100 books like Show Me a Sign

By Ann Clare LeZotte,

Here are 100 books that Show Me a Sign fans have personally recommended if you like Show Me a Sign. 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 Book Thief

Mark A. Biggs Author Of Love Letters From Dresden

From my list on stories that help shape who we are.

Why am I passionate about this?

Storytelling wields the power to transcend time and place, connecting us through shared experiences and emotions. It shapes our understanding of the world and ignites the imagination, making it an essential part of the human journey. As a psychologist, I understand how the stories we tell about ourselves are crucial in defining who we are and that books and good people can help shape our character. The books I've chosen celebrate the human spirit and our ability to face adversity, adapt, and ultimately choose our destiny. As Stephen Covey wisely stated, “Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”

Mark's book list on stories that help shape who we are

Mark A. Biggs Why did Mark love this book?

This book by Markus Zusak is frequently named one of the best WW2 books. I like it because it’s a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of hope in dark times. It’s a haunting and beautifully written novel set in Nazi Germany.

Narrated by Death, the story follows Liesel, a young girl sent to live with a foster family. As she navigates a tumultuous world filled with fear and cruelty, Liesel finds comfort in books and words. I loved the premise of stealing forbidden books and sharing their stories with others. Through Liesel’s experiences, I explored the themes of love, loss, and the power of storytelling in the face of adversity.

By Markus Zusak,

Why should I read it?

32 authors picked The Book Thief 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?

'Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner' Guardian
'Brilliant and hugely ambitious' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Telegraph
___

HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT…


Book cover of Tuck Everlasting

Jill K. Sayre Author Of The Fairies of Turtle Creek

From my list on realistic fiction with a dollop of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most writers, I am extremely interested in the “what if” factor. What if food ingredients could make a person feel specific emotions? What if drinking from a spring in the woods could give you a superpower? What if fairies really do take care of and grow all plants and trees in the world? I love to read and write about ordinary people, living everyday life, who encounter threads of magic. Influenced by reading books in the genre of “magical realism,” I love to explore how a dab of magic can be used in realistic fiction to emotionally affect the characters and story arc.

Jill's book list on realistic fiction with a dollop of magic

Jill K. Sayre Why did Jill love this book?

So, this book was made into two movies, the first in 1981 and the other in 2002, but I first experienced this story by reading the book when I was a young girl in sixth grade in 1978. I remember reading the epilogue over and over again—it broke my heart to think how the greed of one man could ruin something so magical. I pondered whether it was a blessing or a curse to live forever, and the town of Treegap felt like it could exist in any wooded place. Whenever I find myself in a thick forest, I still search for springs that bubble up from the ground, taking me right back to those emotions when reading this great classic.

By Natalie Babbitt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Tuck Everlasting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Winnie Foster is in the woods, thinking of running away from home, when she sees a boy drinking from a spring. Winnie wants a drink too, but before she can take a sip, she is kidnapped by the boy, Jesse Tuck, and his family. She learns that the Tuck family are blessed with - or doomed to - eternal life since drinking from the spring, and they wander from place to place trying to live as inconspicuously as they can. Now Winnie knows their secret. But what does immortality really mean? And can the Tucks help her understand before it's…


Book cover of When You Reach Me

Jennie Yabroff Author Of If You Were Here

From my list on young readers set in old-school NYC.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in California, I was enchanted by the idea of New York City—largely due to the visions of it I found in the books on this list. I’ve now lived in NYC for 20 years and love matching real locations with their versions in my imagination. In my time in the city I’ve been a staff writer for Newsweek Magazine, an editor at Scholastic, and a freelancer for many publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post. I’m currently working on a second novel. 

Jennie's book list on young readers set in old-school NYC

Jennie Yabroff Why did Jennie love this book?

Miranda Sinclair is a latchkey kid who lives with her single mom on the Upper West Side of New York City in the late 1970s. I love the way Miranda navigates her dirty, dangerous, yet enchanting city – her street smarts, her fears, her relationships with the adults in the neighborhood who keep a watchful eye over her. And the book, while totally gritty and real, also has a lovely, melancholy element of magical realism that makes the story mysterious and poignant. 

By Rebecca Stead,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked When You Reach Me 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?

Miranda's life is starting to unravel. Her best friend, Sal, gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The key that Miranda's mum keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives:
'I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own.
I ask two favours. First, you must write me a letter.'

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realises that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she…


Book cover of Refugee

Alda P. Dobbs Author Of Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna

From my list on kids in war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m passionate about this topic because my own great-grandmother escaped a war, the Mexican Revolution of 1913, at the age of nine years old. Family stories described her journey of marching across the desert, almost dying, determined to reach the United States. I am also an immigrant myself and I enjoy relating to stories that depict the immigrant experience. 

Alda's book list on kids in war

Alda P. Dobbs Why did Alda love this book?

My favorite part of this book is that it is three stories that are narrated and each one is very unique. However, the dreams, hopes and fears parallel one another making the reader understand that these journeys are universal.

You also learn that history repeats itself because each story is set in a different era. 

By Alan Gratz,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Refugee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and
timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With
the threat of concentration camps looming, he and
his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world .
. .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and
unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft,
hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his
homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he…


Book cover of Moses Goes to School

Mara Rockliff Author Of Doctor Esperanto and the Language of Hope

From my list on picture books about languages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s author best known for digging up fascinating, often funny stories about famous people—and forgotten people who deserve to be famous again. But only one of them inspired me to take up a whole new hobby: L. L. Zamenhof, creator of the international language Esperanto. Learning Esperanto turned out to be fun and easy. It helped me make friends all over the world, and got me interested in how language works.

Mara's book list on picture books about languages

Mara Rockliff Why did Mara love this book?

I haven’t seen a lot of picture books about children using American Sign Language (ASL), and I enjoyed the details of a day in a public school for the deaf and hard of hearing, although the book’s age (it came out in 2000) means the tech is somewhat out of date. While this book is not about Deaf culture, it does—like all the books on my list—give kid-friendly examples of the language it is introducing. I appreciated that the children are shown signing in ASL and not just fingerspelling English words, and that the author made some attempt to convey that ASL is its own language and that anyone who is fluent in both ASL and English is bilingual. Other titles in the series include Moses Goes to a Concert, Moses Goes to the Circus, and Moses Sees a Play. 

By Isaac Millman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moses Goes to School 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?

A day at a school for the deaf is like a day at any school

Moses goes to a special school, a public school for the deaf. He and all of his classmates are deaf or hard-of-hearing, but that doesn't mean they don't have a lot to say to each other! They communicate in American Sign Language (ASL), using visual signs and facial expressions. Isaac Millman follows Moses through a school day, telling the story in pictures and written English, and in ASL, introducing hearing children to the signs for some of the key words and ideas. At the end…


Book cover of A Picture Book of Helen Keller

Jacqueline B. Toner Author Of Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair

From my list on acceptance and empathy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved children. I love tiny babies just discovering the world around them. I love elementary-age kids who are taking pride in developing new skills and learning how to deal with challenges. I love teens who are questioning and rethinking the things they thought they knew. I also love the science and practice of psychology (my profession for over thirty years) and, I love books. To date, I have written nine books. My audience ranges from preschool to high school and topics include strategies to understand and cope with problems as well as psychology as a topic of study.

Jacqueline's book list on acceptance and empathy

Jacqueline B. Toner Why did Jacqueline love this book?

An accessible introduction to the remarkable story of Helen Keller. Left blind and deaf as toddler, her future looked dim. But a talented and sensitive teacher, Ann Sullivan, enabled Helen to communicate with the world in alternative ways. Colorful illustrations and child-friendly explanations present Helen’s remarkable journal to a young audience.

By David A. Adler, John Wallner (illustrator), Alexandra Wallner (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Picture Book of Helen Keller 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?

Her bravery, brilliance, and spirit brought hope to millions of disabled people.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880. When she was just a year and a half old, she was left blind and deaf from an illness. In a very simple text, the author covers the important facts of Helen Keller's life. Besides her extraordinary work with teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan, she published several books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.

For almost thirty years, David Adler’s Picture Book Biography series has profiled famous people who changed the world. Colorful, kid-friendly…


Book cover of Song for a Whale

María José Fitzgerald Author Of Turtles of the Midnight Moon

From my list on animal and nature-loving-empaths who are curious.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up near the outskirts of a lush Honduran cloud forest, I remember searching for magic in the woods, a fairy behind the waterfall, and an emerald quetzal bird in the canopy. I have always been a lover of nature, ecology, and wildlife, and I appreciate how each of these five books speaks to the passion that I have for ecology in a unique way. From fantastical rabbits to hidden systems we all rely on, to turtles and whales and the entire animal kingdom, these books will resonate with those of us who believe that we each have a place in our interconnected planet.

Maria's book list on animal and nature-loving-empaths who are curious

María José Fitzgerald Why did Maria love this book?

As someone who has always connected with animals, wild and domesticated, Song for a Whale was a story I could not put down.

Lynne Kelly’s middle grade novel about a deaf girl determined to help a whale who cannot communicate with its family is full of heart and compassion, and it kept me on my toes until the very end. I love stories with brave, unique, and realistic protagonists, and Iris was all of these things.

I appreciated the deaf representation, and the theme of family that is woven so beautifully into the plot. I could picture the whale, Blue 55, so perfectly, and the short chapters in the whale’s POV were the cherry on top of an already lovely story of courage and connection. 

By Lynne Kelly,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Song for a Whale 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 stirring and heart-warming tale of a young deaf girl who is determined to make a difference, the perfect read for fans of Wonder.

Iris was born deaf, but she's never let that define her; after all, it's the only life she's ever known. And until recently she wasn't even very lonely, because her grandparents are both deaf, too. But Grandpa has just died and Grandma's not the same without him. The only place Iris really feels at home anymore is in her electronics workshop where she loves taking apart antique radios.

Then, during a science lesson about sound waves,…


Book cover of The Silent One

Mandy Hager Author Of The Crossing

From my list on feature indigenous Pacific or Māori characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand who cares deeply about social issues and human rights, I believe fiction has the power to change hearts and minds and bring us all together with greater compassion and understanding. When I was growing up here, there were few books published by Pacific or Māori writers and we were taught little about their customs or mythologies. I’ve loved watching this change over the last forty-odd years (and particularly the last ten years) and can see how access to these stories has not only empowered Māori and Pacific youth and brought them closer to their culture but enriched everyone who lives in our pacific paradise! 

Mandy's book list on feature indigenous Pacific or Māori characters

Mandy Hager Why did Mandy love this book?

Another classic title by one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most-loved storytellers. This moving story follows the special friendship forged between Jonasi, a lonely deaf-mute pacific islander, and a huge white turtle. It’s a book about isolation and prejudice, and how love can heal all. One review describes it as ‘somewhere between fact and fiction, superstition and the supernatural.’ It’s another that’s been made into a fabulous film.

By Joy Cowley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Silent One is Jonasi, sent from the sea as a baby to grow up in an isolated Pacific village. Separated from the villagers by his silence and their prejudices, Jonasi finds solace in his underwater world where he develops a special relationship with a huge white turtle. However, the superstitious villagers see both Jonasi and the turtle as evil spirits. A series of natural disasters and a struggle for leadership within the village sweep Jonasi toward his strange destiny.


Book cover of Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood

Donna Jo Napoli Author Of In a Flash

From my list on deaf culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago, I visited a school for the deaf to see how the children learn to read. It opened my eyes: It is exceedingly difficult to learn to read a language you cannot hear. I am a linguist and a writer for children. So this experience lit a fire under me – I wanted to learn about the deaf experience, sign languages, and what sorts of ways I might be able to support the effort to learn to read. I now analyze sign languages, work with a team to advocate for deaf children’s language rights, and am co-director of the RISE project, producing videobooks for deaf children and their families.

Donna's book list on deaf culture

Donna Jo Napoli Why did Donna love this book?

This book gives the British side of things, focusing on the division between viewing deafness as a medical condition (a deficiency) and viewing it as a cultural condition (which leads to the birth of sign languages).  This book asks what a culture is, truly, and shows how cultures grow up around deaf signing communities.

By Paddy Ladd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book presents a 'Traveller's Guide' to Deaf Culture, starting from the premise that Deaf cultures have an important contribution to make to other academic disciplines, and human lives in general. Within and outside Deaf communities, there is a need for an account of the new concept of Deaf culture, which enables readers to assess its place alongside work on other minority cultures and multilingual discourses. The book aims to assess the concepts of culture, on their own terms and in their many guises and to apply these to Deaf communities. The author illustrates the pitfalls which have been created…


Book cover of Dad, Jackie, and Me

Michael Thal Author Of The Lip Reader

From my list on effect of deafness and understanding deaf people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a teacher when I awoke one morning to an unnatural silence. The ENT specialist said the rare virus would return and I’d become deaf one day. Six years later he was proven right, and I had to accept disability because I couldn’t understand my students. I took American Sign Language classes at a local community college, and I taught myself to write. I penned six novels; two about deafness. At the turn of the century, I met Jila, an amazing deaf woman. She told me stories about growing up deaf and Jewish in Iran. After her death from colon cancer, I put her stories together and novelized her life in The Lip Reader.

Michael's book list on effect of deafness and understanding deaf people

Michael Thal Why did Michael love this book?

As a deaf man, I’ve run into people who refuse to talk to me because of their prejudices toward deaf people. This includes my own brother, friends, and cousins.

Prejudice in American society is ubiquitous. No one knew this better than Myron Uhlberg’s father, a deaf man. When Branch Rickie decided to break the color barrier in baseball by hiring Jackie Robinson as the starting first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Mr. Uhlberg understood immediately the difficulties the ballplayer would encounter from racist athletes and fans. Though Uhlberg knew nothing about baseball, he became one of Robinson’s adoring fans at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York during the 1947 baseball season.

Myron and his father visited Ebbets Field frequently during Robinson’s rookie year. Author Myron Uhlberg and illustrator Colin Bootman produce an emotionally packed picture book kids can understand and learn about diversity in their award-winning picture book, Dad, Jackie,…

By Myron Uhlberg, Colin Bootman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dad, Jackie, and Me 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?

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

A young boy and his deaf father bond over baseball as they root for Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers to win the pennant. 

It was Opening Day, 1947. And every kid in Brooklyn knew this was our year. The Dodgers were going to go all the way!
 
In the summer of 1947, a highly charged baseball season is underway.  The new first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson, is the first Black player in Major League Baseball--- and it looks like the team might have what it takes to get to the…


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