77 books like The Parker Inheritance

By Varian Johnson,

Here are 77 books that The Parker Inheritance fans have personally recommended if you like The Parker Inheritance. 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 Code Name Verity

Katherine Marsh Author Of The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine

From my list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only have I written six critically acclaimed novels for middle-grade readers, including three historical fictions, I am the parent of a tween and teen who is always looking for great read-alouds and read-alongs for my own family. I am a firm believer that this is a valuable way to encourage literacy and love of story as I wrote in a recent, much-discussed essay in The Atlantic. Having lived abroad, including as an exchange student and camper in the Soviet Union and for three years in Belgium, I am also a huge believer in expanding our own as well as our kids’ knowledge of history beyond our own borders, cultures, identities, and perspectives. 

Katherine's book list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers

Katherine Marsh Why did Katherine love this book?

Elizabeth Wein’s young adult novel about female friends and aviators during World War II has a jaw-dropping twist.

But it’s also a fabulous introduction to both the larger war-time history—including in England and France--and the history of women in aviation and military/ intelligence roles.

This story is a great choice for families with girls, who get to see themselves as heroines, fighters, and adventurers—roles traditionally reserved for male protagonists.

By Elizabeth Wein,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Code Name Verity 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?

'I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.'

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Code Name Verity is a bestselling tale of friendship and courage set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. When a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France, she is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in…


Book cover of When You Reach Me

Jennie Yabroff Author Of If You Were Here

From my list on young readers set in old-school NYC.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in California, I was enchanted by the idea of New York City—largely due to the visions of it I found in the books on this list. I’ve now lived in NYC for 20 years and love matching real locations with their versions in my imagination. In my time in the city I’ve been a staff writer for Newsweek Magazine, an editor at Scholastic, and a freelancer for many publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post. I’m currently working on a second novel. 

Jennie's book list on young readers set in old-school NYC

Jennie Yabroff Why did Jennie love this book?

Miranda Sinclair is a latchkey kid who lives with her single mom on the Upper West Side of New York City in the late 1970s. I love the way Miranda navigates her dirty, dangerous, yet enchanting city – her street smarts, her fears, her relationships with the adults in the neighborhood who keep a watchful eye over her. And the book, while totally gritty and real, also has a lovely, melancholy element of magical realism that makes the story mysterious and poignant. 

By Rebecca Stead,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked When You Reach Me 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?

Miranda's life is starting to unravel. Her best friend, Sal, gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The key that Miranda's mum keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives:
'I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own.
I ask two favours. First, you must write me a letter.'

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realises that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she…


Book cover of The Westing Game

Kate Michaelson Author Of Hidden Rooms

From my list on ill or disabled sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I know all too well that finding a diagnosis and treating a chronic health condition can be like unraveling a mystery—maybe that’s why characters dealing with these issues make natural detectives. As a mystery writer with chronic illness, I love reading about sleuths who embody the difficulties of living with health challenges yet show the tremendous capacity we still have to contribute. Many of the sleuths on this list are confined to their homes and unable to work, so solving a mystery not only adds suspense. It gives us the satisfaction of seeing these characters find their way back into the world and rediscover their sense of purpose.

Kate's book list on ill or disabled sleuths

Kate Michaelson Why did Kate love this book?

One of my favorite characters in this middle-grade mystery has always been Chris Theodorakis, the teen boy with an unnamed neurological condition that confines him to a wheelchair and, for the most part, to his house.

Even if he can’t leave home—and even if people often look away from him when he does—Chris plays a key role in solving the mystery at the heart of the book by being a keen observer of everything that passes in front of his window. I love how this novel depicts Chris’s inner world to young readers, including his awareness of how his condition affects others’ perceptions.

More importantly, it shows how much people with disabilities and illnesses still have to offer. 

By Ellen Raskin,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Westing Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A Newbery Medal Winner

"A supersharp mystery...confoundingly clever, and very funny." —Booklist, starred review

 

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Winner of the Newbery Medal
Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
An ALA Notable Book
 

 

"Great fun for those who enjoy illusion, word play, or sleight…


Book cover of The Mysterious Benedict Society

Wade Bradford Author Of Papa Bear's Page Fright

From my list on ignite your imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

Wade Bradford is the author of several picture books, including There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor and Papa Bear’s Page Fright. He has written over forty plays for young performers, and one middle-grade novel: Camp Omigosh

Wade's book list on ignite your imagination

Wade Bradford Why did Wade love this book?

This book is different from the rest on the list in a few ways. It doesn’t transport the characters to new, magical realms. There are no whimsical beasts or mystical creatures. And, perhaps most significantly, I read this one as a “grown-up.” I had the honor of reading this book aloud to my children, along with its sequels, over the course of several months. My kids were delighted by these bright, young protagonists who, using their wits, imagination, and moral compass, save their loved ones from a devious villain intent on obliterating individuality. I fell in love with these characters, just as my children did. And when we read the final page of the final chapter of the final book, my daughter burst into tears. Not because the story was sad, but because spending time with these imaginary people had been a real experience. 

Good stories take us to other…

By Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Ellis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Mysterious Benedict Society 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?

"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.As our heroes face physical and…


Book cover of Chasing Vermeer

Wendy McLeod MacKnight Author Of The Frame-Up

From my list on middle grade that promote a love of art.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with art since I was a kid. When I look at art, I see stories, not just about what I’m seeing, but about what it was like when the painting was created: was the artist tired, grumpy, frustrated? Why’d they paint it the way they did? Sadly, my artistic talent is limited, but fortunately, I can tell stories. After visiting William Orpen’s painting of Mona Dunn at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, I couldn’t help wondering why he made her look so pensive. The only way I could answer that question was by writing my own story about Mona and the other paintings in the gallery!

Wendy's book list on middle grade that promote a love of art

Wendy McLeod MacKnight Why did Wendy love this book?

This book is a modern classic and no wonder – delightful characters, a twisty-turny mystery, and best of all: art. The way Balliett introduces kids to the world of art through puzzles, codes, wordplay, is clever and thrilling and had me completely entranced. The world of art theft is both thrilling and chilling, and this book takes us both places.

By Blue Balliett, Brett Helquist (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Chasing Vermeer 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 bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure and delivered as a work of art. When a book of inexplicable occurences bring Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay together, strange things start to happen- seemingly unrelated events connect, an eccentric old woman seeks their company, and an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the centre of an international art scandal. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth they must draw on their powers of intuition, their skills at problem solving, and…


Book cover of The War That Saved My Life

Katherine Marsh Author Of The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine

From my list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Not only have I written six critically acclaimed novels for middle-grade readers, including three historical fictions, I am the parent of a tween and teen who is always looking for great read-alouds and read-alongs for my own family. I am a firm believer that this is a valuable way to encourage literacy and love of story as I wrote in a recent, much-discussed essay in The Atlantic. Having lived abroad, including as an exchange student and camper in the Soviet Union and for three years in Belgium, I am also a huge believer in expanding our own as well as our kids’ knowledge of history beyond our own borders, cultures, identities, and perspectives. 

Katherine's book list on historical fiction to read with middle schoolers

Katherine Marsh Why did Katherine love this book?

This younger and gentler World War II book is also a great family read aloud—one I read to my own.

After her brother is evacuated during the Blitz, Ada, a young Londoner with a disability kept home by her abusive mother, runs away after him.

Bradley’s story follows a familiar turn: namely the introduction of a seemingly hard-hearted caregiver who turns out to be the very parent Ada needs. But the book hits these notes with precision and warmth, evoking older, beloved classics. There’s also a great sequel!

By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The War That Saved My Life 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?

*Newbery Honor book
*Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award 

This #1 New York Times bestseller is an exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War II, from the acclaimed author of Fighting Words, and for fans of Fish in a Tree and Sarah, Plain and Tall.
 
Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
 
So begins a…


Book cover of One Came Home

Tricia Springstubb Author Of The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe

From my list on middle grade fiction about The Thing with Feathers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written books for kids of all ages, and always there were birds. Sparrows singing on windowsills, cardinals arrowing across yards, cormorants diving into Lake Erie, pigeons poking beneath park benches. Those things with feathers make my own heart sing!  Slowly it dawned on me that I wanted to write a book where birds didn’t just flit across the pages but nested at the story’s heart. I had to do a lot of bird research for Perfect. What I learned about the precious, fragile bonds among all Earth’s creatures became one of the book’s themes: big and small, bound by gravity or able to defy it, we are all deeply connected. 

Tricia's book list on middle grade fiction about The Thing with Feathers

Tricia Springstubb Why did Tricia love this book?

Because…I love language, and Timberlake spins out one gorgeous sentence after another.

Set in 1871, the story follows Georgie Burkhardt as she tracks her big sister, who’s run away with “pigeoners”, a seedy bunch who follow the migration of passenger pigeons (which once existed in the millions but were hunted to extinction). Georgie’s voice is tough, funny, and wildly original, just like the West itself.

There’s plenty of mystery and suspense, but for me, it’s about the language! Here’s the glorious ending: “I say let all the world be alive and overwhelmingly so. Let the sky be pressed to bursting with wings, beaks, pumping hearts and driving muscles. Let it be noisy. Let it be a mess. Then let me find my allotted space. Let me feel how I bump up against every other living thing on this earth.”

By Amy Timberlake,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked One Came Home 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?

A Newbery Honor Book

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel

“An adventure, a mystery, and a love song to the natural world. . . . Run out and read it. Right now.”—Newbery Medalist Karen Cushman

In the town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for two things: her uncanny aim with a rifle and her habit of speaking her mind plainly.

But when Georgie blurts out something she shouldn't, her older sister Agatha flees, running off with a pack of "pigeoners" trailing the passenger pigeon migration. And…


Book cover of The Crowfield Curse

Nancy McConnell Author Of Into the Lion's Mouth

From my list on kids who love a medieval quest.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I could start writing Into the Lion’s Mouth, I spent a lot of time researching the medieval and renaissance Venice. I was astounded to see how relevant that history is to today. Not only are there many parallels that can be drawn between the past and today there is so much to learn about the consistency of human nature. I find myself currently gravitating towards books that mix history and fiction and these are some of my favorites.

Nancy's book list on kids who love a medieval quest

Nancy McConnell Why did Nancy love this book?

I found this book through a recommendation from a friend and I am glad I did. A truly spinetingling page-turner, The Crowfield Curse has all the elements of a medieval thriller. A strange magical creature, a mysterious grave, and a deadly curse. What more could you expect from your average medieval abbey? Beautifully written and thoroughly engaging it’s a keeper for your bookshelf.  

By Pat Walsh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Crowfield Curse 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 wondrous mystery." --Kirkus, starred review

*"Suspenseful and spooky...with an edgy battle between good and evil." --School Library Journal, starred review

If the deepest secret has been spoken, can the deadliest curse be broken?

Sent into the forest to gather firewood for the medieval abbey where he's an apprentice, Will hears a cry for help, and comes upon a creature no bigger than a cat. Trapped and wounded, it's a hobgoblin, who confesses a horrible secret: Something is buried deep in the snow, just beyond the graveyard. A mythical being, doomed by an ancient curse...

What does this mystery have…


Book cover of Mystery of Black Hollow Lane

Jacqueline West Author Of Long Lost

From my list on mysteries to keep you reading all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of eleven novels for young readers (so far!). I’m also a lifelong bookworm, and I’ve got a special love for all things creepy, fantastical, and odd. Growing up, I adored mysteries from Scooby-Doo to Sherlock Holmes, and you could often find me hiding under the covers with a stack of books and a flashlight long after I should have been asleep. Here are five more recent middle-grade mysteries that I've loved. If they’d been around when I was a kid, they would have kept me up hours past my bedtime.  

Jacqueline's book list on mysteries to keep you reading all night

Jacqueline West Why did Jacqueline love this book?

This story has so many delicious ingredients—ancient boarding schools, secret societies, enigmatic notes slipped into pockets, young allies banding together against a powerful enemy—and they all combine to make the kind of book that classic mystery fans will devour.  

By Julia Nobel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mystery of Black Hollow Lane 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?

For fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Blackthorn Key series comes an award-winning boarding school mystery about twelve year old Emmy, who's shipped off to a prestigious British school. But her new home is hiding a secret society ... and it may be the answer to Emmy's questions about her missing father.
With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who's a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she's sure she won't fit in.
But then she finds a box of mysterious medallions in…


Book cover of Under the Egg

Jacqueline West Author Of Long Lost

From my list on mysteries to keep you reading all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of eleven novels for young readers (so far!). I’m also a lifelong bookworm, and I’ve got a special love for all things creepy, fantastical, and odd. Growing up, I adored mysteries from Scooby-Doo to Sherlock Holmes, and you could often find me hiding under the covers with a stack of books and a flashlight long after I should have been asleep. Here are five more recent middle-grade mysteries that I've loved. If they’d been around when I was a kid, they would have kept me up hours past my bedtime.  

Jacqueline's book list on mysteries to keep you reading all night

Jacqueline West Why did Jacqueline love this book?

If a Wes Anderson movie collided with From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, it would feel something like this. Thirteen-year-old Theodora’s grandfather recently died, leaving her alone with her mentally ill mother, a crumbling Greenwich Village townhouse, a heap of unpaid bills, and the cryptic message, “Look under the egg”—and what Theo uncovers is a compelling mystery that stretches from the Italian Renaissance to the Nazi prison camps. The community that builds around Theo as she looks for answers is full of great New York eccentrics, and the Manhattan setting is captured with love and charm.

By Laura Marx Fitzgerald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Egg 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?

When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather's painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That's great news for Theo, who's struggling to hang onto her family's two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather's legacy of $463. There's just one problem: Theo's grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen. With surprising twists, heartwarming moments, and historical facts, Laura Marx Fitzgerald creates the perfect adventure in Under the Egg.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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