100 books like The Book Rescuer

By Sue Macy, Stacy Innerst (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that The Book Rescuer fans have personally recommended if you like The Book Rescuer. 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 The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant 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?

There are lots of excellent contemporary picture books about children from other countries adjusting to life in the United States. What sets this book apart for me is that, rather than just sprinkling in some words in the family’s native tongue, it specifically talks about languages and bilingualism. The writing is a little on-the-nose in spots (children say things like “I didn’t realize how important a different language is” and “Aren’t languages a beautiful thing? They can truly unite us!”), but it’s a likable story with charming illustrations. My favorite part is at the end, when the Arabic quilt inspires another class to make one in Japanese.

By Aya Khalil, Anait Semirdzhyan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a "quilt" (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi's most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.

This authentic story with beautiful illustrations includes a glossary of Arabic words and a presentation of Arabic letters with their phonetic English equivalents.


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 The Language of Angels: The Reinvention of Hebrew

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?

Although I studied modern Hebrew as a child, and understood that it was different from the Hebrew in the Bible, I never realized that the everyday language spoken by millions of Israelis didn’t just develop by itself. The Language of Angels tells the story of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who worked tirelessly to revive the Hebrew language, from the point of view of his son Ben-Zion. The father’s insistence that his son speak only Hebrew, a language then used solely in prayer, condemned him to a friendless childhood in multilingual late-nineteenth-century Jerusalem and lends a dark edge to the tale. But bright, cheerful illustrations help lighten the tone, and the book is full of lively details about Ben-Yehuda’s efforts, such as finding a word for “ice cream.”

By Richard Michelson, Karla Gudeon (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award
2017 National Jewish Book Award

In 1885, few Jews in Israel used the holy language of their ancestors, and Hebrew was in danger of being lost—until Ben Zion and his father got involved. Through the help of his father and a community of children, Ben modernized the ancient language, creating a lexicon of new, modern words to bring Hebrew back into common usage. Historically influenced dialogue, engaging characters, and colorful art offer a linguistic journey about how language develops and how one person's perseverance can make a real difference.

Influenced by illuminated manuscripts, Karla Gudeon’s…


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 Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Viviane Elbee Author Of I Want My Book Back

From my list on the magic of libraries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've loved books and reading from an early age. My family and I go to the library nearly every week to check out books, do research, or attend library programs like storytime. My interest in libraries led me to read books about libraries and write one of my own. I’m a children’s book author living in North Carolina with my husband and two book-devouring kids. I Want My Book Back is my second book, following my debut, Teach Your Giraffe to Ski. When I’m not reading or writing, I like hanging out with my family, being outdoors, and going on everyday adventures.

Viviane's book list on the magic of libraries

Viviane Elbee Why did Viviane love this book?

As my kids are getting older, I keep my eyes open for longer, more complex picture books – and this book attracted my attention. It’s a great non-fiction biography for kids who like learning about notable historical personalities. It took roughly 45 minutes to read this book with the kids, and we all learned so much about Schomburg and his quest to collect literature by and about people of African descent worldwide. One thing that really impressed the kids and me was how he managed to keep this humongous collection in his home. (The kids and I were wondering if the whole family was sleeping on books instead of beds)!

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Eric Velasquez (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Schomburg 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?

In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children’s literature’s top African-American scholars track Arturo Schomburg’s quest to correct history.

Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked.

Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny),…


Book cover of The Club Dumas

Dan Fesperman Author Of The Double Game

From my list on people obsessed by books.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dan Fesperman has made a living by writing about dangerous and unseemly people and places since his days as a journalist, when he was a foreign correspondent for The Baltimore Sun. Now traveling on his own dime, his books draw upon his experiences in dozens of countries and three war zones. His novels have won two Dagger awards in the UK and the Dashiell Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers. His thirteenth novel, Winter Work, will be published in July by Knopf. He lives in Baltimore.

Dan's book list on people obsessed by books

Dan Fesperman Why did Dan love this book?

What's not to like when the main character is a self-styled "book detective" making his way through the hidden passages and darker alleys of the world of rare antiquarian books? Lucas Corso seeks to authenticate an old manuscript by Alexander Dumas, but his quest takes an eerie turn as the events and characters he encounters along the way begin to replicate those found in Dumas's fiction. This delightful 1993 novel was meta before meta was cool, and is deeply rewarding for any bibliophile.

By Arturo Perez-Reverte,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

#1 International Bestseller"A thriller of marvelous intricacy" (The New York Times Book Review), The Club Dumas is a provocative literary thriller that playfully pays tribute to classic tales of mystery and adventure.Lucas Corso is a book detective, a middle-aged mercenary hired to hunt down rare editions for wealthy and unscrupulous clients. When a well-known bibliophile is found dead, leaving behind part of the original manuscript of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers, Corso is brought in to authenticate the fragment. He is soon drawn into a swirling plot involving devil worship, occult practices, and swashbuckling derring-do among a cast of characters…


Book cover of The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World's Greatest Library

Andrew Pettegree Author Of The Library: A Fragile History

From my list on the history of communication.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started academic life as a historian of the Protestant Reformation, and gradually shifted to the history of communication, in the process creating a major online resource documenting publications from all over the world in the first two centuries of printing, the Universal Short Title Catalogue. After several works on books, news, and information culture I teamed up with another St Andrews colleague, Arthur der Weduwen, to enjoy the pleasures of co-authorship: this book, a history of libraries and book collecting, is our fourth collaboration.

Andrew's book list on the history of communication

Andrew Pettegree Why did Andrew love this book?

What do you do if your father has just discovered whole new continents? In the case of Hernando, son of Christopher Columbus, the answer was to conquer a new world of his own: the new universe of printed books. In this beautifully written and accessible study, Edward Wilson-Lee explores Hernando’s quixotic yet determined attempt to emulate the library of ancient Alexandria by creating a universal library of print. It does not end well.

By Edward Wilson-Lee,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This impeccably researched and “adventure-packed” (The Washington Post) account of the obsessive quest by Christopher Columbus’s son to create the greatest library in the world is “the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters” (NPR) and offers a vivid picture of Europe on the verge of becoming modern.

At the peak of the Age of Exploration, Hernando Colón sailed with his father Christopher Columbus on his final voyage to the New World, a journey that ended in disaster, bloody mutiny, and shipwreck. After Columbus’s death in 1506, eighteen-year-old Hernando sought to continue—and surpass—his father’s campaign to explore the boundaries of the known world…


Book cover of Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger

Arthur der Weduwen Author Of The Library: A Fragile History

From my list on the history of the library.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian at the University of St Andrews, and an expert in the history of books, media, and communication. My working life has revolved around libraries: I stacked shelves at my local university library while I was an undergraduate, and have since worked as a researcher in some hundred reading rooms in twenty countries (and I am therefore the proud owner of many library cards, expired and current). I am also an avid book collector, and have a growing collection of seventeenth and eighteenth-century books, mostly printed in my native Netherlands. Writing a history of libraries was an enjoyable tribute to those fine institutions, historic and present.

Arthur's book list on the history of the library

Arthur der Weduwen Why did Arthur love this book?

What does true bibliomania look like? Read no further than Stephen Grant’s Collecting Shakespeare, the story of the couple who created the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Henry Folger was a wealthy oil baron, but with the devoted help of his wife, poured all his money into buying up copies of Shakespeare editions, especially the famous First Folio of 1623 (he ultimately ended up with 82). The couple erected an enormous library building opposite the Library of Congress (flattening several blocks of housing in the process) to become the permanent home to the largest collection of books by and on Shakespeare in the world. Although Henry died before the library opened, this is a rare story of success in a long history of eccentric library curation that generally ends with the dispersal of the collection. 

By Stephen H. Grant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Collecting Shakespeare, Stephen H. Grant recounts the American success story of Henry and Emily Folger of Brooklyn, a couple who were devoted to each other, in love with Shakespeare, and bitten by the collecting bug. Shortly after marrying in 1885, the Folgers started buying, cataloging, and storing all manner of items about Shakespeare and his era. Emily earned a master's degree in Shakespeare studies. The frugal couple worked passionately as a tight-knit team during the Gilded Age, financing their hobby with the fortune Henry earned as president of Standard Oil Company of New York, where he was a trusted…


Book cover of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind

Irene Wittig Author Of All That Lingers

From my list on hard times and resilience in the World War II era.

Why am I passionate about this?

World War II has been the background of my life. My Viennese family fled the Nazi regime. My childhood was peopled with Holocaust survivors and other people displaced by war. My uncle was a refugee and was trained as a Ritchie Boy and sent to war. I have been inspired by how people can survive traumatic times and come out stronger and kinder.

Irene's book list on hard times and resilience in the World War II era

Irene Wittig Why did Irene love this book?

A poignant, well-written and deeply researched non-fiction story of the author’s search for the girlfriend her grandfather had left behind in Vienna. As my family left Vienna because of the Nazi regime, and my own novel takes place in Vienna, I found Ms. Wildman’s book especially meaningful, raising the question not only of what had happened to the woman but also of how much guilt and responsibility the grandfather carried?

By Sarah Wildman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Paper Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One woman’s journey to find the lost love her grandfather left behind when he fled pre-World War II Europe, and an exploration into family identity, myth, and memory.

Years after her grandfather’s death, journalist Sarah Wildman stumbled upon a cache of his letters in a file labeled “Correspondence: Patients A–G.” What she found inside weren’t dry medical histories; instead what was written opened a path into the destroyed world that was her family’s prewar Vienna. One woman’s letters stood out: those from Valy—Valerie Scheftel—her grandfather’s lover, who had remained behind when he fled Europe six months after the Nazis annexed…


Book cover of In the Wake of Madness: The Murderous Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon

Linda Collison Author Of Water Ghosts

From my list on sea voyages gone badly.

Why am I passionate about this?

Linda Collison's composite career has included critical care and emergency nursing, freelance writing and novelist, and teaching skydiving. She has sailed many bluewater miles with her husband, Bob Russell, aboard their sloop Topaz, based in Hawaii. Their three-week sailing experience aboard the HM Bark Endeavour, a replica of Captain Cook's three-masted 18th century ship, inspired Linda to write Star-Crossed, an historical novel published by Knopf in 2006, and a New York Public Library pick in 2007 for Books for the Teen Age. Star-Crossed has been republished as the Patricia MacPherson Nautical Adventure Series from Fireship Press. Her sailing experiences also inspired the novel Water Ghosts, a Foreword Reviews finalist for Independent Book of the Year, 2015.

Linda's book list on sea voyages gone badly

Linda Collison Why did Linda love this book?

Studying the journals of the surviving crew, the historian of this real-life nineteenth-century tragedy pieces together the situation aboard the ship that set sail out of Massachusetts for the whaling grounds of the North Pacific. What happens aboard makes the literary Captain Ahab's monomaniacal actions seem heroic in comparison. Druett's true-crime-at-sea story provides a brutal counterpoint to the American epic, Moby Dick, and calls to mind The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex, a true account that is said to have inspired Melville. I pick Druett's account because of its historical true-crime approach, and because it is a lesser-known account.

By Joan Druett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Wake of Madness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After more than a century of silence, the true story of one of history's most notorious mutinies is revealed in Joan Druett's riveting "nautical murder mystery" (USA Today). On May 25, 1841, the Massachusetts whaleship Sharon set out for the whaling ground of the northwestern Pacific. A year later, while most of the crew was out hunting, Captain Howes Norris was brutally murdered. When the men in the whaleboats returned, they found four crew members on board, three of whom were covered in blood, the other screaming from atop the mast. Single-handedly, the third officer launched a surprise attack to…


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