10 books like La Linea

By Ann Jaramillo,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like La Linea. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Letters from Rifka

By Karen Hesse,

Book cover of Letters from Rifka

Letters from Rifka is immediately appealing because the author tells us that it is based on memories.

I was immediately drawn into the story by the engaging voice of the 12-year-old narrator, who writes her story in letter form. Rifka is a Russian Jew fleeing with her family from persecution in 1919. It is a story of a desperate flight, across Ukraine and into Poland, and from there, hopefully, to America. But, so close to freedom, Rifka is detained in a hospital for contagious diseases on Ellis Island, and may not be allowed to travel on with her family. Rifka’s character is so well drawn, her impish, positive voice so lovable, that MG readers won’t fail to love this book and care deeply about the plight of people who are forced to leave their homes forever.

Letters from Rifka

By Karen Hesse,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Letters from Rifka as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Newbery media winner Karen Hesse comes an unforgettable story of an immigrant family's journey to America.

"America," the girl repeated. "What will you do there?"
I was silent for a little time.
"I will do everything there," I answered.

Rifka knows nothing about America when she flees from Russia with her family in 1919. But she dreams that in the new country she will at last be safe from the Russian soldiers and their harsh treatment of the Jews. Throughout her journey, Rifka carries with her a cherished volume of poetry by Alexander Pushkin. In it, she records her…


Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

By Hanna Jansen,

Book cover of Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

This is a beautifully written account of how 8-year-old Jeanne d'Arc Umubyeyi (Dédé) escaped the 1994 massacre of the Tutsi ethnic group at the hands of the Huti tribe. Jeanne was the only member of her family to survive. The horror of what she went through is vividly recounted in Jeanne’s words and those of her adoptive mother Hanna Jansen, who adopted her and brought her to Germany. 

It is a very powerful, true, story. I had heard of the Rwandan massacre, but knew little about it till I read this novel. 

I love the book and have re-read it several times. Young adults will identify strongly with both Jeanne and Hanna.

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

By Hanna Jansen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before that fateful April day, Jeanne lived the life of a typical Rwandan girl. She bickered with her little sister, went to school, teased her brother. Then, in one horrifying night, everything changed. Political troubles unleashed a torrent of violence upon the Tutsi ethnic group. Jeanne's family, all Tutsis, fled their home and tried desperately to reach safety.

They did not succeed. As the only survivor of her family's massacre, Jeanne witnessed unspeakable acts. This haunting story was told to Jeanne's adoptive mother, and here she makes unforgettably real the events of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


The Crossing

By Manjeet Mann,

Book cover of The Crossing

The Crossing really moved me. It’s an unforgettable story of two young people who suffer extreme trauma and struggle to find their way to a better future. Nat is in England, her mother has died, and in her honour Nat sets herself the task of raising money for refugees by swimming the Channel. Sammy, in Eritrea, has witnessed the political murder of his father and is soon to be drafted into the army, where he knows he will be tortured. I love the way the author weaves their first-person stories together, till we feel the two must meet. Sammy’s desperate journey, with its horrors, hunger, despair, and unimaginable hardship, is particularly graphically told.

I found this story of bravery shocking and frightening, but not without hope.

The Crossing

By Manjeet Mann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Powerful, compassionate and ultimately hopeful. Observer

WINNER OF THE COSTA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD 2021 and the Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week - a trailblazing novel about two teenagers from opposite worlds; The Crossing is a profound story of hope, grief, and the very real tragedies of the refugee crisis.

The sea carries our pain. The stars carry our future.

Natalie's world is falling apart. She's just lost her mum and her brother marches the streets of Dover full of hate and anger. Swimming is her only refuge.

Sammy has fled his home and family in Eritrea for the…


Kiss the Dust

By Elizabeth Laird,

Book cover of Kiss the Dust

13 year old Tara is a Kurd living in Iraq. Overnight her world is turned upside down as her people are under bombardment from the government of Saddam Hussein and she has to flee for her life. It is 1970. Tara and her mother and little sister Hero and brother make a difficult, dangerous overnight journey across the mountains into Iran, but even there their lives are in danger. They have no idea what has happened to Tara’s father and brother, or if they will ever see them again.

I knew little about the Kurds until I read this book. Laird’s sympathetic and well-researched novel took me into the heart of these people who have no homeland, this family, and this teenaged war refugee.

Kiss the Dust

By Elizabeth Laird,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Tara is an ordinary teenager. Although her country, Kurdistan, is caught up in a war, the fighting seems far away. It hasn't really touched her. Until now. The secret police are closing in. Tara and her family must flee to the mountains with only the few things they can carry. It is a hard and dangerous journey - but their struggles have only just begun. Will anywhere feel like home again?


Refugee

By Alan Gratz,

Book cover of Refugee

A Jewish boy in the 1930s, a Cuban girl in the 1990s, and a Syrian boy in 2015 all attempt to flee violent times in their homelands, only to face hardship and danger while searching for safety abroad. In stories about war and revolution, the perspective of refugees is often overlooked, so it’s wonderful to see those voices centered here. I also love the way the different stories (and characters) are ultimately connected.

Refugee

By Alan Gratz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and
timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With
the threat of concentration camps looming, he and
his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world .
. .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and
unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft,
hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his
homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he…


Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare,

Book cover of Twelfth Night: Or What You Will

On the surface, this is a comedy of mistaken identity with identical twins, Sebastian and Viola, at its heart. It concerns members of the nobility: Orsino, Olivia, and Viola (disguised as Orsino’s serving-man, Cesario). But there are other characters, too, who drive the sub-plot. Key among these is the jester, Feste, who knows that all of life is uncertain, a matter of ‘the wind and the rain,’ and that so much of existence is to do with confronting forks in the road. At the end of the play, the ’toffs’ dutifully pair off: Olivia marries Sebastian and Orsino marries Cesario (or rather, Viola, unmasked in the nick of time). And Feste is on hand to pronounce on the mutability of life and on how its choices aren’t always ours to make.

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Named for the twelfth night after Christmas, the end of the Christmas season, Twelfth Night plays with love and power. The Countess Olivia, a woman with her own household, attracts Duke (or Count) Orsino. Two other would-be suitors are her pretentious steward, Malvolio, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

Onto this scene arrive the twins Viola and Sebastian; caught in a shipwreck, each thinks the other has drowned. Viola disguises herself as a male page and enters Orsino’s service. Orsino sends her as his envoy to Olivia—only to have Olivia fall in love with the messenger. The play complicates, then wonderfully untangles,…


The Culling

By Steven dos Santos,

Book cover of The Culling

The Culling, The Sowing, and The Raising by Steven Dos Santos provides one of the most compelling stories of conflicting choices I have ever encountered. My strongest love for this story is the main protagonist, Lucky, and his stoicism through the hardships that he is forced to endure. This story taught me to always search for the best option in life, and that there is always a choice, even when it seems that there isn’t. From this story, I will always take with me the ability to love fiercely and do what I must for that love.

The Culling

By Steven dos Santos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recruitment Day is here...if you fail, a loved one will die For Lucian “Lucky” Spark, Recruitment Day means the Establishment, a totalitarian government, will force him to become one of five Recruits competing to join the ruthless Imposer task force. Each Recruit participates in increasingly difficult and violent military training for a chance to advance to the next level. Those who fail must choose an “Incentive”—a family member—to be brutally killed. If Lucky fails, he’ll have to choose death for his only living relative: Cole, his four-year-old brother. Lucky will do everything he can to keep his brother alive, even…


Dry

By Neal Shusterman, Jarrod Shusterman,

Book cover of Dry

Dry, written by father and son duo Neal and Jerrod Shusterman, is a young adult novel that examines a world in which the California drought has reached a tipping point, and the state no longer has any running water. After what has been dubbed the 'tap-out,' our teen protagonist Alyssa must make life or death decisions when her parents leave in search of water, and do not return.

This plot-driven novel soon turns into an apocalyptic road trip that rarely lets up in the tension department as we watch humanity crumble and our protagonist and her friends struggle to survive. Prepare for this book to make you thirsty.

Dry

By Neal Shusterman, Jarrod Shusterman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The authors do not hold back.” —Booklist (starred review)
“The palpable desperation that pervades the plot…feels true, giving it a chilling air of inevitability.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The Shustermans challenge readers.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
“No one does doom like Neal Shusterman.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while…


The Boxcar Children

By Gertrude Chandler Warner, L. Kate Deal (illustrator),

Book cover of The Boxcar Children

In The Boxcar Children, four siblings run away from an abusive home and live by their wits and skills in an abandoned boxcar in the woods. As a young reader, I loved this book because the kids seemed magic to me. How did they know how to sew and cook and get jobs and build things? As a parent, I loved this book because it modeled great values (honesty, hard work, loyalty) for my kids. I say to my sons now as we teach them to make bread or sew on a button or catch a fish: you never know when these skills will come in handy. Some skills just add dimension to your life, but others may turn out to be skills you need in a pinch. 

The Boxcar Children

By Gertrude Chandler Warner, L. Kate Deal (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are brothers and sisters. They're orphans too, and the only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. When the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to call it home―and become the Boxcar Children!


More Than This

By Patrick Ness,

Book cover of More Than This

A young adult novel that no one would call horror. What makes this scary? The plot will bend your mind like watching The Matrix for the first time. Pick up this book if you want to see how to write scary and easy-to-read science fiction that isn't horror from a world-class author.

More Than This

By Patrick Ness,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked More Than This as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel
chronicling the life - or perhaps afterlife - of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy called Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he is here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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