100 books like The Marrow Thieves

By Cherie Dimaline,

Here are 100 books that The Marrow Thieves fans have personally recommended if you like The Marrow Thieves. 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 The World on Either Side

Monique Polak Author Of Planet Grief

From my list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me.

Why am I passionate about this?

As far as I can remember, I have been obsessed with death! Maybe it’s because my mom, who died four years ago at the age of 86, was a Holocaust survivor. Anyway, what I’ve noticed is that all kids' stories deal with death. Think, for instance, of how Harry Potter is an orphan. Or how so many characters in fairy tales have a parent who is dead. I think dealing with death – talking about it openly --- helps us live our lives in a more meaningful way. For my own novel, Planet Grief, I did a ton of researcher and befriended an amazing grief counselor named Dawn Cruchet. You can look her up on the web and learn about her too. Dawn taught me that there is no one, correct way to grieve, that grief is a life-changing journey.

Monique's book list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me

Monique Polak Why did Monique love this book?

This story takes place on an exotic trek in Thailand. The setting is amazing. But what is even more amazing is the stuff going on inside the sixteen-year-old narrator Valentine’s head! She is trying to cope after the tragic, senseless death of her boyfriend. There is a lot that is sad and serious in this story, but it’s also life-affirming and beautifully written.

By Diana Terrana,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World on Either Side as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

After the death of her boyfriend, sixteen-year old Valentine stops going to school, quits seeing her friends and, finally, won’t leave her bed. Desperate for her daughter to recover, Valentine’s mother takes her on a trek in Thailand. In the mountains north of Chiang Mai, Valentine finds a world she didn’t know existed, where houses are on stilts and elephants still roam wild. She learns about the Burmese civil war and the relentless violence against the Karen and Rohingya peoples. 
Then she meets Lin, a mysterious young elephant keeper tormented by his hidden past, and an orphaned elephant calf, pursued…


Book cover of The Space Between

Monique Polak Author Of Planet Grief

From my list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me.

Why am I passionate about this?

As far as I can remember, I have been obsessed with death! Maybe it’s because my mom, who died four years ago at the age of 86, was a Holocaust survivor. Anyway, what I’ve noticed is that all kids' stories deal with death. Think, for instance, of how Harry Potter is an orphan. Or how so many characters in fairy tales have a parent who is dead. I think dealing with death – talking about it openly --- helps us live our lives in a more meaningful way. For my own novel, Planet Grief, I did a ton of researcher and befriended an amazing grief counselor named Dawn Cruchet. You can look her up on the web and learn about her too. Dawn taught me that there is no one, correct way to grieve, that grief is a life-changing journey.

Monique's book list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me

Monique Polak Why did Monique love this book?

Oh, this is an amazing book! Hard to read in a few places, because it deals openly with the aftermath of a gruesome suicide. But if you ask me, that’s what readers need – openness about subjects, such as suicide, topics which many people would prefer to avoid altogether. Also, I’ve met author Don Aker and I love him. He told me he got the idea for this story from a real-life suicide that took place in his community.

By Don Aker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Space Between as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Just dumped by his girlfriend, Jace Antonakos has recorded a proclamation in a notebook his English teacher made him take on his winter vacation to the Mayan Riviera: I'm going to Mexico to get laid. The fact that he's only days away from turning 18 and still a virgin has Jace spooked, and he figures that Playa del Carmen's golden beaches draped with equally golden girls should increase his odds of success. On the other hand, the fact that he's travelling with his mother, his aunt and his nine-year-old autistic brother just about kills that bet. Then he meets Kate,…


Book cover of Against the Odds

Monique Polak Author Of Planet Grief

From my list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me.

Why am I passionate about this?

As far as I can remember, I have been obsessed with death! Maybe it’s because my mom, who died four years ago at the age of 86, was a Holocaust survivor. Anyway, what I’ve noticed is that all kids' stories deal with death. Think, for instance, of how Harry Potter is an orphan. Or how so many characters in fairy tales have a parent who is dead. I think dealing with death – talking about it openly --- helps us live our lives in a more meaningful way. For my own novel, Planet Grief, I did a ton of researcher and befriended an amazing grief counselor named Dawn Cruchet. You can look her up on the web and learn about her too. Dawn taught me that there is no one, correct way to grieve, that grief is a life-changing journey.

Monique's book list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me

Monique Polak Why did Monique love this book?

One of my favourite books of all time! Not only because the author is Dutch (like me!!). The narrator Kiki is a worrier. She worries most of all about her dad who is a doctor who works in dangerous war zones. This book manages to be funny and sad and beautiful at the same time. Read it!

By Marjolijn Hof,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Against the Odds 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?

'It's about something called the odds,' said my mother. 'For instance, the odds that you'll become a millionaire are very, very small. The odds that you'll find a coin in the street are a lot bigger. And it's the same thing with fathers. The odds of having a father are big, and the odds of not having a father are small. So you don't have to worry too much about not having a father."Can you make the odds of something smaller?' I asked. 'Or bigger?' 'Yes,' my mother said. 'Sometimes.'Kiki's father, a doctor, is always putting himself in danger by…


Book cover of Milo: Sticky Notes & Brain Freeze

Monique Polak Author Of Planet Grief

From my list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me.

Why am I passionate about this?

As far as I can remember, I have been obsessed with death! Maybe it’s because my mom, who died four years ago at the age of 86, was a Holocaust survivor. Anyway, what I’ve noticed is that all kids' stories deal with death. Think, for instance, of how Harry Potter is an orphan. Or how so many characters in fairy tales have a parent who is dead. I think dealing with death – talking about it openly --- helps us live our lives in a more meaningful way. For my own novel, Planet Grief, I did a ton of researcher and befriended an amazing grief counselor named Dawn Cruchet. You can look her up on the web and learn about her too. Dawn taught me that there is no one, correct way to grieve, that grief is a life-changing journey.

Monique's book list on to read if you are are obsessed with death like me

Monique Polak Why did Monique love this book?

Because I love how this book combines crazy humour and deep feeling. Because I am friends with the author I know that this book comes from somewhere deeply personal in his life – Silberberg’s mom died when he was a kid. This book needs to be read by anyone coping with the death of a loved one. Like all great books for kids, it’s for adults too!

By Alan Silberberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Milo 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?

Loveable thirteen-year-old geek Milo Cruikshank finds reasons for frustration at every turn, from the annoying habits of his neighbors to his futile efforts to get Summer Goodman to realize his existence. The truth is, ever since Milo’s mother died, nothing has gone right. Now instead of the kitchen being full of music, his whole house has been filled with Fog. Nothing’s the same. Not his Dad. Not his sister. And definitely not him. Milo achieves a rare and easy balance of poignancy and awkward, natural humor, making it deeply accessible—this is the kind of book that can change lives.


Book cover of The Hunger Games

Johnny B. Truant Author Of The Dream Engine

From my list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a healthy dose of skepticism, having been a scientist before I was an author. I look for the con when something’s too good to be true, even in fiction…so don’t insult me by saying, “a magic amulet that makes everyone nice all the time.” If you want me to believe in pixie dust, tell me what’s in place to keep pixie dust smugglers from rigging the system. I raised smart, critical-minded kids, so I always pointed them to my own favorite young-audience books: those that felt real, even if they were fantastical, instead of ones with the more common “just trust me” attitude. 

Johnny's book list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence

Johnny B. Truant Why did Johnny love this book?

I love the thought that went into building the world of the Capital and the districts: not just the dystopian aesthetic and the could-easily-be-overdone teen angst it creates, but instead the whole idea of class rebellion and the inevitability of comeuppance. Power corrupts, no matter the person who holds that power…and those without power will never be suppressed for long. 

You have to stick with the whole series to see the full cycle, but this book doesn’t dumb down the “karmic cycle of revenge” like some other YA books do. There are two sides to everything, and while this book has plenty of evil and plenty of good, there are also those oh-so-crucial-to-believability characters who walk the gray areas in between.

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

49 authors picked The Hunger Games as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...


Book cover of Station Eleven

Eric Porter Author Of A People's History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport

From my list on airports teaching us about society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long had an ambivalent relationship with airports. They have been the starting point for my adventures, but I have also known well the discomfort, boredom, stress, surveillance, bad food, and other unpleasantries that often define airport experiences. Despite my ambivalence, I’ve found airports to be fascinating places where differently situated people (travelers and workers) encounter one another. I’ve learned that those encounters, as well as airport operations and design, tell us something about the places where they are located and the broader societies in which we live. I’ve since become aware that reading (and writing) about airports are also great ways to gain such insights. 

Eric's book list on airports teaching us about society

Eric Porter Why did Eric love this book?

In addition to eerily anticipating the COVID-19 pandemic—thankfully, our pathogen was not nearly as virulent and lethal—this post-apocalyptic novel offers interesting commentary about airports as microcosms of society.

The airport that figures prominently here is the gateway to and manifestation of a “secure” society structured as much by those it excludes as by those it includes. It is also the archive of a society defined, for better and for worse, by its relationship to technology. 

By Emily St. John Mandel,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked Station Eleven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Best novel. The big one . . . stands above all the others' - George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

Now an HBO Max original TV series

The New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
National Book Awards Finalist
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty.

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in…


Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

C Fleming Author Of Dark Horse

From my list on quirky lead female characters to fall in love with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing fiction since an early age, and I naturally create central female characters that I hope are warm, funny, and in some way flawed. Modules of my university degree dealt with psychology and sociology, and I automatically studied other people to inspire elements of my character. Lee Child is quoted as saying readers remember characters more than the plot, so when compiling my list, I recalled five female leads that have made me laugh, cringe, and relate to in equal measure. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 

C's book list on quirky lead female characters to fall in love with

C Fleming Why did C love this book?

I’ve never read a book as quickly as I read this one. Our eponymous lead character is quirky and odd, but the story is written with so much empathy, depth, and humor that I was rooting for her from the start.

I loved how the relationship between Eleanor and Raymond plays out and avoids the predictable ‘boy meets girl’ ending. It doesn’t surprise me that the book is ‘in development’ as a movie, as the story plays out like a film when you read it. Definitely read this one first before you see the film! (It probably won’t take long as I couldn’t put this book down.)

By Gail Honeyman,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" -Reese Witherspoon

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of…


Book cover of Silas Marner

Rebecca Rosenblum Author Of These Days Are Numbered: Diary of a High-Rise Lockdown

From my list on community and connection.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been deeply interested in how people connect to those around them—it is something I write about constantly. My first novel, So Much Love, was about how a community reacts to terrible loss and uncertainty, and my recent book of nonfiction, These Days Are Numbered, is about how my own community—and I—reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am always looking at how humans human, separately and especially together. That is one of the joys of narrative fiction for me—the way we can use it to examine our behaviour and interactions, and how we form relationships and communities. I hope these books enthrall you as much as they did me.

Rebecca's book list on community and connection

Rebecca Rosenblum Why did Rebecca love this book?

Yes, it’s a Victorian novel but it’s also the slenderest and sweetest one, by my lights.

Cast out from his narrow religious community by the acts of a dishonest friend, Silas Marner flees to a new village and resolves to live a life apart, money his only security. Then along comes a tiny child in need and Silas cannot help but help—even though this new challenge comes on the heels of a devastating robbery.

The man’s generosity has the effect of opening him up to the generosity of others until, little by little, he becomes a part of the community he has lived apart from for so long. There is never a bad time to read this lovely, hopeful little novella about the worst and best of human nature. 

By George Eliot,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gold! - his own gold - brought back to him as mysteriously as it had been taken away!

Falsely accused of theft, Silas Marner is cut off from his community but finds refuge in the village of Raveloe, where he is eyed with distant suspicion. Like a spider from a fairy-tale, Silas fills fifteen monotonous years with weaving and accumulating gold. The son of the wealthy local Squire, Godfrey Cass also seeks an escape from his past. One snowy winter, two events change the course of their lives: Silas's gold is stolen and, a child crawls across his threshold.

Combining…


Book cover of Plain Bad Heroines

Natalie Lund Author Of The Wolves Are Watching

From my list on YA to give you chills.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a small town full of ghosts. They broke plates in a doctor’s office-turned-restaurant, feuded in a house built by twins, emerged from cornfields to stand in our headlights, and turned headstones blue in a cemetery where tombstones protruded from the ground like jagged teeth. The stories that surrounded me while I was a teen still bleed into my writing. And as reader, I gravitate toward books that are atmospheric, rich in moments of magic or the unreal, and riddled with stories of the past and long-forgotten.

Natalie's book list on YA to give you chills

Natalie Lund Why did Natalie love this book?

I’m cheating a tad here because this novel is not labeled YA, but it features teenagers and young adults, significant queer representation, and a plot that teen-me would have devoured as quickly as adult-me did. In the past timeline, two students at the Brookhants School for Girls fall in love, create a secret club based on Mary MacLane’s memoir, and are stung to death by yellow jackets. The present timeline follows actresses, Harper Harper and Audrey Wells, as they film a movie based on the story of the girls—as well as the deaths that came after—at the site of the abandoned and supposedly cursed school. I was haunted by the hum of yellow jackets even after I closed the book.

By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Plain Bad Heroines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Brimming from start to finish with sly humour and gothic mischief' SARAH WATERS

'Beguilingly clever, very sexy and seriously frightening' GUARDIAN

'Atmospheric, sexy, creepy...totally addictive' KATE DAVIES, author of In At The Deep End

'A gloriously over-the-top queer romp' I PAPER

_________________________________________________________________

'It's a terrible story and one way to tell it is this: two girls in love and a fog of wasps cursed the place forever after...'

BROOKHANTS SCHOOL FOR GIRLS: Infamous site of a series of tragic deaths over a hundred years ago. Soon to be the subject of a controversial horror movie about the rumoured 'Brookhants curse':…


Book cover of A Deadly Education

Taylor Munsell Author Of Touch of Death

From my list on embracing the dark.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by stories that use darkness in plot and character growth. As a former funeral director, I find stories with death—whether it’s the power of death, the death of a loved one, or something similar—to be really poignant. I always write books that embrace the darkness, and I love to see how characters come out on the other side. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do!

Taylor's book list on embracing the dark

Taylor Munsell Why did Taylor love this book?

Naomi Novak could write anything, and I would read it, but I am a sucker for dark academia.

Well, this one takes the cake with a school that is actively trying to kill the students. While this book is pretty dark in parts, it was the instances of light that really kept me reading the entire series.

There were many times I wasn’t sure where it would lead, but I was never disappointed by what I discovered.

By Naomi Novik,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked A Deadly Education as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered.

There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal. Once you're inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate or you die.

El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school's many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions - never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school.

Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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