10 books like Laika

By Nick Abadzis,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Moonbound

By Jonathan Fetter-Vorm,

Book cover of Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight

If you’re exploring space history, Apollo 11 is THE moment above all others – the first footsteps on another world. In Moonbound, Fetter-Vorm both captures and contextualizes that moment brilliantly, using the words of the astronauts themselves to share the story of the mission, while also giving the big picture that got them there – in the process unpacking everything from Galileo to the layers of a spacesuit.

Moonbound

By Jonathan Fetter-Vorm,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On a summer night in 1969, two men climbed down a ladder onto a sea of dust at the edge of an ancient dream. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on lunar soil, the moon ceased to be a place of mystery and myth. It became a destination.

Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of that journey, Moonbound tells the monumental story of the moon and the men who went there first. With vibrant images and meticulous attention to detail, Jonathan Fetter-Vorm conjures the long history of the visionaries, stargazers, builders, and adventurers who sent Apollo 11 on…


Astronauts

By Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks (illustrator),

Book cover of Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

For better or worse, this isn’t really a book that lives up to its name – or, at least, its subtitle. “Astronauts” isn’t really a history of women in space; it’s two early anecdotes tacked onto the story of Mary Cleave, one of NASA’s early female astronauts. And what a story it is – while many space graphic novels focus on the early years of spaceflight, “Astronauts” relates the experience of the Space Shuttle program that made up more than half of human spaceflight history and more closely resembles the space missions of today.

Astronauts

By Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

America may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. Meanwhile, in the United States, NASA's first female astronauts were racing toward milestones of their own. These trail-blazing women were admitted into Group 9, NASA's first mixed-gender class. They had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman's place is in space. But once they'd been admitted into the training program, they discovered that NASA had plenty to learn about how to make space travel possible for all humans.

In…


The Mars Challenge

By Alison Wilgus, Wyeth Yates (illustrator),

Book cover of The Mars Challenge: The Past, Present, and Future of Human Spaceflight

The first three books on this list are focused on the history of space exploration; The Mars Challenge is all about the future. Told us a conversation between an ambitious student and a more experienced space professional mentor, The Mars Challenge explores just that – the numerous challenges humanity will have to overcome before we can take the first steps on the Red Planet. In doing so, it threads a needle brilliantly – doing justice to the complexity of these challenges, but presenting them in a way that a lay reader can understand. The book is perfect for inspiring the next generation of explorers, and provides a fun read for adults who’d like an overview of the challenges of space.

The Mars Challenge

By Alison Wilgus, Wyeth Yates (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Nadia is a teenager with a dream: to be the first woman on Mars. But there are a lot of obstacles in her way: gravity wells, interplanetary trajectories, space weather, and that pesky rocket equation. It's a good thing Nadia's friend Eleanor is a space wiz.

Eleanor explains how scientists are working to overcome the numerous challenges involved in a manned mission to Mars. Eye-catching illustrations and detailed diagrams bring to light the scientific concepts and complex machinery of interplanetary travel. The challenges are great, but not insurmountable. Humans can reach Mars in our lifetime, and this book explains how…


Shackleton

By Nick Bertozzi,

Book cover of Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey

Including this book is a bit of a cheat, since it’s not actually about space. But the spirit of Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance crew’s journey to the Antarctic has permeated space exploration – the Shackleton crater at the lunar south pole is an intriguing potential landing site for future astronauts. While no one in “Shackleton” leaves the planet, the story this book tells about humanity’s passion for exploration, the risks of the unknown, and about endurance in the face of adversity is well worth reading for those passionate about our outward odyssey.

Shackleton

By Nick Bertozzi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ernest Shackleton was one of the last great Antarctic explorers, and he led one of the most ambitious Antarctic expeditions ever undertaken. In this graphic biography, Nick Bertozzi tells his story and the story of the dozens of men who threw in their lot with him - many of whom nearly died in the unimaginably harsh conditions of the journey. It's an astonishing feat - and was unprecedented at the time-that all the men in the expedition survived. In Shackleton, Bertozzi has documented this remarkable journey with such wit and fiendish attention to detail that it's impossible not to get…


Rain Reign

By Ann M. Martin,

Book cover of Rain Reign

This is the story of a girl named Rose, who is autistic and obsessed with homonyms. She lives with her father who’s often impatient with her needs and abandons her to drink at the local bar. Her mother has vanished, and Rose turns to her sympathetic uncle and her beloved new dog for comfort.  When her dad lets the dog out during a storm, Rose and her uncle find the dog and realize it already has an owner. She learns the truth of her mother’s disappearance and moves in with her uncle. 

Once again, here’s a story about the healing relationship that can exist between a kid and an animal. And as the sibling of a person with Down syndrome and a former special education teacher, I’m impressed with the author’s respectful portrayal of a girl on the autism spectrum.

Rain Reign

By Ann M. Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin, who wrote the Baby-sitters Club series, comes a New York Times-bestselling middle grade novel about a girl, her dog, and the trials of growing up in a complicated and often scary world.

Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She's thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose's rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose's obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different―not her teachers, not other kids, and not…


His Dog

By Albert Payson Terhune,

Book cover of His Dog

I’m a sucker for a book where a struggling person turns his life around, and His Dog is a wonderful example. A bitter, failed man, run to seed and given up to drink and bad ways, takes in a stray dog, and we see the gradual transformation of his life in response to the dog’s pure goodwill. It’s a charming book, and as it goes on, and terrible risks are encountered and overcome, it is in emotional terms one of the most exciting books I’ve read. Originally published in 1922, the book deals with subjects that don’t change over time, so it remains as relevant today as when it was first written. A beautiful and heart-warming book.

His Dog

By Albert Payson Terhune,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

By Lisa Papp,

Book cover of Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

My kids and I loved this heartwarming story about a little girl, Madeleine, and Bonnie, the library dog who loves being read to. We were rooting for Madeleine to read to her new kind and patient dog friend! The kids mentioned how much they wanted to meet Bonnie and read to her, and wondered if our local library has events with reading dogs. They also wanted an immediate re-read. (Of course, my family likes books with adorable cuddly dogs in general.)

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

By Lisa Papp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Madeline Finn and the Library Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Madeline Finn does not like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice cream van. Fortunately, Madeline meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading aloud to Bonnie isn't so bad. When Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn't mind. As it turns out, it's fun to read when you're not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it's Okay to go slow, to keep trying, and to get support from a friend. A beautiful, reassuring, story for all those struggling to read. Perfect accompaniment for the 'reading dogs' programmes used by many schools and libraries.…


Harry the Dirty Dog

By Gene Zion, Margaret Bloy Graham (illustrator),

Book cover of Harry the Dirty Dog

First published in 1956, Harry the Dirty Dog is still around and charming young readers. To avoid a bath, Harry buries the scrubbing brush in the yard and then runs away. He gets into entertaining scrapes and messes, eventually returning home so covered in dirt and soot that he is unrecognizable to his family. Panic! How will Harry convince his family that he is their missing pet? I read this on repeat to my kids when they were young, and today I also read it during library storytimes. The retro art is visually appealing and the story has just-high-enough stakes to keep kids glued to their seats.  

Harry the Dirty Dog

By Gene Zion, Margaret Bloy Graham (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Harry the Dirty Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Harry is a black and white dog who hates having a bath - so when he sees his owner with the dredded bath, he runs away. But in the end, harry gets so dirty that his owners dont recognise him and so he has to beg for the thing he used to dread so much so they let him back into the houshold.


101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition

By Kyra Sundance,

Book cover of 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition: Fun and Easy Activities, Games, and Crafts

Yup, another book by Kyra—completely different but equally as enjoyable and with many more wonderful photographs (starring Jadie the Weim). I’m sure that all the children have read and mastered everything in 101 Dog Tricks and wanted something more. Well, they got it. I wanted to make this the first choice on my list, but didn’t, because not everyone has children and I didn’t want them to feel left out. Nonetheless, I implore you all to be a child for a day and enjoy the book, and your dog.

The Kids Edition is a marvelous collection of 101 games, activities, brain games, and magic tricks, for children to teach and engage with their dogs. What makes the Kids Edition truly special, most tricks involve projects, showing children how to make stuff, such as doggy doorbells, fleece leashes, personalized dog bowls, teeter-totters, and artworks. Messenger Dog is my all-time favorite and…

101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition

By Kyra Sundance,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Having your children train the family dog through trick teaching is an ideal way to build a safe and respectful relationship early on, build a bond between your dog and the kids, build confidence, and make it fun for everyone! 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition will teach you everything you need to know to involve your children in training the family dog. This book presents full color photos of kids working with dogs for each trick, along with training steps, to make it easy to follow along. The step-by-step approach, difficulty rating, and prerequisites will allow you and your child…


Dog Boy

By Eva Hornung,

Book cover of Dog Boy

Of all my picks, this one is the most startling read, I think. It follows the life of a very small boy, left for some reason abandoned, who takes refuge with a stray bitch and her litter, and consequently grows up as a dog.

This, too, is very much a tragedy; although he lives as a dog, and everything he knows is of being a dog, yet the boy is not a dog and cannot remain one, and his own complete failure to understand his circumstances when he is rescued results in one of the most heartbreaking endings to any book I have ever read.

It’s a strange and beautiful experience, reading this book, and although yes, it will break you, it gives a rare insight into how it can be for anyone brought up outside his proper culture.

Dog Boy

By Eva Hornung,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A vivid, riveting novel about an abandoned boy who takes up with a pack of feral dogs

Two million children roam the streets in late twentieth-century Moscow. A four-year-old boy named Romochka, abandoned by his mother and uncle, is left to fend for himself. Curious, he follows a stray dog to its home in an abandoned church cellar on the city's outskirts. Romochka makes himself at home with Mamochka, the mother of the pack, and six other dogs as he slowly abandons his human attributes to survive two fiercely cold winters. Able to pass as either boy or dog, Romochka…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, the Soviet Union, and space race?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, the Soviet Union, and space race.

Dogs Explore 272 books about dogs
The Soviet Union Explore 251 books about the Soviet Union
Space Race Explore 15 books about space race