95 books like Plotting the Stars 1

By Michelle A. Barry,

Here are 95 books that Plotting the Stars 1 fans have personally recommended if you like Plotting the Stars 1. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

Dana VanderLugt Author Of Enemies in the Orchard: A World War 2 Novel in Verse

From my list on middle grade written that tackle grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I worked as a middle school teacher, I surveyed more than 200 students how they felt about books that included sadness and grief. The overwhelming answer from the students was that while adults too often minimize their feelings and dismiss the validity of their heartache, books do not. Many young readers want books that are honest and raw enough not to shield them from the world, but to pay enough attention to its pain to light a path, knowing that they can keep moving forward in the dark when they feel less alone and less afraid.

Dana's book list on middle grade written that tackle grief

Dana VanderLugt Why did Dana love this book?

I adored every single character in this book. Dan Gemeinhart is a master at pulling readers in by creating characters you want to spend time with and miss when you turn to its final page.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is a joyful journey of grief. Coyote and her dad have been traveling the American countryside in a refurbished school bus far from the tragedy of a car accident that killed Coyote's mother and two sisters. Expect to learn about resilience, bravery, and the necessity of facing hard emotions we’d rather outrun.

By Dan Gemeinhart,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Five years. That's how long twelve-year-old Coyote and her dad, River, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters.

Coyote hasn't been home since, but when she learns that the park in her old neighbourhood is being demolished - the very same park where she, her mum, and her sisters buried a memory box - she devises a plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state.

On the way, they'll pick up an eclectic group of folks. Lester…


Book cover of Crenshaw

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?

This book is amazing. It’s about a kid named Jackson whose parents are having trouble making ends meet. It looks like they’re going to be homeless... again. But that’s when Crenshaw, Jackson’s old imaginary friend shows up. I love how Katherine Applegate shows Jackson’s fears and hopes. I grew up pretty poor, and so I know that she does a great job with this tough situation. Yet, despite the hardships, Applegate fills this book with fun, like when Crenshaw, a giant imaginary cat, takes a bubble bath.

By Katherine Applegate,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Crenshaw as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The heart-warming new story about family and friendships from Newbery Medal-winner Katherine Applegate.

Life is tough for ten-year-old Jackson. The landlord is often at the door, there's not much food in the fridge and he's worried that any day now the family will have to move out of their home. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken and he's imaginary. He's come back into Jackson's life to help him but is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

A heart-warming story about family and friendships from Newbery medal winner Katherine Applegate.


Book cover of The Thing About Jellyfish

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?

This book features a girl named Suzi, who is convinced her friend drowned because of a jellyfish sting. She’s so affected by her friend’s death that she stops talking. I loved seeing Suzi research jellyfish through this book.

I love learning and studying and how she went about it was cool. She was determined and strong. I also appreciated how the plot moves from the present to the past and showed the truth about Suzi’s friendship in the end.

By Ali Benjamin,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Thing About Jellyfish 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?

It's peculiar how no-words can be better than words. How silence can say more than noise, or a person's absence can occupy even more space than their presence did.

Suzy is twelve when her best friend, Franny, drowns one summer at the beach. It takes two days for the news to reach Suzy, and it's not something that she can accept: Franny has always been a strong swimmer, from the day they met in swim class when they were just five. How can someone all of a sudden, just no longer be there?

Suzy realizes that they must have got…


Book cover of All of Me

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?

I never thought I’d love a book written in verse; poetry just isn’t my thing. Yet, Chris Baron’s work took my breath away. I was mesmerized and couldn’t put it down.

It’s about Ari, an overweight kid, who struggles with his self-worth because of his size. I’ve struggled with my weight too–all my life. So I understood what he was going through. It broke my heart when Ari harmed himself, but I appreciated seeing him make it through this tough time. He showed determination and grit.

By Chris Baron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All of Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"Beautifully written, brilliant, and necessary," (Matt de la Pena, Newbery Medalist), here is a body-positive book about how a boy deals with fat-shaming.

Ari has body-image issues. After a move across the country, his parents work selling and promoting his mother's paintings and sculptures. Ari's bohemian mother needs space to create, and his father is gone for long stretches of time on "sales" trips.

Meanwhile, Ari makes new friends: Pick, the gamer; the artsy Jorge, and the troubled Lisa. He is also relentlessly bullied because he's overweight, but he can't tell his parents―they're simply not around enough to listen.

After…


Book cover of Lob

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?

Lob is a gentle, magical, and affirming chapter book. The story centres around Lucy, her relationship with her Grandad, and their belief in the mythical garden helper Lob. In Lucy's devotion to her grandad, and her love of nature, we come to see how grief can be slowly approached and lived with. The illustrations are beautifully observed by Smy, who is a master of showing emotion through posture and environment. I love this story for the way that it weaves grief, love, and magic together in an accessible and respectful way for children and grown-up readers.

By Linda Newbery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He's older than anyone can tell. Older than the trees. Older than anybody. For as long as she can remember, Lucy has wanted to catch a glimpse of the mysterious green man who lives in Grandpa Will's garden: Lob. You have to be very special to see him; that's what Grandpa says. Lucy's parents think Lob's just imaginary, but Lucy knows he exists. And she can't believe it when she finally spots Lob in the gooseberry bushes. But Lucy's world is about to be shattered by a terrible event. What will happen to Lob now - and will she ever…


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 And Then It's Spring

Phyllis Root Author Of Anywhere Farm

From my list on growing things.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, including One Duck Stuck, Big Momma Makes the World, Rattletrap Car, Plant a Pocket of Prairie, and, in collaboration with Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Liza Ketchum, Begin With A Bee, a picture book about the federally endangered rusty-patched bumblebee. Recently I have been putting my garden to bed for the winter, pulling tomato vines, harvesting beans that have dried on the vine, cutting herbs, and planting cloves of garlic to grow into heads in next year’s garden. In a couple of months snow will bury the garden beds, and the only gardens will be in the pages of books. Here are five of the children’s books that I love about growing things.

Phyllis' book list on growing things

Phyllis Root Why did Phyllis love this book?

Told in one long sentence, this is the story of a child and their dog who plant seeds after winter and wait and wait and wait for the brown ground to–finally–become green. The ongoing sentence resonates with waiting for hopeful signs that spring is on the way. 

By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked And Then It's Spring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Following a snow-filled winter, a young boy and his dog decide that they've had enough of all that brown and resolve to plant a garden. They dig, they plant, they play, they wait . . . and wait . . . until at last, the brown becomes a more hopeful shade of brown, a sign that spring may finally be on its way.

Julie Fogliano's tender story of anticipation is brought to life by the distinctive illustrations Erin E. Stead, recipient of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

This title has Common Core connections.

And Then It's Spring is one of The…


Book cover of The Imaginary Garden

Laura Alary Author Of What Grew in Larry's Garden

From my list on gardening as community building.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although I am no gardening expert, I’ve always been intrigued by seeds. It amazes me that such tiny things hold so much: colour, scent, flavour, food, and the community that grows in the tending and sharing of it. Every winter since I published What Grew in Larry’s Garden, the real Larry sends me an envelope filled with tomato seeds and reminds me to give some to my neighbours. It makes me smile to think that my story has become its own kind of seed, growing friendship, and connecting people. I hope the book does that for you too.  

Laura's book list on gardening as community building

Laura Alary Why did Laura love this book?

My grandmother had an enormous vegetable garden. She spent so much time working in it and filling her pantry with jars of jams, jellies, and preserves, I used to wonder what she would do if she ever had to leave it.  

That is exactly what happens to Poppa, who has to move out of his old house with its yard full of trees and flowers, into a small apartment with only a windy balcony. At first Poppa sinks into grief. But a suggestion from his granddaughter Theo gives him an idea for how they can still share the joy of creating a garden together. 

This is a lovely story about how art enriches our lives, and how resilience and imagination can help people of any age cope with unwelcome change.

By Andrew Larsen, Irene Luxbacher (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Imaginary Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Theodora loved her grandfather's old garden. His new apartment's balcony is too windy and small for a garden. But what appears to be a drawback soon leads to a shared burst of creativity as Theo and her Poppa decide to paint a new garden. As they work side by side --- sowing seeds with brushes and paint --- a masterpiece begins to take shape that transforms the balcony into an abundant garden. When Poppa goes away on holiday, Theo helps nurture the garden and it begins to take on a life of its own. This garden grows not from soil…


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 Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit

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?

This book is perhaps the most important garden book of the last twenty years and one of my favorites.

The main premise is that plants matter and that the key to successful gardening and garden design is to know your plants and I could not agree more! I love the gorgeous photography and all the information by two of America's greatest horticulturalists.

By Scott Ogden, Lauren Springer Ogden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Plant-Driven Design as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For too long, garden design has given pride of place to architecture, artifice, and arbitrary principles. The results? Soulless landscapes where plants play subordinate roles.

With passion and eloquence, Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden argue that only when plants are given the respect they deserve does a garden become emotionally resonant. Plant-Driven Design shows designers how to work more confidently with plants, and gives gardeners more confidence to design. The Ogdens boldly challenge design orthodoxy and current trends by examining how to marry plantsmanship and design without sacrificing one to the other.

Supported by extensive lists of plants adapted…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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