100 books like The Great Pet Heist

By Emily Ecton, David Mottram (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that The Great Pet Heist fans have personally recommended if you like The Great Pet Heist. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of A Dog's Purpose

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Author Of A Dog Like Daisy

From my list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of eleven books for middle-grade readers, including three books from a dog’s point of view. These books have won five state book awards between them, and have been published in other languages. I’ve been writing for young readers for over 20 years. I also live with four furry friends of my own: Cookie (a cockapoo), Myrtle (a pug), Nala (a calico cat), and Daisy (a sweet mutt cat). I miss my big-hearted goldendoodle Lucky every day. And, like my dogs, I can be bribed with cheese.

Kristin's book list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Why did Kristin love this book?

This is an adapted version of the bestselling adult novel, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. It’s a fresh and unique take on why dogs mean so much to us humans, and there are gobs of books in this series (all stand-alone, which is great. Kids can read them in any order, but there are plenty of them for voracious readers).

The kid’s version is illustrated and is a fast, lively read.

By W. Bruce Cameron,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Dog's Purpose 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?

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, "A Dog's Purpose" touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here? Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved…


Book cover of Secondhand Dogs

PJ Gardner Author Of Horace & Bunwinkle

From my list on with animal POV.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing children’s books from an animal’s point of view is a special art. You have to place yourself in both the mind of the child and the animal. It requires research and imagination. There aren’t many writers who like to tackle all of that. Personally, I love it! In fact, most of my books for young readers are written from an animal’s perspective.

PJ's book list on with animal POV

PJ Gardner Why did PJ love this book?

This delightful story is perfect for dog lovers! With a relatable cast of characters—from anxious Gus to enthusiastic Moon Pie—and a high-stakes adventure that will keep readers glued to the page. I loved the pack dynamics and Gus reminded me so much of myself. I know kids will absolutely love it.

By Carolyn Crimi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Secondhand Dogs 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 heartwarming-and heart-tugging-middle grade novel about love, loyalty, and what it means to be part of a family-from author Carolyn Crimi, with adorable illustrations by Melissa Manwill. Perfect for fans of A Dog's Life and Because of Winn-Dixie.

Miss Lottie's home was for second chances.

When she adopted Gus, Roo, Tank, and Moon Pie, Miss Lottie rescued each member of the pack-including herself, her helper, Quinn, and her reclusive cat, Ghost-and turned them into a family. But when a new dog, Decker, arrives and tries to hoard Miss Lottie's heart and home for himself, the pack's future is threatened.

At…


Book cover of Blue Mountain

PJ Gardner Author Of Horace & Bunwinkle

From my list on with animal POV.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing children’s books from an animal’s point of view is a special art. You have to place yourself in both the mind of the child and the animal. It requires research and imagination. There aren’t many writers who like to tackle all of that. Personally, I love it! In fact, most of my books for young readers are written from an animal’s perspective.

PJ's book list on with animal POV

PJ Gardner Why did PJ love this book?

I’m partial to stories that create a set of beliefs and identities for animals. Martine Leavitt does this in a way that’s at once simple and profound. Tuk is a fantastic character that young readers will relate to and root for. If your child liked Pax and A Wolf Called Wander they will love this book.

By Martine Leavitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blue Mountain 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?

Tuk the bighorn sheep is told he will be the one to save his herd, but he is young and would rather play with his bandmates than figure out why the herd needs saving. As humans encroach further and further into their territory, there is less room for the sheep to wander, food becomes scarce, and the herd's very survival is in danger. Tuk and his friends set out to find Blue Mountain, a place that Tuk sometimes sees far in the distance and thinks might be a better home. The journey is treacherous, filled with threatening pumas and bears…


Book cover of Journey Beyond the Burrow

Ben Gartner Author Of The Eye of Ra

From my list on new action-packed middle grade with heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to read a good action-adventure story. I’ve also written a few. And I know that no matter how high the stakes, if there’s no heart in the characters then there’s very little engagement to make it any more memorable than a temporary thrill. I love thrills, but the stories that stick with you after the excitement of the moment is over, those are the true gems. Besides the fun of reading that type of book, maybe you even learn something about yourself or the world and come out a wee bit wiser than when you went in. And isn’t that a fantastic use of our imaginative powers?!

Ben's book list on new action-packed middle grade with heart

Ben Gartner Why did Ben love this book?

Do not be fooled by the cuddly creatures on the beautiful cover! This book is full of harrowing adventure, creepy tension, and frightening woodland creatures like giant spiders and deadly snakes. At least, as seen from the perspective of our main character, Tobin the mouse.

Tobin’s quest is full of heart, for he has taken it upon himself to save his younger brother from the clutches of the invading spiders who stole him to a faraway lair. Their adventure reminded me of Secret of Nimh or The Lord of the Rings in that we follow a reluctant hero who rises to the occasion and shows their true self over the course of a challenging adventure.

This is a terrific middle-grade action-adventure story bulging with heart.

By Rina Heisel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Journey Beyond the Burrow 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 JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD GOLD STANDARD SELECTION!

With the adventure of Avi’s Poppy series and the heart of A Wolf Called Wander, this charming and exciting middle grade adventure follows one mouse’s journey to save his baby brother from a sinister evil.

There are rules every mouse must follow if they’re to survive in the forest.

Tobin knows these guidelines by heart. After all, with one younger sibling, another on the way, and a best friend with a penchant for trouble-making, he needs to be prepared for anything.

But one stormy night, Tobin’s safe burrow is invaded by monstrous arachnids,…


Book cover of Bunnicula

Bryan L. Young Author Of A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination

From my list on morbidly curious kids and their adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a nerd for the morbid for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I tore through all the books on the shelves in my house, whether they were appropriate for my age group or not. I started tearing into Stephen King books at 8 or so. I remember vividly copying language out of Christine when I was about 10 on the playground and getting in a lot of trouble for it. But I turned out okay. I really do believe that kids have a fascination for things above their age range, and adults enjoy it, too, and I still love all of these.

Bryan's book list on morbidly curious kids and their adults

Bryan L. Young Why did Bryan love this book?

I read this book as a kid, probably too young, and it haunted me, but in the best ways. It stuck with me through my entire adult life and was likely something that helped kick off the aspects of my morbid personality to the point where I thought a kid's book about presidential assassinations was okay.

It’s fun and not actually scary, but it feels like it should be scary and is just a good time.

By Deborah Howe, James Howe, Alan Daniel (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bunnicula 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?

"Bunnicula rules!" - Dav Pilkey, creator of Dog
Man and Captain Underpants

BEWARE THE HARE!

When tomatoes suddenly go white,
you have to wonder: is the cute wittle wabbit really a vampire?

In this global bestselling classic, Harold the
dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest
pet in the Monroe household, a suspicious-looking bunny with
unusual habits - and fangs! - before it's too late.

In a second story, the Monroes have gone on vacation, leaving Harold
and Chester at Chateau Bow-Wow. On the animals' first night there,
the silence is pierced by mysterious…


Book cover of Robot Dreams

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Author Of A Dog Like Daisy

From my list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of eleven books for middle-grade readers, including three books from a dog’s point of view. These books have won five state book awards between them, and have been published in other languages. I’ve been writing for young readers for over 20 years. I also live with four furry friends of my own: Cookie (a cockapoo), Myrtle (a pug), Nala (a calico cat), and Daisy (a sweet mutt cat). I miss my big-hearted goldendoodle Lucky every day. And, like my dogs, I can be bribed with cheese.

Kristin's book list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Why did Kristin love this book?

I might be cheating a bit on this one; half of the story is told by Dog, yes, but the other half is told by Robot. This is a wordless graphic novel, and it is a deeply moving story about the seasons of friendship.

Robot Dreams shows us just how fragile our dearest relationships can be if we don’t lovingly and tenderly take care of them. This story shows the bliss and joy of a new friendship, the pain of a friendship ending, and the growth it takes to move forward.

I love this book with my whole heart, and I believe it is the perfect graphic novel. It is now an Oscar-nominated animated feature, so I’m not alone in my love of this beautiful story. 

By Sara Varon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This affecting, charming graphic novel about a dog and a robot shows us in poignant detail how powerful and fragile relationships are. After a Labor Day jaunt to the beach leaves the robot rusted, immobilized in the sand, the dog must return alone to the life they shared. But the memory of their friendship lingers, and as the seasons pass, the dog tries to fill the emotional void left by the loss of his closest friend, making and losing a series of friends, from a melting snowman to epicurean anteaters. But for the robot, lying rusting on the beach, the…


Book cover of Dog Man

Steve Breen Author Of Sky & Ty 1: Howdy, Partner!

From my list on graphic novels for young readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been an editorial cartoonist and author of children's books for years, and I've always wanted to try my hand at a graphic novel. I'd want to explore this art form even if I didn't have kids. Editorial cartoons deal with serious, heavy issues. Comic strips can get monotonous, and picture books tend to skew young. Graphic novels for kids, however, are 'Goldilocks' projects for me—just right. They allow you to imagine incredible adventures for your characters, they give you an excuse to incorporate wacky humor, and the format provides a chance to have fun with art and design. What's not to love?

Steve's book list on graphic novels for young readers

Steve Breen Why did Steve love this book?

This book is immensely entertaining due to its blend of slapstick humor, imaginative storytelling, and simple illustrations. In my mind, no other cartoonist or illustrator can convey so much silliness with so few lines!

Pilkey’s creation of a half-dog, half-man hero who finds himself in hilarious predicaments is a simple but genius premise. There are all kinds of wonderful supporting characters, too, like Evil Petey and cute Cat Kid. The comic book style format, drawn by mischief-makers Harold and George, adds to the charm here.

Clever wordplay, puns, and relatable themes of friendship, bravery, and perseverance will show you why this book was such a home-run success.

By Dav Pilkey,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Dog Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Howl with laughter with the FIRST book in the hilarious
full-colour illustrated series, Dog Man, from
the creator of Captain Underpants!
George and Harold (the co-stars of the enormously popular Captain
Underpants series) are in big trouble again!

George and Harold have created a new breed of justice -- one that
is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!

With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound
digs into deception, claws after crooks, rolls over robbers,
and scampers after squirrels.

Will he be able to resist the call of the wild to answer…


Book cover of The Eyes and the Impossible

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Author Of A Dog Like Daisy

From my list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of eleven books for middle-grade readers, including three books from a dog’s point of view. These books have won five state book awards between them, and have been published in other languages. I’ve been writing for young readers for over 20 years. I also live with four furry friends of my own: Cookie (a cockapoo), Myrtle (a pug), Nala (a calico cat), and Daisy (a sweet mutt cat). I miss my big-hearted goldendoodle Lucky every day. And, like my dogs, I can be bribed with cheese.

Kristin's book list on books for kids told from a dog’s point of view

Kristin O’Donnell Tubb Why did Kristin love this book?

This book is special, y’all. The main character is a dog named Johannes, but his friends mostly refer to him as the Eyes. The Eyes can run fast, and he’s smart and caring. His friends include seagulls, goats, bison, horses, and (much to Johannes’s chagrin) ducks.

The writing in this story is spare and beautiful; some of my favorite lines include, “I’m so angry at my mind” and “Bite for justice. It had a certain ring.” The version I read had a carved wooden cover (seriously – gorgeous!) and included several full-color illustrations and gold-gilded pages.

This book won the 2023 Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature, and I agree that it has earned a spot in children’s literature history. 

By Dave Eggers, Shawn Harris (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Eyes and the Impossible 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?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the award-winning author of The Every and the illustrator behind the beloved picture book Her Right Foot comes an endearing and beautifully illustrated story of a dog who unwittingly becomes a hero to a park full of animals.

Johannes, a free dog, lives in an urban park by the sea. His job is to be the Eyes—to see everything that happens within the park and report back to the park’s elders, three ancient Bison. His friends—a seagull, a raccoon, a squirrel, and a pelican—work with him as the Assistant Eyes, observing the humans and…


Book cover of True Grit

Sabrina Reeves Author Of Little Crosses

From my list on a fierce female protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Boston and New York and currently live in Montreal. I have worked primarily in writing performance texts and plays. I founded the performance company Bluemouth Inc., with whom I have written and staged over a dozen works. In 2018, I completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Concordia University, where I was awarded the Dean of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. As for my expertise in compiling this list, I am the daughter of a strong force-of-nature woman who fought for what she had and taught her kids they can get through anything as long as they have humor, music, and books.

Sabrina's book list on a fierce female protagonist

Sabrina Reeves Why did Sabrina love this book?

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross has got grit.

This book was recommended to me by my firefighter brother, who often reads what I call “he-man” books. The titles always have words like mutiny, bullets, gangsters, firestorm, etc. So, when he suggested I read this book, I had my reservations. (In fairness, the books he recommends consistently end up on my list of all-time favorites–I guess that’s what I get for pre-judging!) In any case, over the years, I have learned the one thing we both love in a protagonist–and now I have a name for it–is grit. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

By Charles Portis,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked True Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down…


Book cover of Dear Mrs. Larue: Letters from Obedience School

Karen Kaufman Orloff Author Of Dudley's Day at Home

From my list on books about dogs from a dog person.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a dog person. Sometimes, I think I am a dog whisperer, as I feel like the dogs in my life have always understood me, just like I understood them. They were often so human-like that I wondered what they did at the house when I was out. So, it didn’t take much of a leap to come up with the idea of “Dudley’s Day at Home,” where Dudley and his best cat pal, Buttercup, enjoy lots of human activities while Sam and his mother are away. 

Karen's book list on books about dogs from a dog person

Karen Kaufman Orloff Why did Karen love this book?

I read this book years ago, bought a copy, and have loved it ever since. It is truly one of the funniest read-out-loud children’s books ever!

The humor is spot-on for both children and adults. I love the character of Ike LaRue, a disgruntled dog who writes letters from the Canine Academy, which he refers to as “prison.” I love Ike’s voice. He’s a dog to be remembered!

By Mark Teague,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dear Mrs. Larue 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?

A dog laments his fate at obedience school through a series of hilarious letters home.

When Ike LaRue is "imprisoned" at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, he tries everything to get sent home -- from weepy letters to his owner to illness. In reality, Brotweiler is more like camp than prison, but still, Ike's not cut out for life without Mrs. LaRue. Finally, he runs away only to find himself back in Snort City -- just in time to save Mrs. LaRue's life.

This classic picture book by How Do Dinosaurs...? illustrator Mark Teague is now available as a trade…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in outlaws, pets, and presidential biography?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about outlaws, pets, and presidential biography.

Outlaws Explore 47 books about outlaws
Pets Explore 52 books about pets
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography