10 books like The Leaf Detective

By Heather Lang, Jana Christy (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Leaf Detective. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Brave Girl

By Michelle Markel, Melissa Sweet (illustrator),

Book cover of Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

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!

Brave Girl

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.

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…


Shark Lady

By Jess Keating, Marta Álvarez Miguéns (illustrator),

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

Sharks are fascinating! I’m sure most kids would be curious to find out who and what a ‘shark lady’ is. This engaging story paves the way for children to explore the life of Eugenie Clark, a scientist determined to dismiss the view that sharks are ugly and scary. I love picture book biographies because they are a combination of just the right words and mesmerizing illustrations. I also love biographies about women who have refused to conform, and who simply craved opportunities to explore any pathway. When Eugenie felt pressured not to study science, she didn’t listen. Bravo! Everyone’s voice matters and Eugenie’s contribution to what we know about sharks is refreshing and wonderful. 

Shark Lady

By Jess Keating, Marta Álvarez Miguéns (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Shark Lady as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

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…


Dear Mr. Dickens

By Nancy Churnin, Bethany Stancliffe (illustrator),

Book cover of Dear Mr. Dickens

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. 

Dear Mr. Dickens

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…


Dolores Huerta

By Sarah Warren, Robert Casilla (illustrator),

Book cover of Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers

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.

Dolores Huerta

By 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…


Before She Was Harriet

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

Book cover of Before She Was Harriet

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.

Before She Was Harriet

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.

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…


Beauty and the Beak

By Deborah Lee Rose, Jane Veltkamp,

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

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.

Beauty and the Beak

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.

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…


Jasper's Story

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

Book cover of Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears

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!).

Jasper's Story

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.

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…


The Wolves Are Back

By Jean Craighead George, Wendell Minor (illustrator),

Book cover of The Wolves Are Back

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! 

The Wolves Are Back

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.

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…


Life in the Treetops

By Margaret D. Lowman,

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

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.

Life in the Treetops

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…


Caravan Parks Australia Wide 5

By Michelle Gilmore, Heatley Gilmore,

Book cover of Caravan Parks Australia Wide 5: Australia's favourite, most complete and easy to use Caravan Park Guide

One of the best ways to explore the fabulous, vast country of Australia is with a caravan or RV. I know, because we have a 26-year-old caravan and that has allowed us to see parts of Australia that have blown our socks off. When we discovered this book, it opened up a treasure trove of opportunities that made my mouth water. We put it to the test and have never looked back.

Every caravan park is listed and verified with contact details, amenties, and other essential information. We travel with our dog so we need to know which sites are pet-friendly. I really do recommend this book as a must-have travelling companion.

Caravan Parks Australia Wide 5

By Michelle Gilmore, Heatley Gilmore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Caravan Parks Australia Wide 5 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

RV Travellers - choosing where to stay is easy with Caravan Parks Australia Wide 5. Australia's favourite, most complete and easy to use Caravan Park guide.

Over 20 years of research and knowledge has been transferred into our easy to use guides, in a simple format that makes it easier for you choose where to stay. We have also listened to feedback from our readers, and improved the layout in our latest edition (making sure font sizes stayed the same) so the book is lighter and easier to travel with.

In Caravan Parks 5, we have over 2,240 caravan park…


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