79 books like Omar Rising

By Aisha Saeed,

Here are 79 books that Omar Rising fans have personally recommended if you like Omar Rising. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

By William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer, Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator)

Book cover of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Christine Ieronimo Author Of A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water across the World

From the list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists.

Who am I?

I am passionate about writing books for children that create windows to the world, teaching empathy. Children that are empathic grow up to be kind and compassionate adults. I write because I long for a world that is more accepting and compassionate.  

Christine's book list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists

Why did Christine love this book?

Drought has hit a Malawi village and everyone’s crops are failing. Fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba figures out how to bring electricity to the village by building a windmill out of scraps from a junkyard. I love this story because it highlights the importance of education, and along with determination, William was able to build this windmill bringing electricity which helped lift this community up and bring hope. Education is the best way to lift communities up from poverty. Elizabeth Zunon provides gorgeous illustrations that enhance the text.  

By William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer, Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows…

A Good Kind of Trouble

By Lisa Moore Ramée,

Book cover of A Good Kind of Trouble

Jasmine Warga Author Of The Shape of Thunder

From the list on middle grade with heart and honesty.

Who am I?

I’m a middle grade author, and I believe so much in the power of books to help broker conversations between kids and the adults in their lives, especially if those conversations are about things that are often tricky and tough to talk about. I love how middle grade fiction will fearlessly tackle these difficult topics, but does so well with heart and humor. 

Jasmine's book list on middle grade with heart and honesty

Why did Jasmine love this book?

A Good Kind of Trouble is the beautiful story that follows the main character, Shayla, as she learns to use her voice and speak up for things that matters to her. The book has everything I love in a middle grade novel like humor and heart (Lisa is a master at describing junior high friendships and crushes!), but also engages honestly with the reader about important things like racism and social justice. This book can serve as a fantastic conversation starter for kids and parents and kids and teachers.

By Lisa Moore Ramée,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Good Kind of Trouble as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From debut author Lisa Moore Ramee comes this funny and big-hearted debut middle grade novel about friendship, family, and standing up for what's right, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and the novels of Renee Watson and Jason Reynolds.

Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she'd also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.)

But in junior high, it's like all the rules have changed.…

The Prettiest

By Brigit Young,

Book cover of The Prettiest

Shelly X. Leonn Author Of The Ghost and the Wolf

From the list on girl MCs who are owning life.

Who am I?

My novel choices were part of the Afterschool Literacy & Building Modules for an organization called LitShop. It encourages growth in literacy, making, building, and leadership in girls ages 10-15 in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m honored to lead the writing classes. All of the LitShop books feature strong girls who believe they can make and build their way to a better world, and I aim to include similar characters in my stories. Stories can provide us with motivation, inspiration, and companionship, and all of these books have done just that… for the girls of LitShop as well as myself.

Shelly's book list on girl MCs who are owning life

Why did Shelly love this book?

I remember struggling with body image when I was the age of these characters. (Actually, if we’re being totally honest, I still do.) The main characters in this novel, however, triumph over the physical expectations placed upon young women by finding kinship and support from one another. The characters themselves are diverse, realistic, and smart. It’s difficult not to see yourself or the young people in your life in them.

By Brigit Young,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A list appears online, ranking the top fifty prettiest girls in the eighth grade.

Eve Hoffman is disgusted by the grating, anonymous text messages she's been receiving ever since she was ranked number one.

Sophie Kane is sick of the bullying she's endured after being knocked down a peg by the list.

And Nessa Flores-Brady is tired of the outside world trying to define who she is.

Reeling from the rampant sexism and objectification in their school, the three girls attempt to track down the list's creator. But are they prepared for what they might find?

Book cover of Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet

Bridget Farr Author Of Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code

From the list on for kids that want to change the world.

Who am I?

I am an author and educator with a passion for justice. I once finished teaching a lesson on peaceful protest thirty minutes before the students at my middle school led a campus-wide walkout. Unlike me, who didn’t attend my first march until I was thirty, they were ready to speak up, following in the steps of the high schoolers from Parkland and the activists on Instagram. Born into the era of the Arab Spring, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter, they saw the status quo as ripe for the challenge, their voices the anvil to topple it all. The books in this list will be inspiration for any young reader with this same passion for change.

Bridget's book list on for kids that want to change the world

Why did Bridget love this book?

Knowing they’ll be the ones to experience the brunt of climate change’s consequences, young activists have become increasingly vocal as they demand action. Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet provides a close-to-home example of how students can get involved in climate activism as they follow in her discovery of the polluted river near her home. Barbara Dee’s novels take on challenging issues while keeping the characters real and full of heart, and her latest is no exception. This book will inspire young climate activists to take action and force them to consider the challenges—for their community, their family, and their friendships—that changing the world can bring.

By Barbara Dee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2022

From critically acclaimed author Barbara Dee comes a middle grade novel about a young girl who channels her anxiety about the climate crisis into rallying her community to save a local river.

Twelve-year-old Haven Jacobs can’t stop thinking about the climate crisis. In fact, her anxiety about the state of the planet is starting to interfere with her schoolwork, her friendships, even her sleep. She can’t stop wondering why grownups aren’t even trying to solve the earth’s problem—and if there’s anything meaningful that she, as a seventh grader, can contribute.

When Haven’s…

Jennings Goes To School

By Anthony Buckeridge,

Book cover of Jennings Goes To School

Debbie Young Author Of Dastardly Deeds at St Bride's

From the list on fiction set in boarding schools.

Who am I?

As the author of comedy cosy mystery novels, including a series set in an eccentric boarding school for girls, I’m always attracted by the notion of closed, clearly-defined worlds as colourful settings for stories of crimes and misdemeanours. Having worked for 13 years in a girls’ boarding school, where I loved being part of its lively and spirited community, I am very familiar with the quirks and foibles, as well as the practicalities, of boarding school life, and I really enjoy reading other people’s impressions and interpretations of boarding schools of all kinds. 

Debbie's book list on fiction set in boarding schools

Why did Debbie love this book?

This was one of my favourite books when I was a child, and it still makes me laugh even now. On first reading, I was immediately captivated by the witty depiction of the closed world of Linbury Court Preparatory School, a traditional boys’ boarding school inspired by the school at which the author had taught. The endearing central character of Jennings is well-meaning and spirited, but his mad-cap schemes, in which he is aided by his chum Darbishire, inevitably backfire with hilarious results. I especially loved the language of their schoolboy banter, eg “what a wizard wheeze!” for “what a great idea”. Although first published in 1950, it’s still a very entertaining read.

By Anthony Buckeridge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jennings Goes To School as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Book cover of A Great and Terrible Beauty

K.T. Anglehart Author Of The Wise One

From the list on making magic feel just within reach.

Who am I?

Since reading the Harry Potter series (I know, how original! But bear with me), I’d been searching for books that awoke the same feelings of awe, curiosity, and inspiration in me. It’s been my mission—to be on the dramatic side—to find books that make magic feel just within reach of our world, which is why I set out to write my own urban fantasy story, The Wise One. My creation process involved years of extensive research on esoteric topics and Celtic folklore, including visiting most of my story’s locations during my travels across Ireland and Scotland. What I can boldly say after immersing myself in the landscape and culture is this: magic totally does exist. 

K.T.'s book list on making magic feel just within reach

Why did K.T. love this book?

I read this trilogy when I was a teenager and couldn’t put it down. The blend of historical fiction, magic, and forbidden desires was easily devourable, if that’s even a word. Set in 1895 at an English boarding school, it’s incredibly atmospheric and full of secrets you’ll want to unravel faster than you could turn the page. 

By Libba Bray,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Great and Terrible Beauty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's 1895, and after the death of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's being followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls - and their foray into the spiritual world - lead to?

Carry On

By Rainbow Rowell,

Book cover of Carry On

Terry Bartley Author Of Tyranny of the Fey

From the list on casually queer sci-fi fantasy.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, especially anything involving superheroes or D&D-style adventure. For the longest time, I had to find queer representation through subtle glances and creative readings of characters. I loved these stories for the sci-fi and fantasy elements, but it was frustrating that every love story that came up was straight. It didn’t feel possible for queer love to be a part of a plot, and even when there was a queer character it had a “very special episode” vibe to it. Finally, queer characters are becoming part of the story, and it doesn’t have to be a “big deal.”

Terry's book list on casually queer sci-fi fantasy

Why did Terry love this book?

It took me months to pick up Carry On after it initially caught my eye on the bookshelf. It was everything I could have wanted.

It is a less problematic Harry Potter, if Harry and Draco ended up getting together. It shows a really authentic representation of unrequited queer love and recognizing one’s own queer identity. It is character-driven, but also full of fun magic adventure. I love a book that knows how to give you exactly what you want.

By Rainbow Rowell,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Carry On as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times best seller!
Booklist Editors’ Choice 2015 - Youth!
Named a "Best Book of 2015" by Time Magazine, School Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, NPR, PopSugar, The Millions, and The News & Observer!

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen.

That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right.

Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's…


By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (translator),

Book cover of Abigail

Ennie Smith Author Of School of Ladies: The Debutantes

From the list on set in boarding schools for girls.

Who am I?

I'm an archaeologist and addicted to reading and writing historical fictions. My first big love is history and I prefer Victorian Era. I’m interested in women’s lives and their habits and relationships in the old times. I was born and raised in Hungary, I’m often stay in London. I was working for years in museums in different cities while I was writing historical short stories and my first novel. School of Ladies – The Debutantes is a historical romance which has won an Audience Award in my country.

Ennie's book list on set in boarding schools for girls

Why did Ennie love this book?

I can’t forget my very talented compatriot, Magda Szabó’s great writing. I am very proud of her and her success. It was hard work and lasted a lifetime for her to reach as Hungarian her books became popular worldwide. I hope one day I can follow her… This book is set in a religious school in the middle of World War II. The protagonist is young Gina, the daughter of a Hungarian General. The novel analyzes important social problems, teenager problems. At first, Gina is an outcast then we can see how she tries to fit in the class, and she makes friends. Friendship and togetherness are in the spotlight in this novel.

By Magda Szabo, Len Rix (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A teenage girl's difficult journey towards adulthood in a time of war.

"A school story for grownups that is also about our inability or refusal to protect children from history" SARAH MOSS

"Of all Szabo's novels, Abigail deserves the widest readership. It's an adventure story, brilliantly written" TIBOR FISCHER

Of all her novels, Magda Szabo's Abigail is indeed the most widely read in her native Hungary. Now, fifty years after it was written, it appears for the first time in English, joining Katalin Street and The Door in a loose trilogy about the impact of war on those who have…

Book cover of Mystery of Black Hollow Lane

Jacqueline West Author Of Long Lost

From the list on mysteries to keep you reading all night.

Who am I?

I’m the author of eleven novels for young readers (so far!). I’m also a lifelong bookworm, and I’ve got a special love for all things creepy, fantastical, and odd. Growing up, I adored mysteries from Scooby-Doo to Sherlock Holmes, and you could often find me hiding under the covers with a stack of books and a flashlight long after I should have been asleep. Here are five more recent middle-grade mysteries that I've loved. If they’d been around when I was a kid, they would have kept me up hours past my bedtime.  

Jacqueline's book list on mysteries to keep you reading all night

Why did Jacqueline love this book?

This story has so many delicious ingredients—ancient boarding schools, secret societies, enigmatic notes slipped into pockets, young allies banding together against a powerful enemy—and they all combine to make the kind of book that classic mystery fans will devour.  

By Julia Nobel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mystery of Black Hollow Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Blackthorn Key series comes an award-winning boarding school mystery about twelve year old Emmy, who's shipped off to a prestigious British school. But her new home is hiding a secret society ... and it may be the answer to Emmy's questions about her missing father.
With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who's a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she's sure she won't fit in.
But then she finds a box of mysterious medallions in…

Looking for Alaska

By John Green,

Book cover of Looking for Alaska

Kristina Parro Author Of Lucky: A Novel

From the list on if you love Taylor Swift.

Who am I?

Kristina Parro is a long-time Taylor Swift fan who dove deep into the stories and lyrics of folklore to help her overcome the tumultuous period she spent as a front-line healthcare worker during the pandemic. She discovered layers of deep meaning and surprising connections in the album, as well as throughout Taylor’s entire collection, that led her down a rabbit hole of her own. A quest that brought her to a more enlightened state of being. Lucky is Parro’s first novel. She's currently working on another adult-fiction manuscript. You can also find her hosting a live, weekly show on Instagram, during which she has insightful conversations with authors, artists, thinkers, creatives, and Taylor Swift fans! 

Kristina's book list on if you love Taylor Swift

Why did Kristina love this book?

My long-time favorite writer, John Green, is another Swiftie! In 2014, after he posted on social media about her 1989 album, Taylor Swift took to Tumblr to proclaim that John Green was (also) her favorite author. While John is most well-known for The Fault in Our Stars (or more recently, his TikTok), Looking for Alaska, his debut, is always my recommendation. Looking For Alaska is packed with teenage nostalgia that hits you like a gut punch. "Sad, Beautiful, Tragic" for bookworms. I read it early on in high school and it sparked a literary awakening within me. I realized that books can hold deeper, philosophical meaning; that by diving deep and soaking it all in, I could learn more about myself and this crazy thing we call reality. 

By John Green,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Looking for Alaska as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning, genre-defining debut from John Green, the #1 bestselling author of The Anthropocene Reviewed and The Fault in Our Stars

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award • A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist • A New York Times Bestseller • A USA Today Bestseller • NPR’s Top Ten Best-Ever Teen Novels • TIME magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time • A PBS Great American Read Selection • Millions of copies sold!

First drink. First prank. First friend. First love.

Last words.

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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