100 books like The Leaf Detective

By Heather Lang, Jana Christy (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that The Leaf Detective fans have personally recommended if you like The Leaf Detective. 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 Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

Aimee Bissonette Author Of Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female Fire Guard

From my list on brave and extraordinary women.

Who am I?

I am drawn to stories of women who display a fighting spirit, faith in themselves, and the drive to help others. Perhaps this is due to growing up during the women’s rights movement. So many women paved the way for me. Perhaps it was my upbringing. I was raised with six siblings - three brothers and three sisters – and my parents never thought that my sisters and I couldn’t do something just because we were girls. Combine these experiences with the fact that I love history and you can see why I love these stories. Now I get to write and share stories like these with young readers. Lucky me!

Aimee's book list on brave and extraordinary women

Aimee Bissonette Why did Aimee love this book?

The title of this book hooked me right out of the gate: Brave Girl. I knew it was a story for me. How could it not be? Young Clara Lemlich stood only 5 feet tall, but she was a spitfire. Her story will inspire boys and girls alike when they learn how she fought for equality, raising her voice against powerful factory owners in the early 1900s. Another reason this book is such a treat is that it was illustrated by Melissa Sweet, one of the most creative children’s book illustrators around. The art in this book is a feast for the eyes!

By Michelle Markel, Melissa Sweet (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Brave Girl 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?

The true story of the young immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography about the plight of immigrants in America in the early 1900s and the timeless fight for equality and justice should not be missed.

When Clara arrived in America, she couldn't speak English. She didn't know that young women had to go to work, that they traded an education for long hours of labor, that she was expected to grow up fast.

But that didn't stop Clara. She went to night school, spent hours studying English, and helped support…


Book cover of Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist

Mike Lowery Author Of Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures!

From my list on the ocean for kids.

Who am I?

Besides being an avid sketchbook keeper, author, and illustrator, I also collect weird and random facts. In my Everything Awesome book series, I love discovering cool facts to share with readers about some of my favorite topics, including sharks, space, and dinosaurs.

Mike's book list on the ocean for kids

Mike Lowery Why did Mike love this book?

Written by an author who also happens to be a zoologist, Eugenie Clark’s life story shows incredible devotion to teaching and learning about her beloved sharks and overcoming ridiculous gender obstacles of the time. A true hero!

Bonus: more weird and awesome shark facts can be discovered in the back.

By Jess Keating, Marta Álvarez Miguéns (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Shark Lady as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

One of New York Times' Twelve Books for Feminist Boys and Girls!
This is the story of a woman who dared to dive, defy, discover, and inspire. This is the story of Shark Lady. One of the best science picture books for children, Shark Lady is a must for both teachers and parents alike!
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
Named a Best Children's Book of 2017 by Parents magazine
Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn't imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But…


Book cover of Dear Mr. Dickens

Aimee Bissonette Author Of Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female Fire Guard

From my list on brave and extraordinary women.

Who am I?

I am drawn to stories of women who display a fighting spirit, faith in themselves, and the drive to help others. Perhaps this is due to growing up during the women’s rights movement. So many women paved the way for me. Perhaps it was my upbringing. I was raised with six siblings - three brothers and three sisters – and my parents never thought that my sisters and I couldn’t do something just because we were girls. Combine these experiences with the fact that I love history and you can see why I love these stories. Now I get to write and share stories like these with young readers. Lucky me!

Aimee's book list on brave and extraordinary women

Aimee Bissonette Why did Aimee love this book?

Some people might not think writing a letter is a tremendously brave act, but it is if you are a young woman who knows in her heart that she needs to challenge a very famous and beloved author – a man even she admires! I had never heard of Eliza Davies and her letters to Charles Dickens and was captivated by the story. Davies wrote to Dickens protesting his stereotypical and harmful depiction of Jewish people in Oliver Twist. And she made a difference! I love how the story teaches kids that they, too, can make a difference and that activism takes many forms, in this case, letter-writing. Added bonus: the book contains quotes from Eliza’s actual letters, which appeals to me immensely as a history geek. 

By Nancy Churnin, Bethany Stancliffe (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dear Mr. Dickens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2021 National Jewish Book Award Winner - Children's Picture Book
2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor for Picture Books
Chicago Public Library Best Informational Books for Younger Readers 2021
The Best Jewish Children's Books of 2021, Tablet Magazine
A Junior Library Guild Selection March 2022
The Best Children's Books of the Year 2022, Bank Street College
2022 First Place―Children's Book Nonfiction, Press Women of Texas
2022 First Place―Children's Book Nonfiction, National Federation of Press Women

Eliza Davis believed in speaking up for what was right. Even if it meant telling Charles Dickens he was wrong.

In Eliza Davis's day, Charles…


Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down!: The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention

By Carrie A. Pearson, Nancy Carpenter (illustrator),

Book cover of Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down!: The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention

Carrie A. Pearson

New book alert!

What is my book about?

A delightful and distinctive picture book biography about Dr. Virginia Apgar, who invented the standard, eponymous test for evaluating newborn health used worldwide thousands of times every day.

You might know about the Apgar Score. But do you know the brilliant, pioneering woman who invented it? Born at the turn of the twentieth century, Virginia Apgar soared above what girls were expected to do―or not do. Ginny adored science, hated cooking, drove fast, made her own violins, earned a pilot’s license, and traveled the world. Here, Carrie Pearson’s jaunty storytelling and Nancy Carpenter’s playful illustrations capture the energy and independence of a woman who didn’t slow down for anything―and changed newborn care forever.

Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down!: The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention

By Carrie A. Pearson, Nancy Carpenter (illustrator),

What is this book about?

The Apgar Score is known the world over: a test given to babies to determine their health moments after they are born. Less well-known is the story of the brilliant, pioneering woman who invented it.

Born at the turn of the twentieth century, Virginia "Ginny" Apgar soared above what girls were expected to do-or not do. She wasn't quiet, she wore all sorts of outfits, she played the sports she wanted to-and she pursued the career she chose, graduating near the top of her class at Columbia University and becoming only the second board-certified female anaesthesiologist in the United States.…


Book cover of Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers

Aimee Bissonette Author Of Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female Fire Guard

From my list on brave and extraordinary women.

Who am I?

I am drawn to stories of women who display a fighting spirit, faith in themselves, and the drive to help others. Perhaps this is due to growing up during the women’s rights movement. So many women paved the way for me. Perhaps it was my upbringing. I was raised with six siblings - three brothers and three sisters – and my parents never thought that my sisters and I couldn’t do something just because we were girls. Combine these experiences with the fact that I love history and you can see why I love these stories. Now I get to write and share stories like these with young readers. Lucky me!

Aimee's book list on brave and extraordinary women

Aimee Bissonette Why did Aimee love this book?

I have long been a fan of stories about courageous women and I love it when I discover a book for young readers that brings to life an inspiring story of someone they may not know well (or at all). That’s exactly what Warren does in this book about Delores Huerta. The text works well for even the youngest readers. It promotes empathy by describing the poor living conditions of migrant children and their parents. Its themes are as relevant today as they were in Delores’ time. We need to care, we need to stand up for others, we need to be fair. It’s beautifully illustrated, too.

By Sarah Warren, Sarah Warren, Robert Casilla (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Jane Addam's Children's Book Award Honor Book for Younger Children

Dolores is a teacher, a mother, and a friend. She wants to know why her students are too hungry to listen, why they don't have shoes to wear to school. Dolores is a warrior, an organizer, and a peacemaker. When she finds out that the farm workers in her community are poorly paid and working under dangerous conditions, she stands up for their rights.

This is the story of Dolores Huerta and the extraordinary battle she waged to ensure fair and safe work places for migrant workers. The powerful…


Book cover of Before She Was Harriet

Aimee Bissonette Author Of Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female Fire Guard

From my list on brave and extraordinary women.

Who am I?

I am drawn to stories of women who display a fighting spirit, faith in themselves, and the drive to help others. Perhaps this is due to growing up during the women’s rights movement. So many women paved the way for me. Perhaps it was my upbringing. I was raised with six siblings - three brothers and three sisters – and my parents never thought that my sisters and I couldn’t do something just because we were girls. Combine these experiences with the fact that I love history and you can see why I love these stories. Now I get to write and share stories like these with young readers. Lucky me!

Aimee's book list on brave and extraordinary women

Aimee Bissonette Why did Aimee love this book?

Did I save the best for last? I may have (although I recommend all of these books). This book appeals to me on so many levels. First, it tells the story of an important woman of history who was dauntless in her mission to help others to safety and freedom. Second, the dreamy, lyrical narrative is so different from how so many picture book biographies are written, yet incredibly effective. Third, the art is amazing – especially in its depiction of Harriet as an old woman when her strength was still so evident. And fourth, the story is told in reverse chronology. What a great decision! I use this book often when I teach about nonfiction picture book writing because of this creative approach. Hands down. I love this book.

By Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Before She Was Harriet 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?

An evocative poem and stunning watercolors come together to honor an American heroine in a Coretta Scott King Honor and Christopher Award-winning picture book.

We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman she was a Union spy. As Moses she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. As Araminta she was a young girl whose father showed her the stars and the first steps on the path to freedom.

This lush, lyrical biography in verse…


Book cover of Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle

Meeg Pincus Author Of Make Way for Animals! A World of Wildlife Crossings

From my list on nonfiction on helping wildlife.

Who am I?

I’m a lover of wildlife and have written several nonfiction picture books on the topic, including Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery, Cougar Crossing: How Hollywood’s Celebrity Cougar Built a Bridge for City Wildlife, and Ocean Soup: a Recipe for You, Me, and A Cleaner Sea. I’m also a humane educator, which inspires the focus of all my nonfiction picture books on “solutionaries” helping people, animals, and the planet. At heart, my books—which have won Golden Kite Nonfiction and Eureka! Nonfiction Honors and more—aim to inspire compassion, inclusivity, and positive action. 

Meeg's book list on nonfiction on helping wildlife

Meeg Pincus Why did Meeg love this book?

A wounded bald eagle getting a new beak made from a 3D printer—what’s not to love?! This is a great story of wildlife rehabilitation and ingenuity that’s sure to suck kids in. And while I’m usually more drawn to illustrated books, the photos in this book bring the reality of this story to life in the way only photos can. It’s such a compelling true tale, which will help kids grow more compassion and curiosity for our feathered friends.

By Deborah Lee Rose, Jane Veltkamp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beauty and the Beak 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?

Awarded the AAAS/SUBARU SB&F PRIZE for EXCELLENCE in SCIENCE BOOKS and 5 other children's book awards!
"Three words. 3D. Printed beak. Oh come on, you aren't impressed? Well, check out the back matter on this book and you will be. It's insane!" ―School Library Journal

Beauty and the Beak is the incredible true story about an injured wild bald eagle who received a pioneering, 3D-printed beak―and made world news! Follow Beauty close up and in photographs, from the moment she uses her baby beak to emerge from her egg, through her hunt when she uses her powerful adult beak to…


Book cover of Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears

Meeg Pincus Author Of Make Way for Animals! A World of Wildlife Crossings

From my list on nonfiction on helping wildlife.

Who am I?

I’m a lover of wildlife and have written several nonfiction picture books on the topic, including Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery, Cougar Crossing: How Hollywood’s Celebrity Cougar Built a Bridge for City Wildlife, and Ocean Soup: a Recipe for You, Me, and A Cleaner Sea. I’m also a humane educator, which inspires the focus of all my nonfiction picture books on “solutionaries” helping people, animals, and the planet. At heart, my books—which have won Golden Kite Nonfiction and Eureka! Nonfiction Honors and more—aim to inspire compassion, inclusivity, and positive action. 

Meeg's book list on nonfiction on helping wildlife

Meeg Pincus Why did Meeg love this book?

This emotional story of one real moon bear, written by two top wild animal experts, hits right in the heart. An important story of what happens when wild animals are caged in laboratories, and what it takes to heal them afterward, this book lingers in the mind for a long time. Jasper’s personality makes everyone fall in love with him, and readers will, too. They’ll also feel compelled to protect every hunted creature (I sure did!).

By Jill Robinson, Marc Bekoff, Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jasper's Story 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?

For years Jasper, a moon bear, lived a miserable existence, held captive in a cage by bear farmers in rural China. The farmers extracted the bile from Jasper's body and sold it to be used in traditional medicines. It's a horrific practice and conducted on thousands of moon bears each year. But now Jasper has the chance to be free and live a life away from pain and torture. In 2000, Animals Asia, an animal welfare organization, rescued Jasper and other captive moon bears, taking them to its Moon Bear Rescue Centre. Here veterinarians attended to the bears' wounds, hoping…


Book cover of The Wolves Are Back

Meeg Pincus Author Of Make Way for Animals! A World of Wildlife Crossings

From my list on nonfiction on helping wildlife.

Who am I?

I’m a lover of wildlife and have written several nonfiction picture books on the topic, including Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery, Cougar Crossing: How Hollywood’s Celebrity Cougar Built a Bridge for City Wildlife, and Ocean Soup: a Recipe for You, Me, and A Cleaner Sea. I’m also a humane educator, which inspires the focus of all my nonfiction picture books on “solutionaries” helping people, animals, and the planet. At heart, my books—which have won Golden Kite Nonfiction and Eureka! Nonfiction Honors and more—aim to inspire compassion, inclusivity, and positive action. 

Meeg's book list on nonfiction on helping wildlife

Meeg Pincus Why did Meeg love this book?

This book is a classic and a favorite of mine; I loved reading it to kids as a humane educator and seeing their eyes widen. I still marvel at how this book illustrates so simply and powerfully what happened to the entire ecosystem of Yellowstone National Park when wolves were reintroduced after being eliminated by humans years earlier. It’s a hugely impactful story about how any one species in an ecosystem affects all the others—and kids love it! 

By Jean Craighead George, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wolves Are Back 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?

Two renowned children’s book creators teamed up to make this stirring picture book that tells the story of how, over a century, wolves were persecuted in the United States and nearly became extinct. Gradually reintroduced, they are thriving again in the West, much to the benefit of the ecosystem. This book will teach a new generation to appreciate the grace, dignity, and value of wolves as it promotes awareness of the environment’s delicate balance. Paired with gorgeous paintings by landscape artist Wendell Minor, Jean Craighead George’s engaging text will inspire people of all ages to care about the protection of…


Book cover of Life in the Treetops: Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology

Ellen E. Wohl Author Of Dead Wood: The Afterlife of Trees

From my list on trees, living and dead.

Who am I?

I study streams and rivers and it took me a while to recognize that many of the streams that flow through forests should have far more downed wood pieces and logjams than are commonly present. The lack of wood in streams reflects a long history of deforestation along rivers, as well as actively pulling wood out of rivers for navigation and flood control. As I’ve come to appreciate dead wood and the many benefits it creates for a wide range of inland, coastal, and marine ecosystems, I’ve also become increasingly interested in the lives that trees live before they become dead wood.

Ellen's book list on trees, living and dead

Ellen E. Wohl Why did Ellen love this book?

I have been fortunate enough to go on canopy walkways through tropical forests and the diversity of colors, shapes, scents, and sounds are fascinating. Lowman describes how the first scientists to venture into the unexplored world of the forest canopy actually got up there and what they found. Lowman tells the story of her own life in the canopy, providing a window into how scientists work, and explaining how she has balanced a research career featuring international travel and motherhood.

By Margaret D. Lowman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life in the Treetops as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Forest canopies have been characterized as one of the last biotic frontiers on Earth: tree crowns have been difficult to study scientifically because access to them has been so challenging. During the past two decades, however, methods for canopy access have greatly improved. In this book a pioneer canopy scientist describes the mysteries of the treetops-their inhabitants, flowers and fruits, growth and mortality, patterns of diversity, and plant and animal interactions. Margaret Lowman writes about different canopy access techniques in conjunction with the scientific hypotheses she was addressing while using each one. She also portrays the life of a field…


Book cover of The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us

Cheryl Rickman Author Of Tree Glee: How and Why Trees Make Us Feel Better

From my list on trees to make you cherish and delight in nature.

Who am I?

When my mother, Denise, died aged 43, 17-year-old me arrived back to the place where I’d made mud pies and happy memories that would never be the same again. I climbed my favourite apple tree, between Earth and sky and clung to the trunk. While I crumbled, my tree stood tall, cool – its sturdiness momentarily reassuring. Ever since then the constancy and stability of trees have offered me sanctuary and made me feel grounded and protected. They’ve refreshed and relaxed me; they’ve made me feel connected – to my past, to the present moment and to the natural world. They’ve flooded me with fascination, leading me to learn more about their impact on wellbeing.

Cheryl's book list on trees to make you cherish and delight in nature

Cheryl Rickman Why did Cheryl love this book?

As much as I love a book about nature, I love books about (and by) badass pioneering women. Meg Lowman is one of these - one of the first-ever tree-top scientists.

It was she who invented one of the first treetop walkways and she shares her amazing story in this book. I love how brave and fearless she was, just climbing hundreds of feet of unchartered territory, solo, into the canopies of Australia's rainforests and how her discoveries literally saved swathes of it.

The book is filled with hope and achievable calls to action as well as her pioneering tale of exploring parts tree that had not yet been explored. A reminder of the importance of trees and also how much those who live in forests matter to their conservation.

By Meg Lowman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the world's first tree-top scientists, Meg Lowman is both a pioneer in her field - she invented one of the first treetop walkways - and a tireless advocate for the planet. In a voice as infectious in its enthusiasm as in its practical optimism, The Arbornaut chronicles her irresistible story.

From climbing solo hundreds of feet into Australia's rainforests to measuring tree growth in the northeastern United States, from searching the redwoods of the Pacific coast for new life to studying leaf-eaters in Scotland's Highlands, from a bioblitz in Malaysia to conservation planning in India to collaborating with…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Australia, Sydney Australia, and World War 1?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Australia, Sydney Australia, and World War 1.

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Sydney Australia Explore 48 books about Sydney Australia
World War 1 Explore 857 books about World War 1