100 books like Lob

By Linda Newbery,

Here are 100 books that Lob fans have personally recommended if you like Lob. 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 A Monster Calls

Sarah Allen Author Of The Nightmare House

From my list on where the monsters are more than monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my high school creative writing class, my teacher once said that good writing was a bit like looking at a star. If you look directly at it, it gets a little fuzzy and hard to see. But if you look just off to the side, the star becomes vivid and clear. That, to me, is exactly the power of spooky stories for young readers. We all deal with monsters, to varying degrees, throughout our lives. Even kids. But if we look at it just off to the side, through the angle of a fun, spooky story, those monsters suddenly become much more comprehensible. More faceable. More beatable. 

Sarah's book list on where the monsters are more than monsters

Sarah Allen Why did Sarah love this book?

It’s been said by smarter people than me how writing horror for kids isn’t about scaring them, it’s about showing them how brave they are.

A Monster Calls is the perfect illustration of that. The scariness and the spookiness are a stand-in for the real-life horrors that this kid is facing. Kids deal with a lot, and this book is the perfect example of how to survive when the worst happens.

The artwork too—wow! I wish I could get some of this artwork to hang on my walls. Absolutely gorgeous book.

By Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Monster Calls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The bestselling novel and major film about love, loss and hope from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness.

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don't quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there's a visitor at his window. It's ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking…


Book cover of My Father's Arms Are a Boat

Aoife Greenham Author Of Big Dance

From my list on children's books about grief and death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and illustrator of children's picturebooks, having completed my MA at the Cambridge School of Art. I am endlessly fascinated with the picture book as a rich medium for children to safely and slowly approach topics that might be challenging for them. Picture books can be such a versatile, interesting place for curiosity and confidence to thrive, while also creating a lovely time for closeness between parent/carer and child. As we grapple with the long-term effects of the pandemic, I feel that children will need stories more than ever, to help them make sense of their experiences.

Aoife's book list on children's books about grief and death

Aoife Greenham Why did Aoife love this book?

This subtle and tender book is a moving look at life continuing in small moments after a bereavement. I love the marriage of words and images, where each part tells a different piece of the story and the relationship between the boy and his father. The boy asks questions, about the birds, the trees, the fox, and his mother, looking for reassurance. When the father repeats "everything is going to be alright," we are all reassured and comforted, and held safe in arms like a boat.

By Stein Erik Lunde, Øyvind Torseter (illustrator), Kari Dickson (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Father's Arms Are a Boat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's quieter than it's ever been. Unable to sleep, a young boy climbs into his father's arms. Feeling the warmth and closeness of his father, he begins to ask questions about the birds, the foxes, and whether his mom will ever wake up. They go outside under the starry sky. Loss and love are as present as the white spruces, while the father's clear answers and assurances calm his worried son. Here we feel the cycles of life and life's continuity, even in the face of absence and loss, so strongly and clearly that we know at the end that…


Book cover of The Hideaway

Aoife Greenham Author Of Big Dance

From my list on children's books about grief and death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and illustrator of children's picturebooks, having completed my MA at the Cambridge School of Art. I am endlessly fascinated with the picture book as a rich medium for children to safely and slowly approach topics that might be challenging for them. Picture books can be such a versatile, interesting place for curiosity and confidence to thrive, while also creating a lovely time for closeness between parent/carer and child. As we grapple with the long-term effects of the pandemic, I feel that children will need stories more than ever, to help them make sense of their experiences.

Aoife's book list on children's books about grief and death

Aoife Greenham Why did Aoife love this book?

For older readers, The Hideaway blends themes of domestic violence, difficult family life, community, environment, and care together. Besides an unbearable home life, we are shown how Billy, our main character, finds safety and space in the unlikely setting of a graveyard. His relationship with the old man he meets and the careful work they engage in, help maintain the old man's connection with the past, and Billy's connection with the present. Beautifully illustrated by Smy, and written by her also, this book celebrates the graveyard not as a spooky or scary site, but as a special place where we remember, connect with, and love those we have lost.

By Pam Smy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The wonderful long-awaited second novel from Pam Smy, celebrated author and illustrator of Thornhill.

The Hideaway tells the story of a boy, Billy McKenna, who runs away from a difficult situation at home and takes refuge in an overgrown graveyard. While hiding there he meets an elderly man who is tending the graves in preparation for a day in November when something magical is set to happen.

The book is written in two alternating narratives, both different aspects of the same story. One thread tells of Billy's experience of hiding away in the graveyard, his mixed-up feelings and emotions, and…


Book cover of Duck, Death and the Tulip

Dana Wulfekotte Author Of Where Is Poppy?

From my list on picture books about loss when you need a good cry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author-illustrator who loves picture books that can tackle difficult topics in a unique way. Along with Where Is Poppy?, I’ve also illustrated The Remember Balloons, written by Jessie Oliveros, which helps to gently explain Alzheimer’s and memory loss to kids without sugarcoating the realities of the illness. I think books can be a great tool for helping kids understand and process ideas that can be a little heavy or overwhelming, even for adults.

Dana's book list on picture books about loss when you need a good cry

Dana Wulfekotte Why did Dana love this book?

This is another book about death that will also make you laugh.

I appreciate how direct this book is while still managing to be tender and sensitive. And the artwork matches the tone of the text well. Death looks both friendly and a little creepy.

It may not be for every family, but I love how oddly funny and heartbreaking this book is. 

By Wolf Erlbruch,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Duck, Death and the Tulip as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning author and illustrator, Wolf Erlbruch, comes one of the world’s best children’s books about grief and loss.

In a curiously heart-warming and elegantly illustrated story, a duck strikes up an unlikely friendship with Death. Duck and Death play together and discuss big questions. Death, dressed in a dressing gown and slippers, is sympathetic and kind and will be duck’s companion until the end.

“I’m cold,” she said one evening. “Will you warm me a little?”
Snowflakes drifted down.
Something had happened. Death looked at the duck.
She’d stopped breathing. She lay quite still.

Explaining the topic of death…


Book cover of Plotting the Stars 1: Moongarden

Maura Jortner Author Of 102 Days of Lying About Lauren

From my list on kids who make it through tough times.

Why am I passionate about this?

I went through major surgery when I was in eighth grade. The physical pain was bad, but what hurt more was the emotional side. When I returned to school, the friend groups had shifted, shutting me out because of my extended absence. I had to face that time in life alone. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to works about kids who have to face challenges on their own. When we go through hard times, our true selves come out. They have to; we have no one else. We can’t pretend. We can only try to make it. The books I like show characters that shine through their hardships.

Maura's book list on kids who make it through tough times

Maura Jortner Why did Maura love this book?

First off, this book was written by a good friend of mine and I got to read early, early drafts of it. But more importantly, Myra, the main character, is in a special school on the Moon for kids with magic. Only, she doesn’t have magic. She has to try to fake her way through it.

That is, until she develops the wrong kind of magic. When she discovers she’s a Boton, all is lost. She could be put in jail for having plant magic–or worse. Myra isn’t very good at making friends, but she learns through this tough situation how to trust other people.

By Michelle A. Barry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Plotting the Stars 1 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?

"Moongarden blooms with heart and adventure. A stellar update of The Secret Garden, woven with a little science fiction, a lot of magic, a vibrant heroine, and a plucky robot sidekick to rival R2-D2." —Victoria Aveyard, New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen

The Secret Garden meets The City of Ember. Failed climate change policy, an intergalactic conspiracy, and the magical, unlikely heroine who could unearth it all. An explosive STEAM-inspired series starter perfect for young change makers.

Centuries ago, Earth’s plants turned deadly, and humanity took to space to cultivate new homes. Myra Hodger is in her first…


Book cover of A Year in the Life of Beth Chatto's Gardens

Natasha Goodfellow Author Of A Cotswold Garden Companion: An Illustrated Map and Guide

From my list on making you want to visit more gardens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a journalist and garden writer who discovered the joys of gardens 20 years ago when I got my own small backyard in London. Since then, I’ve studied horticulture, I’ve worked with garden designers, and I’ve travelled the country writing about gardens great and small. I’m interested in their history, their planting, and, most of all, how they make you feel, which is what I try to distill into my guides. 

Natasha's book list on making you want to visit more gardens

Natasha Goodfellow Why did Natasha love this book?

Anyone with an interest in gardens will want to visit Beth Chatto’s famous garden outside Colchester in Essex. What you’re unlikely to be able to do, unless you live locally, is to visit several times over the course of a year. This book, beautifully photographed by Rachel Warne, permits you that pleasure, allowing you to see how the garden changes through the seasons and enabling you to identify interesting plants you might like to try in your own plot. Stipa barbata and Ranunculus acris ‘Sulphureus’ are two of my favourite discoveries.

By Fergus Garrett, Beth Chatto, Rachel Warne (photographer)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Year in the Life of Beth Chatto's Gardens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beth Chatto has been among the most influential British gardeners of the second half of the twentieth century. When she started to make her garden on an overgrown area of wasteland in Essex in 1960 she was faced with a range of widely differing conditions, from drought-stricken gravel through woodland to dense, silty bog. Applying the principles of ecological gardening, she set about finding plants that would suit these very different, awkward situations. The gardens she made - the Mediterranean garden on the sunny slopes, the shady woodland garden, the damp garden for water-loving plants, the drier than dry gravel…


Book cover of Sakuteiki: Visions of the Japanese Garden: A Modern Translation of Japan's Gardening Classic

Mira Locher Author Of Zen Garden Design: Mindful Spaces by Shunmyo Masuno - Japan's Leading Garden Designer

From my list on digging into Japanese gardens.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first saw an image of a Japanese garden, it was unlike anything I had seen before. I just knew I had to visit Japan to see the gardens and try to understand the culture that produced this artistry. I later had the opportunity to work for a small Japanese architecture firm in Tokyo. During those seven years, I explored gardens, landscapes, villages, and cities, trying to absorb as much of the culture as I could. Japanese gardens still fascinate me, and I love learning about contemporary designers and gardeners in Japan who are keeping the traditional spirit alive, while exploring what a garden can be in the present day.

Mira's book list on digging into Japanese gardens

Mira Locher Why did Mira love this book?

Not only does this book provide a translation of a nearly 1,000-year-old text on garden design – the oldest such text existing in the world, but it also includes extensive annotation and a carefully researched introduction to the cultural and historic influences on the development of Japanese gardens. This is a delightful combination of the technical detail and practical advice of the classic text with the author-translators’ descriptive explanation.

By Jiro Takei, Marc P. Keane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Learn the art of Japanese gardening with this classic, fascinating text.

The Sakuteiki, or "Records of Garden Making," was written nearly one thousand years ago. It is the oldest existing text on Japanese gardening-or any kind of gardening-in the world. In this edition of the Sakuteiki, the authors provide an English-language translation of this classic work and an introduction to the cultural and historical context that led to the development of Japanese gardening. Central to this explanation is an understanding of the sacred importance of stones in Japanese culture and Japanese garden design.

Written by a Japanese court noble during…


Book cover of Designing with Succulents

Isa Hendry Eaton and Jennifer Blaise Kramer Author Of Small Garden Style: A Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and Containers

From my list on inspiring you to design your dream garden.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are garden designer Isa Hendry Eaton and lifestyle writer Jennifer Blaise Kramer, co-authors of Small Garden Style. We love getting and sharing inspiration on good garden design to pull our lives more outdoors. In our book, we show you how to use good design to create a joyful, elegant, and exciting yet compact outdoor living space for entertaining or relaxing. Our stylishly photographed guide is a fun way to create lush, layered, dramatic little gardens no matter the size of your available space, be it an urban patio, a tiny backyard, or even just a pot by your door.

Isa and Jennifer's book list on inspiring you to design your dream garden

Isa Hendry Eaton and Jennifer Blaise Kramer Why did Isa and Jennifer love this book?

As plant lovers who live in Santa Barbara, where succulents and aloes are ever-present, we love this book as it feels like a big authority on such a specific subject.

The book offers a crash course in choosing and planning succulents, and reading it makes even a novice feel like an expert. In addition to learning plant names and growing tips, Baldwin offers fun ideas like covering the top of a henhouse with low-maintenance plants.

Plus, the book is bursting with color, so every page is a visual thrill.

By Debra Lee Baldwin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Designing with Succulents is inspiring, practical, and complete-a treasure for any gardener who loves these otherworldly beauties." -Kathleen N. Brenzel, Sunset Succulents offer dazzling possibilities and require very little maintenance to remain lush and alluring year-round. No one knows them better than the Queen of Succulents, Debra Lee Baldwin. This new, completely revised edition of her bestselling classic is a design compendium that is as practical as it is inspirational. Designing with Succulents shares design and cultivation basics, hundreds of succulent plant recommendations, and 50 companion plant profiles. Lavishly illustrated with 400 photographs, you'll find everything you need to visualize,…


Book cover of The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden

John Greenlee Author Of The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn

From my list on creating successful meadow and grass garden ecology.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an expert in grass ecology and champion of sustainable design, John Greenlee has created meadows not only in the United States, but throughout the world for over 30 years. Some of his most notable gardens include the Getty Museum, the Norton Simon Museum in Los Angeles, and the savannas at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. In addition to his consulting and design work for commercial and residential clients, John Greenlee enjoys sharing his knowledge by giving several presentations and lectures throughout the year on the use of natural lawns, native grasses, and meadow restoration.

John's book list on creating successful meadow and grass garden ecology

John Greenlee Why did John love this book?

I think this book is one of the best organized and easily digestible garden books out there.

Whether you are a seasoned professional garden designer or just a beginner, this book is essential for helping understand how to put plants together in the garden. Roy’s simple and effective methodology can benefit any gardener's attempts to design successful perennial borders without a lot of jargon or pretension.

Roy’s book is both inspiring and informative. Roy’s influence is felt through some of the Midwest’s finest gardens and his maintenance knowledge can benefit any perennial garden, anywhere.

By Roy Diblik,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A veritable goldmine for gardeners.” —Plant Talk

We’ve all seen gorgeous perennial gardens packed with color, texture, and multi-season interest. Designed by a professional and maintained by a crew, they are aspirational bits of beauty too difficult to attempt at home. Or are they?

The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden makes a design-magazine-worthy garden achievable at home. The new, simplified approach is made up of hardy, beautiful plants grown on a 10x14 foot grid. Each of the 62 garden plans combines complementary plants that thrive together and grow as a community. They are designed to make maintenance a snap. The garden…


Book cover of Tom's Midnight Garden

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Author Of The Seeing Garden

From my list on gardens as places of discovery and change.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was growing up, my mother loved to garden. I remember visiting the nursery with her and being captivated by all the rows of flowers with the gorgeous names: marigolds, cosmos, dahlias, fuchsias. Now I have a garden of my own, and it’s my happy place. It adds color and fragrance to my life, and it keeps me grounded (literally and figuratively) when things are stressful. And as a writer, I find that story ideas often come to me when I’m working in the garden. It’s a constant source of inspiration and delight.       

Ginny's book list on gardens as places of discovery and change

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Why did Ginny love this book?

When I was a child, I was captivated by this 1958 English novel. It’s every bit as good forty years later. 

Tom, a bored boy spending the summer with his aunt and uncle, finds a rambling Victorian garden in the backyard of the house… but the garden is only there at night, gone during the day.

It’s a gripping time-travel story, one that celebrates the garden as a place where a child can stretch both limbs and mind. And through Tom’s friendship with a Victorian girl named Hatty, the novel touches beautifully upon the ache that comes from seeing your friends grow up before you do. 

The novel’s fantastical elements are handled (and, ultimately, explained) in a totally satisfying way. It’s an enchanting read.

By Philippa Pearce, Jaime Zollars (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Tom's Midnight Garden 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?

Winner of the Carnegie Medal

From beloved author Philippa Pearce, this sixtieth-anniversary edition is the perfect way to share this transcendent story of friendship with a new generation of readers. Philip Pullman, bestselling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, called Tom's Midnight Garden "A perfect book."

When Tom's brother gets sick, he's shipped off to spend what he's sure will be a boring summer with his aunt and uncle in the country. But then Tom hears the old grandfather clock in the hall chime thirteen times, and he's transported back to an old garden where he meets a young,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in gardens, magic-supernatural, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about gardens, magic-supernatural, and presidential biography.

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