100 books like Moon Over Manifest

By Clare Vanderpool,

Here are 100 books that Moon Over Manifest fans have personally recommended if you like Moon Over Manifest. 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 Prairie Lotus

Sally Engelfried Author Of Learning to Fall

From my list on middle grade about father-daughter relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

Father-daughter relationships have always fascinated me. I wrote my first book to explore what it might be like for a girl to have a father with whom communication is, if not easy, possible. Although my own father was around when I was growing up, he was a distant figure. A mechanical engineer, he lost himself in ruminations on machines and mathematics and was made still more distant by his alcoholism. As a kid, I tried to glean from books what having a “regular” father might be like. I still haven’t figured it out, but I love seeing other authors capture the formative effects of this particular parental relationship. 

Sally's book list on middle grade about father-daughter relationships

Sally Engelfried Why did Sally love this book?

This historical novel has been heralded as a fresh look at the era of the Little House books, and it does a wonderful job of looking at frontier life in Dakota Territory in 1880 from the perspective of Chinese-American Hanna. It’s also an examination of a daughter trying to navigate an often prickly relationship with her white father, made even more difficult after the death of Hanna’s Chinese-Korean mother. I love Hanna’s careful study of everyone around her—observances that are borne from a need to protect herself from racism, but which are also windows to empathy and understanding. Despite her father’s resistance to Hanna following her dream to become a dressmaker, Hanna prevails, using her knowledge of her father’s own nature to win him over.

By Linda Sue Park,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Prairie Lotus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered novel about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend.

Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America’s heartland, in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople’s almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story.

Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant…


Book cover of Little House on the Prairie

Shaz Kahng Author Of The Closer

From my list on trailblazing smart women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have the power to change your life, that is, if you can find a story that inspires you. As a multiple-time CEO and board director I noticed the lack of fiction books with smart, strong, and positive female leaders- that’s why I started writing the Ceiling Smasher series. My first novel, The Closer, is about the first female CEO of a sports company and the secret society of professional women, called the Ceiling Smashers, who help her succeed. The books on this list are based on true stories about extraordinary women who demonstrated courage, brainpower, and grit to achieve great things and blaze new trails- who wouldn’t be inspired by that?

Shaz's book list on trailblazing smart women

Shaz Kahng Why did Shaz love this book?

What an amazing time to grow up in America as a pioneer settling into life on the prairie. This is the true story of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s resilient and loving family as they built their own home, hunted for their own food, and farmed the land. I read this book and others from the series to my daughters who were mesmerized by the life Laura led and the courage she displayed. The story depicts the challenges and the joys her family found in forging their own path and living life the way they wanted. The fact that the author captured all the ups, downs, and lessons learned and became a writer during that time period is another remarkable pioneering effort.

By Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Little House on the Prairie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Classic tales by Laura Ingalls Wilder about life on the frontier and America's best-loved pioneer family.

The sun-kissed prairie stretches out around the Ingalls family, smiling its welcome after their long, hard journey across America. But looks can be deceiving and they soon find that they must share the land with wild bears and Indians. Will there be enough land for all of them?

The timeless stories that inspired a TV series can now be read by a new generation of children. Readers who loved Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and Heidi will be swept up by this timeless…


Book cover of The Prairie Thief

Kathleen Wilford Author Of Cabby Potts, Duchess of Dirt

From my list on the American prairie.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former high-school and middle-school English teacher and a current instructor in the Writing Program at Rutgers University. I live in hilly New Jersey, but I’ve always been fascinated by the flat, treeless American prairie and the people who have lived there, from the Native American tribes of the Great Plains to the early homesteaders. I believe that to understand where we are, you need to understand where we’ve been, which is why I love to read and write historical fiction.

Kathleen's book list on the American prairie

Kathleen Wilford Why did Kathleen love this book?

Apparently I’m not the only kidlit author who loves both the American prairie and all things British. When her Pa is accused of thieving, young Louisa is taken in by his accusers, the appropriately named Smirch family. Sour, mean-spirited Mrs. Smirch looks forward to seeing Pa hang. Louisa solves the mystery of the stolen items when she meets a gruff but sensitive... well, I won’t say, but he’s one of the Wee Folk from the Auld Country, far from home on the Colorado plains. A cute and lively read with a satisfying conclusion.

By Melissa Wiley, Erwin Madrid (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prairie Thief 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?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Book cover of May B.

Kathleen Wilford Author Of Cabby Potts, Duchess of Dirt

From my list on the American prairie.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former high-school and middle-school English teacher and a current instructor in the Writing Program at Rutgers University. I live in hilly New Jersey, but I’ve always been fascinated by the flat, treeless American prairie and the people who have lived there, from the Native American tribes of the Great Plains to the early homesteaders. I believe that to understand where we are, you need to understand where we’ve been, which is why I love to read and write historical fiction.

Kathleen's book list on the American prairie

Kathleen Wilford Why did Kathleen love this book?

This historical novel in verse brings the Kansas prairie alive in all its beauty and harshness. The story is tense with few light moments as young May B is stranded alone in a sod house as blizzards rage outside. She’s a realistic heroine, tempted to despair but ultimately finding hidden sources of strength. Oh, and she suffers from dyslexia. Sometimes I think novels in verse will be too artsy or literary, but they’re actually easy to read, right? Perfect for a struggling reader, perhaps one with dyslexia.

By Caroline Starr Rose,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked May B. 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?

"If May is a brave, stubborn fighter, the short, free-verse lines are one-two punches in this Laura Ingalls Wilder-inspired ode to the human spirit." — Kirkus Reviews, Starred

I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return. 
Something's happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for…


Book cover of At the Quiet Edge

Michael Krozer Author Of Looking Through Mirrors

From my list on action oriented books that make you think.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write in the speculative fiction genre where an overwhelming event, seemingly beyond the control of the main characters, underpins what happens to those characters. Exploring scenarios about how society would change as a result of cyber controlled multiple personality overlays, for example, is a great opportunity for considered thought. I believe that a mind without a question is dead. As a writer, I imbue my characters with this philosophy and then set them free to navigate the vast plane of destiny for themselves.

Michael's book list on action oriented books that make you think

Michael Krozer Why did Michael love this book?

In my novels, the quiet depth of character development runs parallel to the action. This is the only way to make fighting for one's life mean anything. Shootings, explosions, high body counts, or a countdown to chaos may hold momentary interest but will not create any lasting memory or take-away useful in real life.  This story spends quite a lot of time on backstory and the emotional well from which the main characters spring. Some might desire a quicker path through this. Some might not. And quite a few false paths are developed as you’d expect in a who-done-it type novel. The story reaches a driving and satisfying conclusion but some might leave wondering about the author’s opinion of law enforcement as is spoken through her protagonist.

By Victoria Helen Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A young mother has done everything possible to put the past behind her, but it might not be enough in a gripping novel of suspense by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Jane Doe novels.

Abandoned by her fugitive ex-husband, Lily Brown is rebuilding her life on the edge of a Kansas town that still feels the sting of his crimes. Lily lies low, managing the isolated storage facility where she lives with her twelve-year-old son, Everett, and planning a better future for them both. That requires keeping secrets. Everett has them too.

After breaking into a storage unit,…


Book cover of The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity

Ericka Clay Author Of A Violent Hope

From my list on female protagonists from dysfunctional families.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a female writer, I love digging into the minds of women characters, especially in light of their family circumstances. I think we can sometimes underestimate the importance of a strong, loving family unit in terms of personal development. But what’s amazing is how a person’s story can be redeemed even if they were raised in a less-than-ideal environment. Even though I got pretty lucky in the parent department, I know not a lot of people have. And I love showing others through fiction that despite hardships they’ve had to face along the way, they are still loved and still wanted by a God who knows them better than anyone.

Ericka's book list on female protagonists from dysfunctional families

Ericka Clay Why did Ericka love this book?

This book hooked me from the get-go. Axton Betz-Hamilton is raised by two parents who are the victims of stolen identities. She lives in a world of paranoia fostered by this incident and watches as the two people she’s closest to begin to turn on each other. Years later, Axton discovers she’s also the victim of identity theft and the journey she takes to figure out why is a nail-biter!

By Axton Betz-Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Less People Know About Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Axton Betz-Hamilton grew up in small-town Indiana in the early '90s. When she was 11 years old, her parents both had their identities stolen. Their credit ratings were ruined and they were constantly fighting over money. This was before the age of the Internet, when identity theft became more commonplace, so authorities and banks were clueless and reluctant to help Axton's parents.

Axton's family switched PO Boxes, changed all of their personal information and moved to different addresses but the identity thief followed them wherever they went. Convinced that the thief had to be someone they knew, Axton and her…


Book cover of Here There Are Monsters

Dawn Kurtagich Author Of Teeth in the Mist

From my list on YA horror creepy creatures to keep you up at night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am and have always been fascinated with supernatural creatures, particularly if they have horns and dwell in the dark swamps of wooded hinterlands. I spent a greater part of my childhood in the African bush. A formative experience was the day an isangoma (witchdoctor) cast knuckle bones at me in a particularly energetic frenzy. Rather than being scared, I was fascinated by the power these little bones had to command spirits and creatures I had only seen in my nightmares. An obsession was born.

Dawn's book list on YA horror creepy creatures to keep you up at night

Dawn Kurtagich Why did Dawn love this book?

When I went into this book, I sensed that Amelinda would pull zero punches. I was so right it was glorious. Skye is fed up. Fed up of being responsible for her insufferable little sister, Dierdre. Fed up with the stories, with the games, with their endless childhood fantasies. Moving halfway across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over. Finally, in this new, isolated neighbourhood, Skye is managing to fit in. Not Dierdre, though. No, Dierdre seems to be slipping more and more into a world of her own. And then one day: Dierdre vanishes. When a creature unlike anything Skye has ever seen comes scratching at her door claiming to know who took Dierdre, Skye is going to have to suspend her disbelief and re-enter a childhood of warped imagination.

By Amelinda Bérubé,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Here There Are Monsters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

A bone-chilling read about creating monsters, sisterhood turned toxic, and secrets that won't stay buried, perfect for fans of The Night She Disappeared, Wilder Girls, and The Blair Witch Project.
Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. And moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over as someone different.
In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.
Then Deirdre disappears.
And when…


Book cover of Leaving Paradise

Whitney D. Grandison Author Of The Right Side of Reckless

From my list on YA romances with bad boys to swoon over.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading ever since kindergarten, and when I entered high school and discovered YA books, I found my home. Even when I read adult books now, I tend to gravitate towards rough-around-the-edges male leads. There’s just something fun and tempting about an anti-hero, bad boy, or morally gray male lead that always delivers spice and yearning. I’m a sucker for those bad boys who are only good for the girl who has their heart. While not all of my male leads are “bad boys,” naturally, I do tend to find myself writing quite a few of them and enjoying them, especially when you can show they’re multidimensional and have a soft side. 

Whitney's book list on YA romances with bad boys to swoon over

Whitney D. Grandison Why did Whitney love this book?

First things first, Simone Elkeles is my favorite YA author, and I couldn’t do a list of recs without mentioning one of her books, and my all-time favorite has always been Leaving Paradise. I also recommend LP because it’s close to my own book in that it features a reformed bad boy, Caleb, freshly on probation who’s trying to navigate his way into society and fix his “mistakes.” I so love the sorta forbidden dynamic between him and Maggie, because Caleb is actually on probation for hitting Maggie in a hit-and-run while drinking and driving. So not only is he trying to win over his former friends, parents, and town, he’s gotta make things right with Maggie, who is not giving him any play whatsoever—in the beginning! Love love Caleb’s voice in this novel.

By Simone Elkeles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Leaving Paradise 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?

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad―her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares―has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed…


Book cover of Three Things about Elsie

Joanna Nell Author Of The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home

From my list on older characters who will warm your heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a family doctor working in aged care, I have always felt disappointed by the stereotypical portrayal of ageing in fiction. Older characters are rarely the protagonist of their own story and are more likely to be relegated to minor roles that reflect their marginalization and invisibility in society. And yet, despite their physical limitations, my older patients have taught me that it’s never too late to laugh, love, make new friends or create mischief. Bette Davis once said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Without sugarcoating ageing, I strive for authenticity and humor in my writing to offer a more uplifting and hopeful portrayal of what lies ahead.

Joanna's book list on older characters who will warm your heart

Joanna Nell Why did Joanna love this book?

The author of this novel is, like me, a doctor-writer. I imagine we share the same motivation to tell stories. As a psychiatrist, Joanna Cannon’s writing portrays her compassion and deep understanding of the human condition. In this novel, the mundane existence of eighty-four-year-old Florence in her care home is upset by the arrival of a man she is convinced she recognizes from her past, a man who supposedly died years before. Only her lifelong friend, the eponymous Elsie believes her. My favorite author Somerset Maugham (also a doctor) attributed his success as a writer to his powers of observation rather than his imagination. What makes this novel so compelling in my eyes are the astute observations and the easily overlooked details that hold the clues to solving the mystery.

By Joanna Cannon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Three Things about Elsie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep delivers a suspenseful and emotionally satisfying novel “infused with warmth and humor” (People) about a lifelong friendship, a devastating secret, and the small acts of kindness that bring people together.

There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first thing is that she’s my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third thing…might take a bit more explaining.

Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to…


Book cover of The Mostly True Story Of Tanner & Louise

Nancy Crochiere Author Of Graceland

From my list on runaway moms.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young working mom, I occasionally longed to follow the example of columnist Erma Bombeck and hide from my family in the car. Instead, I channeled the mayhem of family life into a humor column called “The Mother Load,” which detailed the day-to-day challenges of running a business while caring for two daughters, one husband, two guinea pigs, and a dancing rabbit. When I decided to pursue my life-long dream to write fiction, my debut novel was a humorous story about a mother-daughter-grandmother road trip/chase from Boston to Memphis. Although my writing doesn’t shy away from serious issues, I choose to see the world through a humorous and ultimately hopeful lens.

Nancy's book list on runaway moms

Nancy Crochiere Why did Nancy love this book?

Louise’s kids think their 84-year-old mother needs a caretaker. They don’t know Louise has a secret past, and what she really needs is to skip town, fast.

Louise convinces her reluctant 21-year-old caregiver, Tanner, to drive her to California. Their comic road trip is both full of fun and heartwarming as the outrageous octogenarian on-the-lam shows the rule-following youngster how to live.

By Colleen Oakley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mostly True Story Of Tanner & Louise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Good Morning America Buzz Pick * A Marie Claire Book Club Pick for April * A Reader's Digest Book Club Pick for April * A LibraryReads Pick * One of Southern Living's Most Anticipated 2023 Releases * One of Today's Most Anticipated 2023 Releases

An unforgettable pairing of a college dropout and an eighty-four-year-old woman on the run from the law in this story full of tremendous heart, humor, and wit from the USA Today bestselling author of The Invisible Husband of Frick Island.

Twenty-one-year-old Tanner Quimby needs a place to live. Preferably one where she can continue sitting…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in secrets, Kansas, and dads?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about secrets, Kansas, and dads.

Secrets Explore 249 books about secrets
Kansas Explore 37 books about Kansas
Dads Explore 57 books about dads