rather, Art Spiegelman (whose essential memoir Maus was the first comic to win a Pulitzer Prize), re-introduces old comics characters in a very personal story of the 9/11 attacks and the political fallout. Figures like the Happy Hooligan, Jiggs and Maggie, Little Nemo, and Krazy Kat and Ignatz float through these stories like New York City’s awakened ghosts. Spiegelman also adds a masterful essay on comics and curates a few selections of the original strips. No work better demonstrates how the early cartoonists can speak through the rubble of history with vitality and humor.

By Art Spiegelman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Shadow of No Towers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, the terrorist attacks of September 11th were both highly personal and intensely political. In the Shadow of No Towers is a masterful and moving account of the events and aftermath of that tragic day.

Spiegelman and his family bore witness to the attacks in their lower Manhattan neighborhood: his teenage daughter had started school directly below the towers days earlier, and they had lived in the area for years. But the horrors they survived that morning were only the beginning for Spiegelman, as his anguish was quickly displaced by fury at the U.S.…


Book cover of Frank Frazetta: The Living Legend

Mike Mattesi Author Of FORCE: Dynamic Life Drawing

From my list on how to draw for animation, video games and comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

My career has spanned all genres of entertainment and I have taught thousands of students across three decades. I share with those learnings. I have been trained at Walt Disney Animation Studios, freelanced for Marvel Comics, been an art director in video games for decades, owned three of my own businesses in art fields, and written many books on drawing. I share with you some of my favorite books, books that you can learn from if you apply the information within and therefore gain the ability yourself to create inspired work.

Mike's book list on how to draw for animation, video games and comics

Mike Mattesi Why did Mike love this book?

This book is not so much educational as it is inspiring. Frazetta’s work has inspired me and my students for the last three decades. When I attended art school in New York, I discover that Frazetta had a gallery in East Stroudsberg, PA. I would travel there in the hopes of meeting him in person, an event that never occurred. I did have many discussions with his wife and I would spend hours in the gallery attempting to decipher how Frazetta created the dynamic, illustrious sci-fi and fantasy illustrations. Also, something that never occurred. This particular book presents Frazetta’s ink drawings, masterfully drafted and full story.

By Frank Frazetta, Eleanor Frazetta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Frazetta, Frank, Frazetta, Eleanor


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