100 books like Sprouting Wings

By Louisa Jaggar, Shari Becker, Floyd Cooper (illustrator)

Here are 100 books that Sprouting Wings fans have personally recommended if you like Sprouting Wings. 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 Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

Andi Diehn Author Of Forces: Physical Science for Kids

From my list on children’s books about physics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by how the world works. What gives gravity so much power? Why is it easier to lift things with levers and pulleys? Why do we have electricity inside of our own bodies?! The world is amazing. My job editing nonfiction books for kids puts me on the front lines of some of the smartest science writing out there. While I had no hand in the making of the following five picture books about physics, they are still some of my favorites because of the way they peel back the mysterious layers of the world to show us the science hidden in our daily lives.

Andi's book list on children’s books about physics

Andi Diehn Why did Andi love this book?

A book that encompasses both the study of science and the role of women in the world, this beautiful picture book explores the life of Wu Chien Shiung, a Chinese American scientist who worked in particle and nuclear physics during a time when women weren’t encouraged to have scientific careers.

By Teresa Robeson, Rebecca Huang (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Queen of Physics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Naming their daughter "Courageous Hero," they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism at home and racism in the United States to become what Newsweek magazine called the "Queen of Physics" for her work on how atoms split. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired…


Book cover of Malala's Magic Pencil

Kathryn Erskine Author Of Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song

From my list on fascinating people.

Why am I passionate about this?

Technically, I’m a lawyer and pharmacy technician but I spend my time writing, mostly for kids. I'm inspired by a childhood in different countries as well as what’s currently occurring in our world. I delight in stories for all ages, believing that even adults can enjoy and learn from picture book biographies. At the very least, they provide jumping-off points for further research, and at best they inspire us to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Kathryn's book list on fascinating people

Kathryn Erskine Why did Kathryn love this book?

In Malala’s own kid’s eye view of the world, she tells how she yearned for a magic pencil, like the boy in a TV show she watched, so she could magically make the world a better place. One of the fortunate girls in Afghanistan who was sent to school because her parents believed strongly in education for women, she eventually realized she had that magic pencil already. Her words, her voice, could bring change. This is an empowering book for kids to see that they can make a difference in their world from one of the heroes of their time.

By Malala Yousafzai, Kerascoët (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Malala's Magic Pencil 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?

** Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Children's Book Award! **

As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil that she could use to redraw reality. She would use it for good; to give gifts to her family, to erase the smell from the rubbish dump near her house. (And to sleep an extra hour in the morning.)

As she grew older, Malala wished for bigger and bigger things. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to…


Book cover of Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker's Story

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?

If I had to recommend just one picture book about languages, I’d choose this one, because it does so much. First, of course, it shares a long-secret episode in American history—the triumph of the Navajo “code talkers” in World War II. (Not the first time bilingual heroes came to our country’s rescue: see my own picture book Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution.)  But this book also addresses language justice in a way that kids will find easy to understand. Through Chester, we feel the pain and confusion of being told one’s own language is “bad” and worthless, and the pride of having it finally treated with respect. We also see how language isn’t just a set of words, but carries culture, tradition, religion, a whole way of life.   

By Joseph Bruchac, Liz Amini-Holmes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Junior Library Guild Selection April 2018
2018 Cybils Award Finalist, Elementary Non-Fiction
BRLA 2018 Southwest Book Award
2019 Southwest Books of the Year: Kid Pick
2020 Grand Canyon Award, Nonfiction Nominee
2020-2021 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award Master List

STARRED REVIEW! "A perfect, well-rounded historical story that will engage readers of all ages. A perfect, well-rounded historical story that will engage readers of all ages."―Kirkus Reviews starred review

As a young Navajo boy, Chester Nez had to leave the reservation and attend boarding school, where he was taught that his native language and culture were useless. But Chester refused…


Book cover of Me Llamo Celia/My Name Is Celia: La Vida de Celia Cruz/The Life Of Celia Cruz

Bobbito Garcia Author Of Aim High, Little Giant, Aim High!

From my list on BIPOC Shorties for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a parent who along with my co-parent is raising a Black and Puerto Rican child in a world that is consumed with misunderstanding our communities of people. We seek books that speak volumes to our core, and that can expand our son’s horizons so that he understands himself as well as others.

Bobbito's book list on BIPOC Shorties for kids

Bobbito Garcia Why did Bobbito love this book?

I honestly think I enjoyed this book even more than my son, ha ha!

The richness of the illustrations are stunning, and Celia’s narrative is groundbreaking. Ultimately, it’s a wonderful story told in both Spanish and English, which has worked to connect us to two languages that are dear to our family.

By Monica Brown, Rafael López (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Me Llamo Celia/My Name Is Celia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This bilingual book allows young readers to enter Celia Cruz's life as she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then moves to New York City and Miami where she and others create a new type of music called salsa. School Library Journal has named My Name is Celia "[a]n exuberant picture-book biography ...a brilliant introduction to a significant woman and her music."


Book cover of Road to Gold: A Sweetwater Sullivan Naval Aviation Adventure

Stefan Vučak Author Of F/X-26

From my list on military aviation and its effect on the modern political era.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had an interest in military aviation and the impact this had on US and world geopolitics since my college days, and devoured these books at the university library. Once I started my professional career and could afford to buy my own, my library of techno thrillers grew. This reading enriched my knowledge, entertained, and provided ideas for writing my own books. As a book reviewer for Readers’ Favorite, I try to pick – among other genre – works that deal with this theme.

Stefan's book list on military aviation and its effect on the modern political era

Stefan Vučak Why did Stefan love this book?

If I wanted to learn what it took to become a US Air Force aviator, I found the perfect book. I had several good chuckles at what raw recruits endured at Pensacola at the hands of no-nonsense instructors. A fail at boot camp meant getting washed out.

When the story’s main character graduated to flying single-engine propeller aircraft, I was in the sky with him and his close friend. Transitioning to jets made my day, as did an occasional amusing amour. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and gained valuable information for my own writing. However, I could not help but wonder whether real life would actually be that romantic.

By William H. Labarge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"ROAD TO GOLD" : WHAT IT TAKES TO EARN THOSE COVETED "WINGS OF GOLD"Celebrating the 100TH Anniversary of Naval AVIATION BY: Bill "Sweetwater" LaBarge, Navy Carrier Pilot and New York Times Bestselling Author.From basic training to deadly battle in the skies, he followed a path of high risk and proud tradition.Matt "Sweetwater" Sullivan's dream of becoming a Navy pilot could not possibly have prepared him for the body-numbing pace of basic training with a class of bewildered beginners. With grit, verve, and determination, Matt would survive the "Pensacola Pressure-Cooker" and go on to Saufley Field to meet the grueling demands…


Book cover of Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Nishi Giefer Author Of The Captured

From my list on Twentieth Century POWs.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a western mystery writer, rancher, veterinarian, wife, mother, farrier, horse trainer, gardener, seamstress, pilot, homeschooler, tractor jockey, and all-around hand, I conclude that every experience in life is grist for the mill leading to settings, scenery, plots, and character motivations.

Nishi's book list on Twentieth Century POWs

Nishi Giefer Why did Nishi love this book?

As a pilot and an American, I found the content of this extremely well-written book mesmerizing. As a writer and editor, I was blown away by the clean copy. More impressively, both authors replied to my emails. Rick Newman is the wordsmith, and I daresay perfectionist. Upon learning I found only two typos in over five hundred pages, he begged to know where. Major General Don Shepperd, USAF Retired, was a Misty pilot in Vietnam who graciously agreed to be a technical consultant on my novel. His inside knowledge of the continuing struggle to return remains of US service members was invaluable. 

By Rick Newman, Don Shepperd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bury Us Upside Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They had the most dangerous job n the Air Force. Now Bury Us Upside Down reveals the never-before-told story of the Vietnam War’s top-secret jet-fighter outfit–an all-volunteer unit composed of truly extraordinary men who flew missions from which heroes are made.

In today’s wars, computers, targeting pods, lasers, and precision-guided bombs help FAC (forward air controller) pilots identify and destroy targets from safe distances. But in the search for enemy traffic on the elusive Ho Chi Minh Trail, always risking enemy fire, capture, and death, pilots had to drop low enough to glimpse the telltale signs of movement such as…


Book cover of The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller: A True Story of Murder, Adventure, Danger, Romance, and Derring-Do

Samantha Battams Author Of The Secret Art of Poisoning: The True Crimes of Martha Needle, the Richmond Poisoner

From my list on Australian women in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Samantha Battams is an Associate Professor and has been a university lecturer, researcher, policy professional, community development worker, advocate, health service administrator, and management consultant. Samantha resides in Adelaide, South Australia, is widely travelled, and has lived and worked in Switzerland in global health. She has published academic articles and book chapters in the fields of public health and global health, social policy, and sociology. She has a passion for history and writing and has written a self-published family history and three non-fiction books.

Samantha's book list on Australian women in history

Samantha Battams Why did Samantha love this book?

I was amazed to read about the adventures of Mrs ‘Chubbie’ Miller, whom I had never heard about previously. She was an Australian woman aviator who competed in the US National Women’s Air Race (the so-called ‘Powder Puff Derby’) and other Women’s Air Derbys with Amelia Earhart and others. Why had I not heard of her before? Because she was embroiled in a scandalous love triangle that saw the end of one life?

By Carol Baxter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The remarkable true story of a beguiling Melbourne housewife who in the 1920s seeks international fame, fortune, and adventure as an aviator and finds herself as the central figure in a sensational American murder trial.

'Mrs Keith Miller, internationally known aviatrix, was taken to the county jail here today and held for investigation by State Attorney's investigators. Jail attendants said they understood she was held in connection with the shooting of an airline pilot.'

Petite, glamorous, and beguiling, Jessie 'Chubbie' Miller was one remarkable woman ... flyer, thrill seeker, heartbreaker. No adventure was too wild for her, no danger too…


Book cover of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters

Vesa Turpeinen Author Of Learn to Fly and Become a Pilot!

From my list on flying, flight training, and working as a pilot.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been involved in aviation all my adult life as a pilot and a flight instructor. I am also an avid reader, and I like to read books written by my fellow aviators. I find books written by pilots exciting because of the similar experiences we all share in the industry. All the books that I recommend are very accessible for any reader without previous aviation knowledge; in fact, I think you will find these books even more fascinating as they will open your eyes to the wonderful world of aviation!

Vesa's book list on flying, flight training, and working as a pilot

Vesa Turpeinen Why did Vesa love this book?

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is one of the most well-known aviators in recent history. He was made famous by an extremely dangerous situation that he handled exceptionally well. This book is not just about the “Miracle on Hudson” incident; this is a biography about Captain Sully, how he became a pilot, and how decades of flying prepared him for this one single moment. It’s an inspirational book for anyone to read.

By Chesley B. Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed one of the most remarkable emergency landings in aviation history when Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the surface of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. His cool actions not only averted tragedy but made him a hero and an inspiration worldwide. To Sullenberger, a calm, steady pilot with forty years of flying experience who is also a safety consulting expert, the landing was not a miracle but rather the result of years of practice and training-wisdom he gained in the cockpit of U.S.…


Book cover of Lindbergh

Abby Ellin Author Of Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married

From my list on secrets, lies, deception and double lives.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning journalist, a frequent New York Times contributor (and former business columnist for The Times), and the author of, most recently, Duped: Double Lives, False Identities and the Con Man I Almost Married. Duped was turned into the #1 Spotify-original podcast, Impostors: The Commander, which I hosted and executive produced. I was also a producer/reporter on The NY Times Presents documentary film To Live and Die in Alabama, about the execution of Nathaniel Woods. As of press time, my greatest accomplishments have been summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro (with a broken wrist!), learning to play the cello at 35, and naming Karamel Sutra for Ben and Jerry’s.

Abby's book list on secrets, lies, deception and double lives

Abby Ellin Why did Abby love this book?

This is another biography and I liked it so much because it shed light on the inner life of an American hero: Aviator Charles Lindbergh. I talk about him in Duped - Lindbergh had three families in Germany, a wife in the states, and a gaggle of offspring scattered on the two continents. That’s probably why he took up flying. 

By A. Scott Berg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Even after twenty years, A. Scott Berg's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Charles Lindberg remains "the definitive account" of one of the 20th century's most extraordinary figures.

Few American icons provoke more enduring fascination than Charles Lindbergh-renowned for his one-man transatlantic flight in 1927, remembered for the sorrow surrounding the kidnapping and death of his firstborn son in 1932, and reviled by many for his opposition to America's entry into World War II. Lindbergh's is "a dramatic and disturbing American story," says the *Los Angeles Times Book Review, and this biography-the first to be written with unrestricted access to the Lindbergh…


Book cover of Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Biff Mitchell Author Of Blowing Up

From my list on surrealism and magical realism becoming reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Surrealism and magical realism are the blood of my art. All my novels, and especially my short stories, jump in and out of the world of schedules, deadlines, and certainty. It’s what I read and how I think, and it flows through my writing, drawing, and photography. I can’t imagine a world without magic, a world in which everything has a logical explanation and nothing moves beyond a set of rules that can be measured and accounted for. It’s the unaccountable rules, the ones that hint of something going on just under the surface of what we see, that rule my art.

Biff's book list on surrealism and magical realism becoming reality

Biff Mitchell Why did Biff love this book?

I make a point of reading this novel before I start on each of my own novels. There’s something about the tone, the rhythm, the story, and the humor that attracts me to this book. As usual, the lead character (Tucker Case) is like a leaf blown at crazy angles by the winds of the rest of the world, a world that seems to have turned on him just because he’s him.

I like the way Moore creates the most unbelievable events but makes them seem so normal with the backdrop of a world sliding into madness…and he does it all with the most exquisite humor.

By Christopher Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Island of the Sequined Love Nun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise - a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss's pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean's goons. Now there's only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in pilots, African Americans, and Prohibition in the USA?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about pilots, African Americans, and Prohibition in the USA.

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African Americans Explore 767 books about African Americans
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