100 books like Raising a Hero

By Laura Numeroff, Lynn Munsinger (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Raising a Hero fans have personally recommended if you like Raising a Hero. 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 Alice Eloise's Silver Linings: The Story of a Silly Service Dog

Michal Babay Author Of I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog

From my list on children’s books about service dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a mother, author, teacher, and animal lover. I write humorous picture books focused on gratitude, persistence, and joy. My inspiration for writing I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog came from my oldest daughter’s painful celiac struggles, which included steroids and hospitalizations. As I researched ways to keep her healthy long-term, without medication, I read more about gluten-sniffing dogs and how amazingly helpful they are for people with severely sensitive celiac disease. Fast forward a few years and now my daughter always has her best friend, Chewie, by her side: the goofiest, sweetest, most lovable gluten-sniffing poodle in town! I hope you enjoy these picture books showcasing disabilities and service dogs.

Michal's book list on children’s books about service dogs

Michal Babay Why did Michal love this book?

Another uplifting, “pawsitive,” diversity-inclusive book based on a real-life service dog! This wonderful story reminds kids to look for the silver linings in life, believe in themselves, and never give up. Readers will cheer for Alice Eloise as she overcomes obstacles and works hard to become the perfect silly service dog for her girl. Author Sarah Katherine Frey has overcome numerous health obstacles in her life, yet she always looks for the silver lining. Help promote empathy and disability inclusion in readers by joining Frey and Alice Eloise “on their journey as they go on adventures with a smile and a tail wag, making friends and finding joy wherever their paws may take them.” 

By Sarah Kathryn Frey, Kit Laurence Nacua (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Alice Eloise's Silver Linings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How can you stay positive in the face of adversity? A service dog in training learns that how we face challenges can be bigger than the challenges themselves. Inspire kids to see the positive side of life with this heartwarming puppy dog tale. If we dream big and believe in ourselves, we can achieve most anything!

Alice Eloise’s Silver Linings is the true story of a silly Double Doodle pup named Alice Eloise who dreams of becoming a service dog. Follow Alice Eloise as she overcomes obstacles in her efforts to become a service dog, looking for silver linings along…


Book cover of Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Michal Babay Author Of I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog

From my list on children’s books about service dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a mother, author, teacher, and animal lover. I write humorous picture books focused on gratitude, persistence, and joy. My inspiration for writing I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog came from my oldest daughter’s painful celiac struggles, which included steroids and hospitalizations. As I researched ways to keep her healthy long-term, without medication, I read more about gluten-sniffing dogs and how amazingly helpful they are for people with severely sensitive celiac disease. Fast forward a few years and now my daughter always has her best friend, Chewie, by her side: the goofiest, sweetest, most lovable gluten-sniffing poodle in town! I hope you enjoy these picture books showcasing disabilities and service dogs.

Michal's book list on children’s books about service dogs

Michal Babay Why did Michal love this book?

I love everything about this book! Loosely based on the partnership between Boston Marathon bombing victim Jessica and her real-life service dog, this story is heart-warming and inspirational. Rescue grew up expecting to become a Seeing Eye dog, but when it turns out he’s better suited to being a service dog, Rescue worries he won’t be able to do the job. Then one day, he meets Jessica, whose life has also been turned upside down. Rescue and Jessica work together to help each other find a way forward, one step at a time. This book belongs in every school and home library!

By Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes (, Scott Magoon (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rescue and Jessica as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

“An inspiring tale of compassion and perseverance.” —Booklist (starred review)

Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog, but when he gets the news that he’s better suited to being a service dog, he’s worried that he’s not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she’d imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And it turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time. Based on…


Book cover of Sago, A Very Special Service Dog

Michal Babay Author Of I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog

From my list on children’s books about service dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a mother, author, teacher, and animal lover. I write humorous picture books focused on gratitude, persistence, and joy. My inspiration for writing I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog came from my oldest daughter’s painful celiac struggles, which included steroids and hospitalizations. As I researched ways to keep her healthy long-term, without medication, I read more about gluten-sniffing dogs and how amazingly helpful they are for people with severely sensitive celiac disease. Fast forward a few years and now my daughter always has her best friend, Chewie, by her side: the goofiest, sweetest, most lovable gluten-sniffing poodle in town! I hope you enjoy these picture books showcasing disabilities and service dogs.

Michal's book list on children’s books about service dogs

Michal Babay Why did Michal love this book?

Diversity representation is a must in books for young readers, and Sago, A Very Special Service Dog, accomplishes this perfectly! Readers will meet Debbie, who is in a wheelchair, and her real-life service dog, Sago. A very sweet book to introduce young readers to these amazing dogs, the jobs they can do, and what to do when we encounter service dogs out and about in the world. 

By Beth Davis, Deborah Schilling (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sago, A Very Special Service Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This colorfully illustrated story reveals the extraordinary true to life relationship between Debbie, a girl in a wheelchair, and her service dog, Sago. Sago, A Very Special Service Dog is a wonderful way to learn about the many ways service and working dogs assist people. Take a close look at the photographs and see a few real dogs in action. Sago, A Very Special Service Dog is a book that matters and makes a difference!


Book cover of Our Service Dogs

Michal Babay Author Of I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog

From my list on children’s books about service dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a mother, author, teacher, and animal lover. I write humorous picture books focused on gratitude, persistence, and joy. My inspiration for writing I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog came from my oldest daughter’s painful celiac struggles, which included steroids and hospitalizations. As I researched ways to keep her healthy long-term, without medication, I read more about gluten-sniffing dogs and how amazingly helpful they are for people with severely sensitive celiac disease. Fast forward a few years and now my daughter always has her best friend, Chewie, by her side: the goofiest, sweetest, most lovable gluten-sniffing poodle in town! I hope you enjoy these picture books showcasing disabilities and service dogs.

Michal's book list on children’s books about service dogs

Michal Babay Why did Michal love this book?

Come meet a variety of service dogs and their superstar kids! This book introduces real-life service dog teams such as Kaylee and her dog Riley, Thunder the diabetes alert dog, and 6 other amazing fuzzy friends. The book also includes information on what to do when you meet a service dog in a store or anywhere in public. I love this book for many reasons (who wouldn’t love adorable kids and dogs!), but especially for the diversity and disability inclusion shown on every page.

By Amber Diane Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Service Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

There are so many amazing dogs doing important jobs! Come with Kaylee and her service dog, Riley, as we meet 8 other kids and their service dogs. Then we will find out what to do when you see a service dog! This engaging, inclusive, educational read will help kids better understand the work service dogs do and how to act when they encounter one. Every team in the book is based on a real-life child who uses a service dog to help them navigate life with disability.


Book cover of Primal Force

Diane Kelly Author Of Paw Enforcement

From my list on doggedly determined dogs undaunted by disability.

Why am I passionate about this?

Being “mommy” to a deaf dog has taught me so much about canine disabilities, and how intelligent and capable dogs can be despite their limitations. I enjoy reading about other people who have gone through similar experiences with their dogs. These animals don’t let their disabilities stop them from leading full, fun lives. With their determination and positive attitudes, disabled dogs make wonderful role models!

Diane's book list on doggedly determined dogs undaunted by disability

Diane Kelly Why did Diane love this book?

In this romantic suspense novel, it’s veterans who are disabled rather than the dogs. The book stars a woman who trains canines to be service dogs for former military members. I enjoyed learning about the training process and everything the dogs can do for the people they serve, including the attractive romantic hero featured in the story. D.D. Ayres’s books are very well researched, and the reader comes away with quite a bit of knowledge. I like books with that kind of take-away value. The story was also very engaging, with the characters facing difficult challenges but finding hope and love through the process. 

By D.D. Ayres,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Passion is always worth fighting for…

Jori Garrison trains dogs for Warrior Wolf Pack, which provides service animals for disabled veterans. Four years ago, she was wrongly convicted of a crime―thanks to her no-good ex- fiancé. Now she just wants to live her life in peace with her beloved dogs. No men, no complications. But it's hard to play it cool when a lethally hot male is on her tail―and the attraction is fierce, mutual, and dangerous….

PRIMAL FORCE

Lauray "Law" Batisse is a Military Police veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan. Haunted by the loss of his K-9 partner…


Book cover of Service Dog Training Guide: A Step-by-Step Training Program for You and Your Dog

Nate Schoemer Author Of Nate Schoemer's Dog Training Manual: Animal Planet's Dog Trainer Shares His Dog Training Secrets

From my list on dog understanding and communication.

Why am I passionate about this?

As far back as I can remember I’ve always loved canines and always wanted to make sure they were treated kindly. When I was a kid, I would bring a bag of dog treats with me to visit family and friends that I knew had dogs; I had to be very convincing too, or else people would’ve thought they were for me! But they could see it was a delight for me; while everyone would be inside talking, I would be outside with the pups. Eventually, this enthusiasm culminated with the creation of Nate Schoemer’s Dog Training Program, with a mission of improving the lives of dogs and their owners through education. 

Nate's book list on dog understanding and communication

Nate Schoemer Why did Nate love this book?

Jennifer is a personal friend of mine and is an excellent dog trainer. Her book covers much of the “need-to-know” basics regarding service dog training, and makes an excellent guide for those starting out. It goes well paired with my book. 😉

What makes this book special is that it breaks down how an owner can enter straight into the service dog training world. This is a very rewarding skill set that can be converted into an extremely fulfilling career for those interested in working in the field of training dogs to help people with disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorders, age-related conditions, and so many more circumstances.

The book captures the fundamentals like raising and training puppies, on up to the important points about service dog creation, which includes guiding the vision-impaired, audio-alert training for the hearing impaired, medical alert responses, and many more primary skillsets that can help someone on…

By Jennifer Hack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Service Dog Training Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Master service dog training at home with this easy step-by-step guide

Service dogs are life-changing for people with a range of physical and mental disabilities. But getting one can be complicated and expensive. The Service Dog Training Guide offers you an easy, step-by-step program for you and your dog to follow at home.

Bone up on everything from basic exercises to essential service dog tasks that will guide you and your dog on the best training path. You’ll also find an overview of different types of service and support dogs, breeds, and equipment for training. The step-by-step instructions will help…


Book cover of Second Wind

Brenna Bailey Author Of A Tale of Two Florists

From my list on cozy stories about characters older than fifty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Older people have always been present and significant in my life. I read widely, and—perhaps because of my role models—I noticed there’s a lack of representation of older characters in books. I started to seek out stories with protagonists over the age of fifty, and the more I read, the more I felt like the collection was lacking. Even though I’m younger, I want to use my position as a romance editor and author to remind people that aging doesn’t have to be a bad thing and life is still complex and enjoyable when you’re older. Adventure and romance can continue in your golden years.

Brenna's book list on cozy stories about characters older than fifty

Brenna Bailey Why did Brenna love this book?

Second Wind is a short, delightful read about how you’re never too old to find love.

Seventy-one-year-old Martha Appleby is flying to Glasgow to scatter her husband’s ashes when she runs into her childhood sweetheart, Pamela Thornton. Their paths are more intertwined than they thought, and their journey gives them a second chance to be together.

I found this story when I was looking for comparison titles for my book, and I am so glad I picked it up! It had me smiling and gave me warm fuzzy feelings all the way through.

By Ceillie Simkiss,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

No matter how old you are, there’s always a chance for romance. After the death of her husband, 71-year-old homemaker Martha Appleby is taking her first long-distance trip alone. That loss has derailed many of her plans for her twilight years, and she hopes to come to peace with not knowing what will come next.70-year-old service dog trainer Pamela Thornton is hoping to take advantage of a well-timed work trip to figure out what to do next. Crouton is the last service dog of the litter, and she’s not sure she wants to keep raising dogs by herself.These two childhood…


Book cover of The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love

Rona Maynard Author Of Starter Dog: My Path to Joy, Belonging and Loving This World

From my list on the power of loving a dog.

Why am I passionate about this?

For most of my life no one guessed I could fall for a dog, much less write a book about one. I associated dogs with drool on the floor and fur all over everything. One of those “just a dog” people, I thought the marriage bed should be strictly for humans. It crossed my mind that an eager dog would keep me from working into the night at the office where I ran Chatelaine, Canada’s premier magazine for women, but I chose a treadmill at the Y over rambles with a dog. At 65 I discovered my inner dog person. A ragged-eared mutt is now my joy and my muse.

Rona's book list on the power of loving a dog

Rona Maynard Why did Rona love this book?

TV’s Lassie saved children from wildfire and quicksand. Real-life service dogs save entire families from the isolation and stress of a child’s incurable illness or severe disability.

Through the vivid stories of compromised kids who blossom with highly trained dogs, Greene celebrates the canine gift for understanding us humans—rooted in 10,000 years of interspecies history but ignored by science until the recent past.

This book gripped, moved, and informed me while hitting close to home. Like my own rescue mutt, many service dogs were trained by prisoners who discovered their own best selves by teaching an unwanted animal to love. Humans and dogs need each other, as Greene shows with heartfelt but rigorous reporting. 

By Melissa Fay Greene,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE UNDERDOGS tells the story of Karen Shirk: felled at age 24 by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as an immobile, deeply isolated and depressed, ventilator-dependent patient, she was rejected by every service dog agency in the country as "too disabled." Her nurse encouraged her to raise her own service dog, and Ben, a German shepherd, dragged her back into life. "How many people are stranded like I was," she wondered, "who could lead productive lives with a service dog?" A thousand dogs later, Karen Shirk's service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, is restoring broken children and their…


Book cover of Through a Dog's Eyes: Understanding Our Dogs by Understanding How They See the World

Deborah Taylor-French Author Of Red Sky at Night: Dog Leader Mysteries

From my list on dogs and canine behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I’m not out rescuing lost dogs or walking our dog, Beau, in the hills of Sonoma County, I’m reading, writing, blogging, or offering writers' support. Our family started when we took in a baby for foster care, then a year later, after great effort, prayer, and help, we completed her adoption. As for canines, we’ve adopted four dogs, all from dogs returned to their breeders or an animal shelter. Three of our dogs happened to be only one year old when we took them in. I continue to research and edit my Dog Leader Mysteries blog. Twelve years blogging about saving dogs.

Deborah's book list on dogs and canine behavior

Deborah Taylor-French Why did Deborah love this book?

I can’t say enough about Through a Dog’s Eyes. Read it to save your puppy from harsh training methods. Read it before you choose a training method to prepare for raising a puppy/dog.

Arnold offers a giant step forward in the humane treatment of dogs as feeling and thinking beings. Jennifer Arnold once thought methods of dominance and negative correction were necessary, but through her Canine Assistance program (a service dog organization), Arnold learned that kindness and encouragement proved the best way to train dogs.

For twenty years, Arnold adopted, raised, and taught dogs for people with special needs. Dogs showed her how to “teach” dogs to make choices, not to simply “train” to follow commands. Her dogs performed amazing feats of thinking and taking lifesaving actions.

By Jennifer Arnold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Through a Dog's Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A “transformative,”* inspiring book with the power to change the way we understand and communicate with our dogs.
 
Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for twenty years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Through her unique understanding of dogs’ intelligence, sensitivity, and extrasensory skills, Arnold has developed an exemplary training method that is based on kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary.

To Jennifer Arnold, dogs are neither wolves in need of a pack leader nor…


Book cover of The Spare Man

Paige E. Ewing Author Of Precise Oaths

From my list on sci-fi that blow raspberries at hero stereotypes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a woman in a technology field dominated by men, a person with both mental and physical problems, and I’ve studied a dozen different martial arts. I’m a mean shot with a bow and love to hurl axes and spears. None of these things are contradictory. They’re just different aspects of me. Real people don’t fit in boxes and neither should good characters. My world is filled with my Hispanic grandkids, my bi daughter, my gay foster brother, my friends and family and people I love that don’t fit the Captain Awesome stereotype. Remember that we, too, can be heroes.

Paige's book list on sci-fi that blow raspberries at hero stereotypes

Paige E. Ewing Why did Paige love this book?

My mother has a service dog, and I’ve inherited a disability or two. The heroine in The Spare Man didn’t let her dog or her physical limitations stop her. She even used them to her advantage when she could.

I also loved how the book was an old-school Nick and Nora style murder mystery told in the far future on a space cruise ship. The author mixed those genres like she was mixing a tasty cocktail.

It was glorious fun from first page to last. And like all the stories on my list, it showed how much a hero can shine, no matter what gender or lack of gender she is, no matter how big or how small, what sort of personality or capability she has. It might be more of a mark of courage for a hero to find a friend than storm a castle, but that’s okay because…

By Mary Robinette Kowal,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Spare Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hugo, Locus, and Nebula-Award winner Mary Robinette Kowal blends her no-nonsense approach to life in space with her talent for creating glittering high-society in this stylish SF mystery, The Spare Man.

Tesla Crane, a brilliant inventor and an heiress, is on her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner, cruising between the Moon and Mars. She’s traveling incognito and is reveling in her anonymity. Then someone is murdered and the festering chowderheads who run security have the audacity to arrest her spouse. Armed with banter, martinis and her small service dog, Tesla is determined to solve the crime so that the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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