100 books like Maybe It's a Sign

By E. L. Shen,

Here are 100 books that Maybe It's a Sign fans have personally recommended if you like Maybe It's a Sign. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Keep It Together, Keiko Carter

Laurie Morrison Author Of Keeping Pace

From my list on middle grade novels with romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved books, movies, and shows that feature swoony, satisfying romances. As a middle school teacher and upper middle-grade author, I know it can be tricky to find novels with romance for the middle-grade set. But I also know firsthand that there are many kids who crave these kinds of stories–and that there are major benefits to giving kids a chance to read and hopefully talk about crushes and relationships in all their complexity. I’m always on the lookout for realistic stories with just the right amount of romance to delight middle-grade readers, and these five are some of my favorites.

Laurie's book list on middle grade novels with romance

Laurie Morrison Why did Laurie love this book?

This book is an absolute delight! Debbi Michiko Florence is a master of middle-grade romance, and I love the way she explores all the giddy, awkward, confusing excitement of a middle-school crush.

The romance in this book is especially juicy because sweet, people-pleasing Keiko develops feelings for the one boy she’s sure she shouldn’t have a crush on–her best friend’s older brother!

In addition to the sweet romance, there are plenty of relatable and thought-provoking friendship dynamics in this story, too. And as a bonus, there’s a companion novel, Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai, that’s every bit as fun!

By Debbi Michiko Florence,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Keep It Together, Keiko Carter 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?

Fans of Judy Blume and Jenny Han are sure to fall head-over-heels
for this sweet story about first crushes, friendship
drama, and finding the courage to stand up for yourself.

Seventh grade is supposed to be a game changer. And Keiko thinks
she's got it covered, especially with Audrey and Jenna
by her side to shop for a new look, pick out a prime lunch spot,
and even hit up that cute new bubble tea place after school. Her
trio is ready to tackle life as they always have... together.


But when Audrey decides they need
boyfriends before Fall Ball,…


Book cover of In the Role of Brie Hutchens...

Laurie Morrison Author Of Keeping Pace

From my list on middle grade novels with romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved books, movies, and shows that feature swoony, satisfying romances. As a middle school teacher and upper middle-grade author, I know it can be tricky to find novels with romance for the middle-grade set. But I also know firsthand that there are many kids who crave these kinds of stories–and that there are major benefits to giving kids a chance to read and hopefully talk about crushes and relationships in all their complexity. I’m always on the lookout for realistic stories with just the right amount of romance to delight middle-grade readers, and these five are some of my favorites.

Laurie's book list on middle grade novels with romance

Laurie Morrison Why did Laurie love this book?

I just love Brie Hutchens, the brave, vulnerable, and absolutely charming main character of this upper middle-grade gem. Nicole Melleby writes characters who feel achingly real, and I felt so much tenderness toward Brie–and so much investment in her story–that I simply could not put this book down.

This is a poignant and propulsive story about an eighth-grade girl weathering a confusing and adorable crush and figuring out her sexuality against the backdrop of a vividly crafted Catholic school setting. Plus, there are such compelling family dynamics! I don’t think this novel is as well known as some of Melleby’s others, but it definitely should be! 

By Nicole Melleby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Role of Brie Hutchens... 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 nuanced exploration of how to reconcile faith and identity . . . This funny, tender, and heart-wrenching story will have readers calling for an encore." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review Introducing Brie Hutchens: soap opera superfan, aspiring actor, and so-so student. Brie has big plans for eight grade. But when her mom walks in on her accidentally looking at some possibly inappropriate photos of her favorite actress, Brie sees her dream of attending the performing arts high school falling apart. So she blurts out that she's been chosen to crown the Mary statue during her Catholic school's ceremony in May.…


Book cover of Listen to This

Laurie Morrison Author Of Keeping Pace

From my list on middle grade novels with romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved books, movies, and shows that feature swoony, satisfying romances. As a middle school teacher and upper middle-grade author, I know it can be tricky to find novels with romance for the middle-grade set. But I also know firsthand that there are many kids who crave these kinds of stories–and that there are major benefits to giving kids a chance to read and hopefully talk about crushes and relationships in all their complexity. I’m always on the lookout for realistic stories with just the right amount of romance to delight middle-grade readers, and these five are some of my favorites.

Laurie's book list on middle grade novels with romance

Laurie Morrison Why did Laurie love this book?

This is an immersive and insightful slice-of-life story that drew me right in. I read it on vacation, and it was a perfect tween beach read to get swept up in!

The chapters alternate between the perspectives of two main characters, Lily and Will, who feel equally real and equally endearing. I loved getting inside both their heads and seeing their lives intersect and their feelings for each other grow.

The writing is lovely and smooth, and there’s just a light sprinkling of romance to liven up a relatable and authentic friendship story.

By Jennifer Blecher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Listen to This 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?

Secrets, rumors, shifting friendships, overbearing parents, and, on top of all that, a first dance—how does anyone survive seventh grade? Told from dual points of view, this novel about two tweens finding their voices and standing up for themselves is for fans of Lisa Yee, Leslie Connor, and Janae Marks.

Lily, Maddie, and Sasha have always been the perfect friendship trio. But this year, everything is changing. Maddie and Sasha made the elite soccer team, and Lily feels that they’re always leaving her behind. And everyone seems to have secrets now: Maddie, and Sasha, and Lily’s sister, and even Lily…


Book cover of Courtesy of Cupid

Laurie Morrison Author Of Keeping Pace

From my list on middle grade novels with romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved books, movies, and shows that feature swoony, satisfying romances. As a middle school teacher and upper middle-grade author, I know it can be tricky to find novels with romance for the middle-grade set. But I also know firsthand that there are many kids who crave these kinds of stories–and that there are major benefits to giving kids a chance to read and hopefully talk about crushes and relationships in all their complexity. I’m always on the lookout for realistic stories with just the right amount of romance to delight middle-grade readers, and these five are some of my favorites.

Laurie's book list on middle grade novels with romance

Laurie Morrison Why did Laurie love this book?

It isn’t easy to find middle-grade rom-coms, but this book checks all the boxes!

I love the concept–an intensely driven eighth grader who scorns the idea of romance and finds out she’s a Cupid–and Nashae Jones delivers with a laugh-out-loud enemies-to-crushes tale. A bit of magic and plenty of hilarious shenanigans make this one a winner.

By Nashae Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Courtesy of Cupid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

In this funny and romantic story sprinkled with a dash of magic, a thirteen-year-old girl uses her newfound ability to make people fall in love to sabotage her rival.

Erin Johnson’s thirteenth birthday unfolds like any other day, from her mom’s quirky and embarrassing choice of outfit to racing her nemesis, Trevor Jin, to the best seat in class—front row, center. But her gifts this year include something very out of the ordinary: magical powers.

Erin discovers her mysterious father is actually the love god Cupid and she’s inherited his knack for romance. It’s not the most useful ability for…


Book cover of Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

Laurie Calkhoven Author Of Roosevelt Banks and the Attic of Doom

From my list on laugh-out-loud chapters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a former book publishing professional turned full-time children’s book author. I’ve never swallowed a frog, battled imaginary bears, or had a slime war with ghosts like my character, Roosevelt Banks, but I have written more than fifty books for children. These range from beginning readers (You Should Meet Misty Copeland) and chapter books (Roosevelt Banks, Good-Kid-in-Training) to middle grade historical novels (Daniel at the Siege of Boston, 1775).

Laurie's book list on laugh-out-loud chapters

Laurie Calkhoven Why did Laurie love this book?

This is the first book in a hilarious chapter book series that deals with facing your fears in a fun, kid-friend way. Alvin, who is afraid of everything from girls to elevators and especially school, channels his inner superhero, Firecracker Man, to brave the outside world. This book is great for both beginning and reluctant readers. I loved watching Alvin conquer his fears and transform into Firecracker Man!

By Lenore Look, LeUyen Pham (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

The first book in a hilarious chapter book series that tackles anxiety in a fun, kid-friendly way. Perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers, and fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid!

A humorous and touching series about facing your fears and embracing new experiences—with a truly unforgettable character—from author Lenore Look and New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Honor winning illustrator LeUyen Pham.

Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’ s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home,…


Book cover of Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time

Marcia Strykowski Author Of Roller Boy

From my list on featuring boys who crave success.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a fan of stories where the underdog makes good due to their own strength and determination. Although my book picks are all connected to sports I don’t happen to participate in, I feel the power of choosing the life you want by working hard encompasses all fields whether it be learning to sing or dance or becoming an expert in science, chess, juggling, or whatever one’s passion might be. For me, I guess it would be writing and not giving up even when it sometimes feels like playing the lottery each time one of my manuscripts is sent into cyberspace.

Marcia's book list on featuring boys who crave success

Marcia Strykowski Why did Marcia love this book?

Stanford isn’t a happy camper when, because of a failing grade in English, he has to go to summer school instead of basketball camp. Used to being a star basketball player, he’s embarrassed by this new turn of events. Millicent Min as his tutor is the last straw. I love how the plot and various situations, along with his parents’ bickering and his grandmother entering a nursing home, feel real and something today’s kids can relate to. And also how, despite Stanford’s disappointments, he puts forth his best efforts all the while he tries to manage his problems. There’s plenty of humor, too.

By Lisa Yee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time 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?

Stanford Wong is in big trouble--or as he would spell it, "trubble"--in this laugh-out-loud companion to the award-winning MILLICENT MIN, GIRL GENIUS and this season's HC, EMILY EBERS.

Stanford Wong is having a bad summer. If he flunks his summer-school English class, he won't pass sixth grade. If that happens, he won't start on the A-team. If *that* happens, his friends will abandon him and Emily Ebers won't like him anymore. And if THAT happens, his life will be over. Soon his parents are fighting, his grandmother Yin-Yin hates her new nursing home, he's being "tutored" by the world's biggest…


Book cover of Front Desk

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

This is a fantastic book about the hardships many immigrants face, from being taken advantage of by their employers, to language barriers, and of course, racism. What I loved about this book is its portrayal of community. Growing up poor, I know that it’s often those with nothing who give the most. Kids will cheer for Mia as she works the front desk, helps those around her, and stands up to injustice.

By Kelly Yang,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Front Desk 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?

Four starred reviews and over ten best-of-year lists!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Winner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewMia Tang has a lot of secrets.Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean…


Book cover of Stargazing

Marla Lesage Author Of AWOL

From my list on graphic novels that tackle tough topics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always enjoyed reading true stories and stories that feel like they could be true. I enjoy learning about other people’s lives and experiences. If a character’s life experiences have been very different than my own, it is eye-opening and informative. If we’ve had similar experiences it helps me feel less alone. When writing, I usually draw inspiration from my own life experiences. With AWOL, I wanted to share military family culture and help readers affected by PTSD feel less alone. 

Marla's book list on graphic novels that tackle tough topics

Marla Lesage Why did Marla love this book?

I love Stargazing! On its surface, Stargazing is about friendship and family but it has many layers, making it the perfect book to read again and again. The story of Christine and Moon touches on the diverse experiences of growing up Asian in America, jealousy & conflict, social expectations & feeling comfortable in your own skin, and a little bit of magic. Except the magic turns out to be symptoms of a serious medical condition. With writing as beautiful as the art, this is a story not to be missed! 

By Jen Wang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stargazing 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?

Moon is everything Christine isn't. She's confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.

But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine's strict parents aren't around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn't where she really belongs.

Moon's visions have an all-too-earthly root, however,…


Book cover of China Men

Molly Patterson Author Of Rebellion

From my list on time-jumping with multiple protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved “big books,” novels that are described as sagas and chronicles yet whose primary focus is on singular, nuanced characters. I like seeing the ways that lives intersect and reflect each other across decades, and I enjoy being immersed in one world and then dropped, with the turn of a page, into another equally engrossing one. I am the author of the novel Rebellion as well as numerous short stories and essays. Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, I spent several years living in China and a year as the Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. I now live in Wisconsin, where I write and teach creative writing.

Molly's book list on time-jumping with multiple protagonists

Molly Patterson Why did Molly love this book?

I first read Maxine Hong Kingston in college, but I can’t remember if I was assigned China Men or The Woman Warrior (the more famous counterpoint to China Men). All I know is that whichever one I read, I loved it so much that I immediately sought out the companion piece, which I also loved. In China Men, Kingston weaves together fiction and nonfiction, history and myth, story and memory. Is it a novel? A tapestry? I’m not quite sure what to call it, and that’s part of what I love about the book. Brief interludes of two or three pages present a single scene; longer stories narrate entire sagas. I love that this volume covers so much literal ground but ultimately feels incredibly personal.

By Maxine Hong Kingston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here's a storyteller's tale of what they endured in a strange new land.


Book cover of Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

Andi Diehn Author Of Forces: Physical Science for Kids

From my list on children’s books about physics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by how the world works. What gives gravity so much power? Why is it easier to lift things with levers and pulleys? Why do we have electricity inside of our own bodies?! The world is amazing. My job editing nonfiction books for kids puts me on the front lines of some of the smartest science writing out there. While I had no hand in the making of the following five picture books about physics, they are still some of my favorites because of the way they peel back the mysterious layers of the world to show us the science hidden in our daily lives.

Andi's book list on children’s books about physics

Andi Diehn Why did Andi love this book?

A book that encompasses both the study of science and the role of women in the world, this beautiful picture book explores the life of Wu Chien Shiung, a Chinese American scientist who worked in particle and nuclear physics during a time when women weren’t encouraged to have scientific careers.

By Teresa Robeson, Rebecca Huang (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Queen of Physics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Naming their daughter "Courageous Hero," they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism at home and racism in the United States to become what Newsweek magazine called the "Queen of Physics" for her work on how atoms split. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Chinese Americans, superstitions, and friendships?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Chinese Americans, superstitions, and friendships.

Chinese Americans Explore 53 books about Chinese Americans
Superstitions Explore 20 books about superstitions
Friendships Explore 1,419 books about friendships