74 books like Power Forward

By Hena Khan,

Here are 74 books that Power Forward fans have personally recommended if you like Power Forward. 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 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 One Last Shot

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?

I love how Malcolm, a kid who doesn’t like sports despite his athletic dad’s enthusiastic encouragement, finally finds a place to call his own in mini-golf. Malcolm has always felt like a loser but once he signs up for lessons and meets some friends, he slowly improves, in his game and in his opinion of himself. Unfortunately, Malcolm also carries the weight of feeling it’s up to him to keep his parents’ troubled marriage together. With tournaments and family problems mounting high, this is an exciting read. The eighteen chapters, set up like holes on a golf course, are a fun addition.

By John David Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Last Shot 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 beloved author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day and Posted returns with a humorous and heartwarming story of family, friendship, and miniature golf.

For as long as he can remember, Malcolm has never felt like he was good enough. Not for his parents, who have always seemed at odds with each other, with Malcolm caught in between. And especially not for his dad, whose competitive drive and love for sports Malcolm has never shared.

That is, until Malcolm discovers miniature golf, the one sport he actually enjoys. Maybe it’s the way in which every hole is a puzzle to be…


Book cover of Sidetracked

Barbara Carroll Roberts Author Of Nikki on the Line

From my list on girls who love sports.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a very active kid – the kind of kid who was constantly told to sit still and be quiet. Growing up in the 1960s, I had few opportunities to engage in athletics, other than neighborhood games of tag and kick-the-can. But when I got to high school, our school district had just begun offering competitive sports for girls. Finally, my energy and athletic ability were appreciated (at least by my coaches and teammates). So I guess it was inevitable that when I began writing books for young readers, I would start with a book about a girl who loves sports.

Barbara's book list on girls who love sports

Barbara Carroll Roberts Why did Barbara love this book?

Although the main character in this warm and funny book is a boy, I include it in my list of favorite books about girls who love sports because the best athlete in this story of a middle-school cross country team is a girl. She’s the team member all the other kids depend on. The team member who pushes Joseph Friedman – a boy with attention challenges, innumerable phobias, and no athletic “gifts” – to keep trying. She just won’t let Joseph give up. I love the relationships between the teammates in this book. And I love the way Asher shows that in running – as in life – winning doesn’t always mean coming in first. It means trying to do just a little bit better each time you step onto the track.

By Diana Harmon Asher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

ABA Indies Introduce Book
ALA Notable Book

"This is a splendid novel that I read in one sitting. . . . You will cheer when this kid embraces 'Do your best' and shows it to be a ringing call to nothing less than Triumph." -Gary D. Schmidt, Printz Honor winner and two-time Newbery Honor winner "Diana Harmon Asher tells an entertaining story about a boy picking his way through the potholes and pitfalls of puberty, with a little help from his friends." -Richard Peck, Newbery Medal winner
"Just read it! Diana Harmon Asher has written a witty, observant, and sensitive…


Book cover of Ten Thousand Tries

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?

Golden Maroni is a well-drawn main character who dreams of success on the soccer field. At the same time, he tries to take care of those he loves in the best way he knows how. If he works hard and becomes a great soccer player, then maybe his dad can recover from ALS, and maybe his best friend won’t move away. There are several heavy topics in this book, but they are done with skill and sensitivity. I love the ten thousand hours theme of working towards your goals, but also the poignant truth that not all goals can be achieved by this method.

By Amy Makechnie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ten Thousand Tries 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 middle school soccer whiz’s determination to keep things from changing is tested when his father’s ALS symptoms worsen in this “heart-tugging and uplifting” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) story about growing up and facing loss, perfect for fans of Shouting at the Rain.

Twelve-year-old Golden Maroni is determined to channel his hero, soccer superstar Lionel Messi, and become captain of his soccer team and master of his eighth grade universe…especially since his home universe is spiraling out of orbit. Off the field, Golden’s dad, once a pro soccer player himself, is now battling ALS, a disease that attacks his muscles,…


Book cover of Homeland Elegies

Julie Sedivy Author Of Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self

From my list on immigration and identity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a language scientist and a writer, but most of all, a person who is smitten with language in all its forms. No doubt my fascination was shaped by my early itinerant life as a child immigrant between Czechoslovakia to Canada, with exposure to numerous languages along the way. I earned a PhD in linguistics and taught linguistics and psychology at Brown University and later, the University of Calgary, but I now spend most of my time writing for non-academic readers, integrating my scientific understanding of language with a love for its aesthetic possibilities.

Julie's book list on immigration and identity

Julie Sedivy Why did Julie love this book?

This book calls itself a novel, but it is deeply intertwined with the author’s own life and experiences as a second-generation immigrant from Pakistan. The chapters often read more like incisive personal essays than segments advancing the plot of a conventional novel, as the author grapples with the economic obsessions and spiritual poverty of contemporary American culture, the experience of everyday racism and the rage it provokes, and the feelings of alienation that many immigrants feel from both their country of origin and their adopted home. 

The central preoccupation of the book is the difficulty of living as a complete, nuanced, self-contradictory individual in a world that forces you to choose—between cultures in conflict with each other, between absolutist world views that permit no ambivalence, between economic success and authenticity. It is a tension that may be especially pronounced in an immigrant’s life, but one that entraps everyone and results…

By Ayad Akhtar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This "beautiful novel . . . has echoes of The Great Gatsby": an immigrant father and his son search for belonging—in post-Trump America, and with each other (Dwight Garner, New York Times).

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year 
One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020
A Best Book of 2020 * Entertainment Weekly * Washington Post * O Magazine * New York Times Book Review * Publishers Weekly * NPR * The Economist * Shelf Awareness * Library Journal * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Slate
Finalist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for…


Book cover of Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal

Dorothy Woodman Author Of The Cancer Plot: Terminal Immortality in Marvel's Moral Universe

From my list on graphic literature and why to read them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Associate Lecturer and Adjunct in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. After being a piano teacher, working in communications for an NGO, and heading up the children’s department at a public library, I returned to university. While in graduate school, I underwent treatments for breast cancer, leading me into researching and teaching medical narratives, while focusing on works by breast cancer survivors. Introduced to graphic literature by a colleague, I began exploring a whole new world of literature. I now teach courses on graphic literature: memoirs, histories, speculative fiction, and the occasional comic.

Dorothy's book list on graphic literature and why to read them

Dorothy Woodman Why did Dorothy love this book?

This is a great story about a Muslim Pakistani high school student in Jersey City who suddenly body-morphs as she develops superhero powers. As Kamala discovers, being Ms Marvel is about following her faith’s call to help others regardless of who they are. Ms. Marvel’s engaging story educates readers on immigrant culture, debates, and shared values within Muslim families and communities and how closely aligned Islam is with the central tenets of superhero life to address wrongs while at the same time challenging Islamophobic ideas. 

Why is this comic important? It is a great way for teens, both inside and outside Islam, immigrants or not, to learn about this faith as one set of characters live it and to follow a character whose life is, in a variety of ways, not so different from their own. It’s also a series that invites readers to think about shared values and norms,…

By G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona (illustrator), Jacob Wyatt (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ms. Marvel Volume 1 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?

Marvel Comics presents the new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But…


Book cover of The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Rohit Prasad Author Of The Pilgrim: Inferno Redux

From my list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in the US, and particularly lived and worked in New York, for many years. How the events of 9/11 changed the city, its people, and the perceptions of the people all around the country and the world has always intrigued me. 9/11 has put up a prism through which experiences have emanated out in a kaleidoscopic range of stories. A banker by day and a cynical blogger by night, I have traveled the world and have met many interesting people with compelling backgrounds and have experienced many peculiar and beautiful things. I love to explore the confluence of fascinating narrative arcs and life-altering events. 

Rohit's book list on the aftermath of 9/11 on people’s everyday lives

Rohit Prasad Why did Rohit love this book?

The book captures the picture-perfect life of a brown-skinned immigrant who finds it all rose-tinted living it up in New York.

The scales fall after 9/11 when faced with shifting allegiances and overt suspicions. The author slowly builds up a gnawing tension as we wait for the protagonist to teeter over the edge, as the isolation and resentment eats away inside him spiraling into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The book touched me as a person of South Asian descent, having faced unconscious bias. The book delineates the perspective of “the other”, where the unfamiliar is made to feel like a convenient scapegoat in times of crisis.

However, there is more that unites us than divides us - and we can try to change the world one person at a time.

By Mohsin Hamid,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Reluctant Fundamentalist 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 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
OVER ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE

The elegant and compelling novel about a Pakistani man’s abandonment of his high-flying life in New York—an extraordinary portrait of a divided and yet ultimately indivisible world in America post-9/11.

At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. He begins to tell the story of a man named Changez, who is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He…


Book cover of Unsettled

Cordelia Jensen Author Of Every Shiny Thing

From my list on middle grade verse published in 2021.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written three verse novels; two YA, Skyscraping and The Way the Light Bends, and one half-verse, half-prose MG Every Shiny Thing (co-authored with Laurie Morrison.) I teach verse novel specific classes for The Highlights Foundation and The Writing Barn, on topics like plotting verse novels, creating an image system in verse novels, revising verse novels. I also edit verse novel manuscripts, working with one private student per month. Along with this, I’ve taught a Writing for Children class at Bryn Mawr College. Presently, I teach kids and teens through the Kelly Yang Project and run a local, kids’ literary journal here in Philadelphia called the Mt. Airy Musers. 

Cordelia's book list on middle grade verse published in 2021

Cordelia Jensen Why did Cordelia love this book?

Unsettled by Reem Faruqi, loosely based on the author’s own story, chronicles the experience of Nurah, a thirteen-year-old girl who moves from Pakistan to Georgia. She experiences racism and prejudice in a variety of forms, she makes new friends, discovers new passions, undergoes loss, and learns to adjust to a vastly different place. Many verse novels tell stories of immigration, but this one stands for its consistent lyricism and its honest, moving portrayal of a coming-of-age experience that is at once specific and universal. 

By Reem Faruqi,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Unsettled 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?

A Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year · Kid's Indie Next List · Featured in Today Show’s AAPI Heritage Month list · A Kirkus Children's Best Book of 2021 · A National Council of Teachers of English Notable Verse Novel · Jane Addams 2022 Children’s Book Award Finalist · 2021 Nerdy Award Winner · Muslim Bookstagram Award Winner for Best Middle School Book

For fans of Other Words for Home and Front Desk, this powerful, charming immigration story follows a girl who moves from Karachi, Pakistan, to Peachtree City, Georgia, and must find her footing in a new…


Book cover of Amina's Voice

Jennifer Gennari Author Of Muffled

From my list on middle-grade about kids making music.

Why am I passionate about this?

In fifth grade, I chose to play the clarinet. After a lot of cracked reeds and squeaky notes, I switched to choir. I still love to sing! I love books that explore young people’s first experiences with music, whether it’s as a star or as a way to express one’s true self. Music takes many forms, and for me, that includes the arrangement of sounds in a sentence. When I write for young people, I look for the musicality of words, how they flow, and how variety can make a story pop. Try reading aloud your own work or a favorite book and listen to the rhythm of language.

Jennifer's book list on middle-grade about kids making music

Jennifer Gennari Why did Jennifer love this book?

Sometimes, a beautiful voice can be expressed through the spoken word rather than in song.

This is a lovely story about Amina, a twelve-year-old Pakistan American with perfect pitch. Amina’s best friend urges her to sign up for a solo, but Amina prefers to accompany on the piano.

I love that Hena Khan builds Amina’s acceptance of who she is! Uncle’s melodious reading of the Quran changes Amina’s attitude, and she and her brother agree to participate in a statewide Quran recitation competition.

But when their Islamic Center is vandalized, the community rallies, and Amina finds the courage to recite the opening verses at the competition.

It isn’t perfect, but what she wins is a new self-confidence to sing.

By Hena Khan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Amina's Voice 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 Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2017

"For inspiring empathy in young readers, you can't get better than this book." -R. J. Palacio, author of #1 New York Timesbestseller Wonder

"Amina's anxieties are entirely relatable, but it's her sweet-hearted nature that makes her such a winning protagonist." -Entertainment Weekly

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family's vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this "compassionate, timely novel" (Booklist, starred review) from the award-winning author of It's Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never…


Book cover of A Place at the Table

Kerry M. Olitzky Author Of Strangers in Jerusalem

From my list on bringing Muslims and Jews together.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a rabbi and educator who lives in the midst of a large Jewish community and a large Muslim community. But up until about 10 or so years ago, I had no Muslim friends. My wife and I set out to change that. (She formed the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and I benefited as a plus one.) I am also the author of nearly 100 books, a growing number of which are for children and some focus on the relationship between Muslims and Jews. 

Kerry's book list on bringing Muslims and Jews together

Kerry M. Olitzky Why did Kerry love this book?

There are so few young adult novels that demonstrate positive relationships between Muslim kids and Jewish kids. This one succeeds masterfully.

The main characters in the story come from very different backgrounds and seem to share little in common. Their friendship grows slowly, and eventually they learn to trust one another. This story shows both the risks and rewards of such a friendship. With taking risks, there can be no reward.  

By Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Place at the Table 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?

A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom.

Sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been struggling with depression.

The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has…


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