100 books like Maya and the Robot

By Eve L. Ewing, Christine Almeda (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Maya and the Robot fans have personally recommended if you like Maya and the Robot. 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 Black Brother, Black Brother

Sarah Marie Jette Author Of What the Wind Can Tell You

From my list on for siblings and scientists.

Who am I?

I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 14 years. In that time, I’ve read a lot of children’s books. In my classroom, science is one of my students’ favorite subjects. Though they love fantasy and magic, they are inspired by the power of science. Each of the books I’ve recommended is part of my classroom library, is used in a read-aloud or as a mentor text in writing lessons. My students connect with the characters and experience the marvels of science along with them. These books are some of their favorites.

Sarah's book list on for siblings and scientists

Sarah Marie Jette Why did Sarah love this book?

Black Brother, Black Brother doesn’t have science as its main focus, unless you consider the sport of fencing as a science. I’m including this book because of the complexity of the sibling relationship. Trey is white, popular, and athletic. Donte is black and bullied at his school. Even though they share the same parents (Civil Rights lawyer mom and, and computer architect dad), their experiences in school and in the world are completely different because of their skin color. Dante finds his place, his confidence, and himself when he takes up fencing with the help of an inspiring coach. 

I am half-Mexican. My siblings present as white, I do not. This story touched on the many complexities faced by siblings who are physically different -- as with me and my siblings, and with the characters in my book.

By Jewell Parker Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Black Brother, Black Brother 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?

Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, he feels as if he is constantly swimming in whiteness. Most of the students don't look like him. They don't like him either. Dubbed the "Black Brother," Donte's teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter skinned brother, Trey. Quiet, obedient.

When an incident with "King" Alan leads to Donte's arrest and suspension, he knows the only way to get even is to beat the king of the school at his own game: fencing. With the help of a…


Book cover of Down to Earth

Sarah Marie Jette Author Of What the Wind Can Tell You

From my list on for siblings and scientists.

Who am I?

I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 14 years. In that time, I’ve read a lot of children’s books. In my classroom, science is one of my students’ favorite subjects. Though they love fantasy and magic, they are inspired by the power of science. Each of the books I’ve recommended is part of my classroom library, is used in a read-aloud or as a mentor text in writing lessons. My students connect with the characters and experience the marvels of science along with them. These books are some of their favorites.

Sarah's book list on for siblings and scientists

Sarah Marie Jette Why did Sarah love this book?

Betty Culley writes the most beautiful books. Down to Earth is about a boy named Henry who watches a meteor fall from the sky. It crashes onto the land owned by his family and causes some magical changes in his community. Some people fear it, others want to use the meteor for profit. As I read the book, I learned so much about meteors and nature, but also about love, family, and friendship.

By Betty Culley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Counting by 7s meets See You in the Cosmos in this heartwarming coming-of-age story perfect for the budding geologists and those fascinated by the mysteries of the universe.

Henry has always been fascinated by rocks. As a homeschooler, he pours through the R volume of the encyclopedia (to help him identify the rocks he finds). So, when a meteorite falls in his family's field, who better to investigate than this rock enthusiast--with his best friend, James, and his little sister, Birdie, in tow, of course.

But soon after the meteorite's arrival, the water in Henry's small Maine town starts drying…


Book cover of The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

Sarah Marie Jette Author Of What the Wind Can Tell You

From my list on for siblings and scientists.

Who am I?

I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 14 years. In that time, I’ve read a lot of children’s books. In my classroom, science is one of my students’ favorite subjects. Though they love fantasy and magic, they are inspired by the power of science. Each of the books I’ve recommended is part of my classroom library, is used in a read-aloud or as a mentor text in writing lessons. My students connect with the characters and experience the marvels of science along with them. These books are some of their favorites.

Sarah's book list on for siblings and scientists

Sarah Marie Jette Why did Sarah love this book?

Stella is grieving the death of her father. When a black hole follows her home one day, Stella is able to hide away all the memories she hopes to forget. In this touching and funny tale, Stella and her brother come together in their sadness. Yes, it is a story of grief, but it is also a story centered on science. I learned a lot about black holes in this book and there’s enough space jokes and puns to keep all space nerds laughing for days.

By Michelle Cuevas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole 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?

"So wait," said Cosmo. "If we go in that door, we might exit on the other side of the galaxy?"'
"I don't know," I said. "But we currently live in a tub in a black hole, so what do we have to lose?"

When eleven-year-old space mad Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least -…


Book cover of We Dream of Space

Rachel Bithell Author Of Brave Bird at Wounded Knee: A Story of Protest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

From my list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers.

Who am I?

Teachers and children’s writers are some of each other’s biggest fans, and I have been both, so I couldn’t resist putting a teacher in my book. Besides that, teachers are very useful characters because they can make kids in books do things like write reports or keep a journal. Initially, my main character, Patsy, doesn’t especially like her teacher, Miss Ashman. Patsy thinks she’s too strict. But by the end of the book, she realizes that challenging students and having high expectations are some of the things that make a great teacher. If you’ve ever had a teacher you loved, you’ll want to check out the books on this list. 

Rachel's book list on middle grade that feature inspiring teachers

Rachel Bithell Why did Rachel love this book?

I am a total space nerd. A shortcut to NASA’s exoplanet site is pinned to my toolbar.

I also vividly remember hearing the news of the Challenger disaster in my elementary school cafeteria. (It happened to be my best friend’s birthday. Not a fun coincidence for her.) So it wouldn’t have taken much to hook me on this book about three siblings whose school is following the historic mission.

Ms. Salonga, the middle school science teacher whose enthusiasm sparks both curiosity and courage in her students, is an added bonus. She reminded me of a teacher who inspired my love of physics (in which I eventually earned a master’s degree.)

Told from the perspectives of all three kids, this novel kept me turning pages even though I knew what was coming.

By Erin Entrada Kelly,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked We Dream of Space 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?

A Newbery Honor Book * BookPage Best Books * Chicago Public Library Best Fiction * Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee * Horn Book Fanfare * New York Times Notable Children's Book * School Library Journal Best Book * Today Show Pick * An ALA Notable Book

"A 10 out of 10 . . . Anyone interested in science, sibling relationships, and friendships will enjoy reading We Dream of Space."-Time for Kids

Newbery Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly transports readers to 1986 and introduces them to the unforgettable Cash, Fitch, and Bird Nelson Thomas in this pitch-perfect middle…


Book cover of Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids

Christina Uss Author Of The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

From my list on powerful introverts.

Who am I?

Every one of my books is centered around characters finding a place where they can be fully, unapologetically, joyfully themselves. If you had asked my child self where my happy place was, I would have told you it was my room, empty of other people but full of books. I am very friendly and would love to meet you, but I also delight in solitude, and my imagination sparks and cartwheels when I am quiet. It turns out there’s a word for this inborn trait of mine: introversion. I’m always looking for stories that celebrate the strengths of us quietly powerful introverts. 

Christina's book list on powerful introverts

Christina Uss Why did Christina love this book?

I discovered this nonfiction book as an adult and can imagine the thrill of fellow introverts who get to read it as kids and see themselves celebrated within its pages. We’re not shy people who will eventually grow out of our shells; we’re born to think deeply, feel deeply, observe details others miss, and be empathetic, steadfast friends. Cain highlights stories of children who have made a mark in their schools, friendships, and family life from the quiet side of the introversion-extroversion spectrum. 

By Susan Cain,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Quiet Power 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?

"Quiet Power is a brilliant handbook for quiet children (and their parents). It is a celebration of the introvert" - Guardian

Your child's teenage years is a time wrought with insecurity and self-doubt. Their search for a place in the world can seem daunting. Focusing on the strengths and challenges of being introverted, Quiet Power is full of examples from school, family life and friendship, applying the breakthrough discoveries of Quiet to teenagers that so badly need them.

This insightful, accessible and empowering book is eye-opening to extroverts and introverts alike. Unlock your teenager's hidden superpower and give them the…


Book cover of Here in the Real World

Christina Uss Author Of The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

From my list on powerful introverts.

Who am I?

Every one of my books is centered around characters finding a place where they can be fully, unapologetically, joyfully themselves. If you had asked my child self where my happy place was, I would have told you it was my room, empty of other people but full of books. I am very friendly and would love to meet you, but I also delight in solitude, and my imagination sparks and cartwheels when I am quiet. It turns out there’s a word for this inborn trait of mine: introversion. I’m always looking for stories that celebrate the strengths of us quietly powerful introverts. 

Christina's book list on powerful introverts

Christina Uss Why did Christina love this book?

I felt so much kinship with Ware, the introverted hero of this story, I kept reading out loud to my family the things he said and thought and felt. When Ware’s parents tell him he’ll need to spend the summer at forced-group-togetherness Rec camp, I moaned in horrified sympathy. When they tell him he’ll temporarily have to live in the glassed-in back porch, I wailed with Ware, “It’s not a room if it doesn’t have walls!” I was over the moon when Ware discovers a way to navigate his life so his needs are met. 

By Sara Pennypacker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Here in the Real World 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?

From the author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel Pax comes a gorgeous and moving middle grade novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers, and misfits everywhere.

Ware can’t wait to spend summer “off in his own world”—dreaming of knights in the Middle Ages and generally being left alone. But then his parents sign him up for dreaded Rec camp, where he must endure Meaningful Social Interaction and whatever activities so-called “normal” kids do.

On his first day Ware meets Jolene, a tough, secretive girl planting a garden in the rubble of an abandoned church next…


Book cover of Hello, Universe

Christina Matula Author Of The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei

From my list on featuring Asian-American/Canadian kids.

Who am I?

I grew up in Ottawa, Canada, a child of immigrant parents, and I’ve always been curious about other cultures and far-off places. Moving to Hong Kong gave me the chance to explore my Chinese cultural roots and learn the language. I spent 14 very happy years in Hong Kong and my experiences there were the inspiration for my middle-grade debut, The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei. Like the character Holly-Mei, I love dumplings, bubble tea, and field hockey. The books I chose are ones that reflect my experience of being born and raised in a new world.

Christina's book list on featuring Asian-American/Canadian kids

Christina Matula Why did Christina love this book?

Virgil is a quiet Filipino boy trapped in a well by the class bully. Helped by his friends – each with their own finely layered story – Virgil not only gets rescued, but also finds his inner voice. I loved the effortless diversity of the characters, which wasn’t the basis of the story, but truly enriched it.

By Erin Entrada Kelly, Isabel Roxas (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hello, Universe 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 Newbery Medal

"A charming, intriguingly plotted novel."-Washington Post

Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships.

Told from four intertwining points of view-two boys and two girls-the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). "Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast of misfits."-Booklist

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and…


Book cover of Invisible Emmie

Christina Uss Author Of The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

From my list on powerful introverts.

Who am I?

Every one of my books is centered around characters finding a place where they can be fully, unapologetically, joyfully themselves. If you had asked my child self where my happy place was, I would have told you it was my room, empty of other people but full of books. I am very friendly and would love to meet you, but I also delight in solitude, and my imagination sparks and cartwheels when I am quiet. It turns out there’s a word for this inborn trait of mine: introversion. I’m always looking for stories that celebrate the strengths of us quietly powerful introverts. 

Christina's book list on powerful introverts

Christina Uss Why did Christina love this book?

This graphic novel literally illustrates many ways in which the average school day is challenging to introverts, from the bus, to school hallways, to the cafeteria, to navigating pre-class chatter. Emmie is very in tune with her feelings and able to focus on drawing no matter the noise all around, but still questions her own value: “Does anyone ever see me? Do I want them to?” When the author drew Emmie with a disappearing mouth to show how others view her as mute—ooh, I got goosebumps. I adore a book that makes me go back and read it again the moment I finish it. 

By Terri Libenson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Invisible Emmie 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?

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jennifer L. Holm, Invisible Emmie is a humorous and surprising debut graphic novel by Terri Libenson, creator of the internationally syndicated, Reuben Award-winning comic strip The Pajama Diaries.

This is the story of two totally different girls-
quiet, shy, artistic Emmie
popular, outgoing, athletic Katie
-and how their lives unexpectedly intersect one day, when an embarrassing note falls into the wrong hands. . . .

All the crushes, humiliations, boredom, and drama of middle school are compressed into one surprising day in this extraordinary novel.

Plus don't miss Terri Libenson's Positively Izzy, Just…


Book cover of The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology

Daniel Pinchbeck Author Of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

From my list on a metaphysical perspective on the apocalypse.

Who am I?

I started my career as a New York magazine editor and cynical journalist writing about art, celebrities, and show designers. Eventually I had an existential meltdown where I realized I was trapped in reductive materialism. I didn’t believe in a soul or a spirit or anything that wasn’t tangible. I decided to explore psychedelics and wrote my first book, Breaking Open the Head, after visiting indigenous cultures in Africa and South America where I took Iboga, ayahuasca, and mushrooms in initiation ceremonies. I learned we are facing an ecological and geo-political meta-crisis. I tried to find the roots of this, hoping to save humanity from extinction by unifying us around a mystical realization of oneness. 

Daniel's book list on a metaphysical perspective on the apocalypse

Daniel Pinchbeck Why did Daniel love this book?

The Mayan Factor had a huge influence on me when I read it after reading Jose’s other amazing books, Earth Ascending and Time and the Technosphere. He makes the case that the classic Maya civilization of the Yucatan was related to a galactic civilization that travels across the universe as patterns of information transduced into DNA so they can incarnate at particular junctures to perform a cosmic ritual of “synchronization.” The Mayan calendar is an artifact of this “Galactic Maya” who wanted us to understand we were starting to enter a new dimensional portal with the end of the 5,125 year Long Count on December 21, 2012. While reading this book, I had a crazy experience of the Galactic Maya entering into me and looking out through my eyes at our turbulent reality. Jose argues that a new calendar could shift us from chaos to harmony. A fabulous visionary excursion!

By José Argüelles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the extraordinary book that initiated the Harmonic Convergence in August 1987 and awakened the world to the Mayan Calendar. In it, Jose Arguelles revealed three revolutionary ideas: that a great moment of human transformation awaited us as we approached 2012: that there are galactic "seasons" and that the Maya accurately recorded them; and that each person had the capability to connect directly with the energy of a beam emanating from the galactic center that contains the power to awaken the higher mind.


Book cover of The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art

James L. Fitzsimmons Author Of Death and the Classic Maya Kings

From my list on ancient Maya religion.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by Maya religion since college—ever since I took my first class on Maya hieroglyphics at Tulane University. At first, I was drawn to the visuals accompanying the glyphs: women running ropes through their tongues, men holding hands with gods, and animals (spirits) wielding sacrificial knives. Then I began chasing the meanings of those visuals until I found myself specializing in ancient Maya mortuary behavior and receiving a PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University. I am happy to say that I am still on the chase, having written or edited five books (with two more on the way). I hope you enjoy this list!

James' book list on ancient Maya religion

James L. Fitzsimmons Why did James love this book?

No list of books on the Maya religion would be complete without The Blood of Kings. This was the first book on the topic I ever saw—and from the moment I did, I was hooked. Like most people at the time of its publication, I had never seen so many gorgeous photographs, line drawings, and religious concepts in one place. Even though many of the hieroglyphic translations are dated (particularly the royal names), the book remains a treasure trove of general information. Visually, this is the book by which all exhibit catalogues on the Maya are judged—and essential to anyone wanting an introduction to Maya religion. 

By Linda Schele, Mary Ellen Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"[A] work as remarkable for its text as for the photographs and drawings that illustrate it."―Octavio Paz, The New York Review of Books

A comprehensive guide to the Maya which reveals kingship rites, ritual warfare, with a vast array of color plates and drawings. 122 color plates, 300 drawings and 50 black-and-white illustrations

5 book lists we think you will like!

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