96 books like The Same Stuff as Stars

By Katherine Paterson,

Here are 96 books that The Same Stuff as Stars fans have personally recommended if you like The Same Stuff as Stars. 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 The Bridge Home

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

I’ve been to India three times and I love to share books that show its complex, beautiful, and sometimes brutal culture. When sisters Viji and Rukku leave home to escape their abusive father, readers are given a detailed look at what living on the streets of India is like for many children. It’s a realistic lesson on the caste system and abject poverty, all wrapped in a compelling story; and I am always a fan of books that show siblings that care deeply for one another. I also hope it sparks an interest in that amazing country and its inhabitants.

By Padma Venkatraman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Bridge Home 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?

"Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma shares with us an unflinching peek into the reality millions of homeless children live every day but also infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers and stay with them long after turning the final page."--Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestselling Amal Unbound

Cover may vary.

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman's stirring middle-grade debut.

Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters…


Book cover of Front Desk

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

This is a fantastic book about the hardships many immigrants face, from being taken advantage of by their employers, to language barriers, and of course, racism. What I loved about this book is its portrayal of community. Growing up poor, I know that it’s often those with nothing who give the most. Kids will cheer for Mia as she works the front desk, helps those around her, and stands up to injustice.

By Kelly Yang,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Front Desk 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?

Four starred reviews and over ten best-of-year lists!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Winner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewMia Tang has a lot of secrets.Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean…


Book cover of How to Steal a Dog

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

This is a wonderful book about homelessness that is full of heart and humor. I love that it explores the question of whether it’s okay to do something wrong, in this case stealing a dog for the reward money, when you’re desperate for money. This is an entertaining way to teach kids about the reality of living out of a car, the choices kids and their parents must navigate when impoverished, and how we often make biased assumptions when we encounter those less fortunate than ourselves.

By Barbara O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Steal a Dog 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?

Half of me was thinking, Georgina, don't do this. Stealing a dog is just plain wrong. The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you're in a bad fix and you got to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of it.

Georgina Hayes is desperate. Ever since her father left and they were evicted from their apartment, her family has been living in their car. With her mama juggling two jobs and trying to make enough money to find a place to live, Georgina is stuck looking after her younger brother, Toby. And she has her heart set…


Book cover of Once You Know This

Lisa Lewis Tyre Author Of Hope in the Holler

From my list on to help kids build empathy for those in need.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of two middle grade books, and I love writing about kids who may not have much materially but abound in heart and courage. I grew up in a small southern town and my childhood was just like that—low on income but full of love, hope, and friendship. I want kids to know that despite their circumstances there is hope for a better life. Like Wavie’s mom tells her in my book, Hope In The Holler, “You’ve got as much right to a good life as anybody. So go find it!”

Lisa's book list on to help kids build empathy for those in need

Lisa Lewis Tyre Why did Lisa love this book?

This beautiful book opens with the line, “Every day Mr. McInnis tells us to imagine our future.” Unfortunately, for Brittany, she can’t envision a future that holds anything good. Her mother is in an abusive and controlling relationship and her grandmother suffers from dementia. I love that this book shows a positive teacher, a mom who, despite her own bad choices, truly loves her children, and a family willing to go to bat for one another. Extra points for the intergenerational storyline of a grandmother who lives with the family.

By Emily Blejwas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Once You Know This 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 girl wishes for a better life for herself, her mom, and her baby brother and musters the courage to make it happen in this moving and emotionally satisfying story for readers of Kate DiCamillo and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

“Once You Know This reminds me of a flower blooming in the crack of a sidewalk. It’s important, and it’s special. Just read it.”—Ali Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Thing About Jellyfish
 
Eleven-year-old Brittany knows there has to be a better world out there. Lately, though, it sure doesn’t feel like it. She and her best friend, Marisol,…


Book cover of Homecoming

Connie King Leonard Author Of Sleeping in My Jeans

From my list on teen homelessness and poverty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Teaching middle school made me painfully aware of the disparity in our students’ lives. Some kids have every advantage, while others struggle to survive without enough food, clean water, or a safe, dry place to sleep for the night. All these kids, with their diverse backgrounds, sit side-by-side in class and are expected to perform at the same academic and social levels. In my novels, I feature ordinary teens that are strong, smart, and resilient, like so many of the students who taught me as much as I taught them.

Connie's book list on teen homelessness and poverty

Connie King Leonard Why did Connie love this book?

Homecoming has been around for a long time, but it is a story I’ve never forgotten. Voigt opens her novel with Dicey Tillerman, thirteen, and her three younger siblings abandoned by their mother in the parking lot of a shopping mall. The only way Dicey can keep the family together is to get them to a great-aunt’s home, but that means a long journey with little money. This is a tale of fiction, yet it exemplifies the courage and strength that so many kids muster in the face of impossible odds. I’ve always felt that too many people underestimate the resilience of our youth.

By Cynthia Voigt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Homecoming 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?

The iconic start to the timeless, Newbery-winning series from Cynthia Voigt.

“It’s still true.” That’s the first thing James Tillerman says to his older sister, Dicey, every morning. It’s still true that their mother has abandoned the four Tillermans in a mall parking lot somewhere in the middle of Connecticut. It’s still true that they have to find their own way to Great-aunt Cilla’s house in Bridgeport. It’s still true that they need to spend as little as possible on food and seek shelter anywhere that is out of view of the authorities. It’s still true that the only way…


Book cover of Outer Dark

Hugh Sheehy Author Of Design Flaw

From my list on the world as a dream.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved fiction that excites my mind and imagination since I was very young. I spent a lot of time in the library growing up, mostly reading horror and historical narratives. Later, I became interested in music, painting, film, philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, religion, and politics. I’m not an expert in anything—I’m too driven to make things to be a good scholar—but these are the subject areas that inform what I write.

Hugh's book list on the world as a dream

Hugh Sheehy Why did Hugh love this book?

McCarthy’s second novel is an underappreciated masterpiece, one that combines the author’s distinct style and notoriously difficult subject matter with a genuinely sublime vision of the world. Simultaneously a horror novel, a historical fiction, a Gnostic heresy, a cosmic joke, and act of spiritual seeking, I cannot recommend it enough.  

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Outer Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By Cormac McCarthy, the author of the critically acclaimed Border Trilogy, Outer Dark is a novel at once mythic and starkly evocative, set in an unspecified place in Appalachia sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; the brother leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution.


Book cover of Small as an Elephant

Dana VanderLugt Author Of Enemies in the Orchard: A World War 2 Novel in Verse

From my list on middle grade written that tackle grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I worked as a middle school teacher, I surveyed more than 200 students how they felt about books that included sadness and grief. The overwhelming answer from the students was that while adults too often minimize their feelings and dismiss the validity of their heartache, books do not. Many young readers want books that are honest and raw enough not to shield them from the world, but to pay enough attention to its pain to light a path, knowing that they can keep moving forward in the dark when they feel less alone and less afraid.

Dana's book list on middle grade written that tackle grief

Dana VanderLugt Why did Dana love this book?

Small as an Elephant is a book that I read aloud to my sons, but I needed as much as they did.

This story of 11-year-old Jack who is abandoned by his bipolar single mother and left to fend for himself in Acadia National Park is totally accessible and captivates young readers because of its emphasis on survival, but also delves into hard issues like mental illness and abandonment. I first learned about the book during a middle school English teachers’ discussion of “favorite books ever.”

By Jennifer Richard Jacobson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Small as an Elephant 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 deeply perceptive look at the universal fear of abandonment." — Booklist (starred review)

Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and “spinning” wildly until it’s over. But now she is gone, leaving him all alone on a campsite in Maine. Can he find his way back to Boston before the authorities realize what happened? With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties — and his trust that he may…


Book cover of The Light Between Oceans

Kendra Broekhuis Author Of Between You and Us

From my list on impossible choices that will rip your heart out.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and author for the past decade, and during that time, I went through the stillbirth of my second baby. Grief taught me a lot about compassion, including the importance of being able to see the nuance of difficult subject matters. I learned it’s easy to theorize what to do in a situation until you're in that situation. For that reason, I love books in all sorts of genres that are layered with characters’ past griefs, impossible scenarios, and tensions regarding the choices they make. I picked five of my favorite books with a heart-ripping plot that sparks interesting discussion and leaves readers pondering, "What would I have done?"

Kendra's book list on impossible choices that will rip your heart out

Kendra Broekhuis Why did Kendra love this book?

This is one of those books that can set off a fire of controversy because of the choices made by its characters, and I love that about it.

The main couple’s marriage lies on a foundation of grief that includes war, extreme isolation, and multiple pregnancy losses. The story dives into the way grief shapes us, as well as the morality of how much we should let our grief shape our choices.

I loved the characters, the moving plot, and the moral conundrum of this book.

By M.L. Stedman,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Light Between Oceans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The years-long New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Best Historical Novel that is “irresistible…seductive…with a high concept plot that keeps you riveted from the first page” (O, The Oprah Magazine)—soon to be a major motion picture from Spielberg’s Dreamworks starring Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, and Alicia Vikander, and directed by Derek Cianfrance.

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young,…


Book cover of The Ash House

Sarah Allen Author Of The Nightmare House

From my list on where the monsters are more than monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my high school creative writing class, my teacher once said that good writing was a bit like looking at a star. If you look directly at it, it gets a little fuzzy and hard to see. But if you look just off to the side, the star becomes vivid and clear. That, to me, is exactly the power of spooky stories for young readers. We all deal with monsters, to varying degrees, throughout our lives. Even kids. But if we look at it just off to the side, through the angle of a fun, spooky story, those monsters suddenly become much more comprehensible. More faceable. More beatable. 

Sarah's book list on where the monsters are more than monsters

Sarah Allen Why did Sarah love this book?

I still think about the setting of The Ash House all the time.

It is so vivid and so real. The eeriness and spookiness of this place starts from the first page, even the first sentence. We know something is off here in the ash house, and we watch as the main character starts being subsumed by the other kids here.

We worry as he starts losing his identity. But this is a powerful and haunting story about listening to yourself and remembering yourself no matter what else is going on around you, and no matter what anyone else believes.

By Angharad Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ash House 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?

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
meets Lord of the Flies in the exciting debut from Angharad
Walker.
'A mesmerising other-worldly story that got deep under my
skin - I couldn't put it down.' JASBINDER
BILAN, author of Asha & the Spirit Bird

'Dark,
tense and intoxicating ... Seriously exciting.'
LUCY STRANGE, author of The Ghost of Gosswater

A new boy arrives at the Ash House. He can't remember his name
- or why he's been sent there.

Given the name Sol, and
troubled by a mystery pain that no medicine can cure, he joins
the gang of children living…


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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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