100 books like The Shakespeare Stealer

By Gary Blackwood,

Here are 100 books that The Shakespeare Stealer fans have personally recommended if you like The Shakespeare Stealer. 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 Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

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?

A warm inn, and a stranger’s tale gather together a group of travelers as they become fascinated by the story of three gifted children that is sweeping the land. I loved the way this book brought the story of the people in the inn and the marvelous children together step by step. Peppered with real historical figures and legends this book is a must-read for the middle-grade medieval enthusiast. 

By Adam Gidwitz, Hatem Aly (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Inquisitor's Tale 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 Honor Book
Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award

An exciting and hilarious medieval adventure from the bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm. Beautifully illustrated throughout by Hatem Aly!

A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Editor's Choice A New York Times Notable Children's Book A People Magazine Kid Pick A Washington Post Best Children's Book A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book A Booklist Best Book A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book A Kirkus Reviews Best Book A Publishers Weekly Best Book A School Library Journal…


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 The Cross of Lead

Faye Gibbons Author Of Halley

From my list on coming-of-age for almost any age.

Why am I passionate about this?

All my life I’ve been pushing against limits. Being the oldest of five children born to a farm couple who became mill workers, I was frequently reminded by family that “people like us” did not need much education, didn’t get the good jobs, and shouldn’t “rise above themselves.” Being a girl, I had additional limits. Naturally, when I learned to read, I was drawn to books in which characters broke through unfair restraints to have adventures and accomplish great deeds. I wanted to be one of those people. By the time I came of age, I knew I had a shot at becoming the heroine of my own story!

Faye's book list on coming-of-age for almost any age

Faye Gibbons Why did Faye love this book?

Crispin is a young serf in Medieval England--an orphan despised by everyone for reasons he does not understand. Though I never had problems as dire as Crispin faced, I frequently felt mistreated as a child, and like him, the forest was my comfort and refuge. Like him, I had a lively curiosity about the lives of others and many times learned important lessons through observation. I shared Crispin's tendency to hero worship those who befriended me, and like him, I generally chose my role models well.

By Avi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Cross of Lead 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?


Newbery Medal winner The Cross of Lead is "a page-turner from beginning to end... full of adventure, mystery, and action" (School Library Journal).

Sometimes I ran, sometimes all I could do was walk. All I knew was that if the steward overtook me, I’d not survive for long....

Crispin is a poor thirteen-year-old peasant in medieval England. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he has been declared a "wolf’s head," meaning he may be killed on sight, by anyone. He flees his tiny village with nothing but his mother’s cross of lead. 

In the English countryside, Crispin meets…


Book cover of The Midwife's Apprentice

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?

This book was a Newberry Award winner and it’s easy to see why. It is hard not to love Alyce and root for her as she grapples with the difficulty of learning midwifery under the not to tender tutelage of Jane the Midwife. The story is at times funny, poignant and fascinating. I was moved by the courage and persistence Alyce shows. This book transported me to another era and left me wanting more. 

By Karen Cushman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Midwife's Apprentice 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 poor girl in medieval England gains a name, a purpose, and a future in this “delightful”* and beloved Newbery Medal-winning book. Now with a new cover!

* “A truly delightful introduction to a world seldom seen in children’s literature.” —School Library Journal*, starred review

* “A fascinating view of a far distant time.” —Horn Book, starred review

* “Gripping.” —Kirkus, starred review

A girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice. As she helps the short-tempered Jane deliver babies, Brat—who renames herself Alyce—gains knowledge,…


Book cover of Lifeboat 12

Nancy McDonald Author Of One Boy's War

From my list on historical middle grade exceptional child heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

A longtime student of history, particularly WW2 and the Cold War, my interest was personally piqued when I started to discover more about how my husband’s family narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo – and certain death in a concentration camp. I’m driven to write novels set in this era for middle grade kids – featuring brave young heroes faced with moral dilemmas– so they can learn about the horrors of antisemitism, tyrants, and war because “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

Nancy's book list on historical middle grade exceptional child heroes

Nancy McDonald Why did Nancy love this book?

A page-turning, true-life adventure! The story is told in first-person verse by 13-year-old Ken Sparks whose parents send him from England to Canada at the start of the Blitz as part of the British government’s ill-fated child evacuee program. Five days into the crossing, his ship, the SS Benares, is torpedoed by a German U-Boat, and as it sinks fast, Ken finds himself in a lifeboat with five other boys fighting for their lives. I read this book and loved it from page one. Although they come from very different backgrounds, Ken and Käfer share endearing qualities: pluck, resourcefulness, and a child’s optimistic view of the world. All of which stand them in good stead.

By Susan Hood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lifeboat 12 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 page-turning true-life adventure is filled with rich and riveting details and a timeless understanding of the things that matter most."-Dashka Slater, author of The 57 Bus
"Brilliantly told in verse, readers will love Ken Sparks." -Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery Honor winner
"Lyrical, terrifying, and even at times funny. A richly detailed account of a little-known event in World War II." -Kirkus Reviews
"Middle grade Titanic fans, here's your next read." -BCCB
"An edge-of-your seat survival tale." -School Library Journal (starred review)

A Junior Library Guild Selection
The 2019 Golden Kite Middle Grade Fiction Award Winner
A 2019 ALSC…


Book cover of Once

Emma Lombard Author Of Discerning Grace

From my list on unforgettable characters who stay with you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been described as ‘the Energizer bunny,’ so it’s no surprise that I’m drawn to colorful and passionate fictional characters—especially historical ones who have not only life’s circumstances to deal with but societal limitations too. My personality is such that if I’m told I can’t achieve something, I grit my teeth and say, ‘Watch me!’ So, it’s only natural that I draw on this sheer bloody-mindedness to breathe life into my own historical fiction ensembles. Creating characters who are as limp as wet lettuces is one of my biggest challenges. I want everyone to have gumption, but I also understand that good balance in a story is important.

Emma's book list on unforgettable characters who stay with you

Emma Lombard Why did Emma love this book?

Felix and Zelda have the purest, most joyful, and endearing childhood friendship… set against a horrific time in human history, the Holocaust.

I read this series out aloud to my boys (ages 9 to 12). I wanted to let them learn the history in a way that was age appropriate. Gleitzman delivers spectacularly!

This book doesn’t gloss over anything. It’s all there on the page to interpret. The children in the story are sometimes naively unaware of what some of their observations and experiences mean, making it so powerful to read as an adult—and a great conversation starter for kids.

Felix’s positive thinking and quick wit, used to deflect even the most atrocious characters, were the biggest takeaways for us as a family.

By Morris Gleitzman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Once 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?

My name is Felix. This is my story.

Felix has been living in an orphanage for three years and eight months when the men in armbands arrive to burn the books.

Going on the run in search of his parents, Felix soon learns that Poland in 1942 is not a safe place for Jewish boys. But can his gift for storytelling keep him one step ahead of the Nazis and help him find his parents?

After all, everybody deserves to have something good in their life at least once.

'Morris Gleitzman has a rare gift for writing very funny stories…


Book cover of Camp X

Nancy McDonald Author Of One Boy's War

From my list on historical middle grade exceptional child heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

A longtime student of history, particularly WW2 and the Cold War, my interest was personally piqued when I started to discover more about how my husband’s family narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo – and certain death in a concentration camp. I’m driven to write novels set in this era for middle grade kids – featuring brave young heroes faced with moral dilemmas– so they can learn about the horrors of antisemitism, tyrants, and war because “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

Nancy's book list on historical middle grade exceptional child heroes

Nancy McDonald Why did Nancy love this book?

It’s summer 1943 and brothers George and Jack Braun have moved to Whitby, Ontario where their mother has a job in a munitions factory while their father is off fighting the Nazis. Bored, they’re playing make-believe war games one day when they stumble on a highly secret training school for spies. When they learn of a German plan to invade it, they're determined to thwart it – whatever it takes. Inspired by the real Camp X, it’s an entertaining read – I like the relationship between the brothers, it rings true – and, in a nice touch, there’s a cameo appearance by a real-life person, in this case, spymaster William Stephenson, best known as the inspiration for James Bond! 

By Eric Walters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Camp X 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?

It's 1943, and nearly-12-year-old George and his older brother Jack are spending a restless wartime summer in Whitby, Ontario, where their mom is working at a munitions plant while their dad is off fighting the Germans. One afternoon, the boys stumble across Canada's top-secret spy camp-and so begins an exciting and terrifying adventure as George and Jack get caught up in the covert activities of Camp X.

Fascinated by Camp X and its secrets, the boys begin to suspect local townspeople of being spies. Is the police chief keeping tabs on people for enemy purposes? Is Jack's boss at the…


Book cover of A Night Divided

A.L. Sowards Author Of A Waltz with Traitors

From my list on immersing you in the struggle for freedom.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved history—in both fiction and nonfiction forms. The events from history that tend to stick with me the most are stories of individuals or groups who face enormous odds in their quest to live a life of freedom. History is full of oppression, tyranny, and tragedy, but it’s also full of individuals and groups that have stood against evil, even when it’s dangerous or difficult or unlikely to succeed. Immersing myself in those stories is one of the ways I honor those who have struggled and sacrificed.

A.L.'s book list on immersing you in the struggle for freedom

A.L. Sowards Why did A.L. love this book?

When the Berlin Wall goes up, Gerta’s family is divided.

Her father and one brother are in the west. Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz are in the east. Four years later, the Statsi has their eye on Gerta’s family, Fritz is due to be drafted, and then Gerta catches sight of her father on the other side of the wall, signaling something about digging.

If they’re ever going to be free, they must do something daring, and do it soon. Though written for young readers, the excellent pacing, realistic characters, and powerful themes about freedom and family make this book a great read for all ages. 

By Jennifer A. Nielsen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Night Divided 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 stunning thriller from NYT bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.

A Night Divided joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!With the rise of the Berlin Wall, Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall,…


Book cover of The Rise of the Victorian Actor

Patsy Trench Author Of Mrs Morphett's Macaroons

From my list on early 20th century English theatre and actors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my professional life as an actress and have skittered around the edges of theatre ever since, in various capacities. While I haven’t been on a stage for nearly forty years and I wouldn’t venture onto one at the point of a gun, I have always found the life of the actor fascinating. I’m old enough to have witnessed huge changes in the theatre over the decades, and it is intriguing to discover how much has changed—absconding managers are pretty well a thing of the past these days, and today’s actors don’t drink as muchyet how much the adaptability and single-minded passion of actors remain the same.

Patsy's book list on early 20th century English theatre and actors

Patsy Trench Why did Patsy love this book?

I’ve often wondered how it was that actors went from the ‘rogues and vagabonds’ of Shakespeare’s time through the days of early Victorian theatre, when acting was considered a highly disreputable profession, to apparent respectability at the end of the 19th century with the creation of the first theatrical knight, Sir Henry Irving. This book—again meticulously- and widely-researched—explains in a highly readable form how changing attitudes among politicians, audiences, and playwrights contributed to the rise in the status of actors, so that by the beginnings of the 20th century it was considered perfectly respectable for even a middle-class man—or woman—to enter the profession.  

By Michael Baker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1978. Between 1830 and 1890 the English theatre became recognisably modern. Standards of acting and presentation improved immeasurably, new playwrights emerged, theatres became more comfortable and more intimate and playgoing became a national pastime with all classes. The actor's status rose accordingly. In 1830 he had been little better than a social outcast; by 1880 he had become a member of a skilled, relatively well-paid and respected profession which was attracting new recruits in unprecedented numbers.

This is a social history of Victorian actors which seeks to show how wider social attitudes and developments affected the changing…


Book cover of On the Stage and Off: The Brief Career of a Would-Be Actor

Patsy Trench Author Of Mrs Morphett's Macaroons

From my list on early 20th century English theatre and actors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my professional life as an actress and have skittered around the edges of theatre ever since, in various capacities. While I haven’t been on a stage for nearly forty years and I wouldn’t venture onto one at the point of a gun, I have always found the life of the actor fascinating. I’m old enough to have witnessed huge changes in the theatre over the decades, and it is intriguing to discover how much has changed—absconding managers are pretty well a thing of the past these days, and today’s actors don’t drink as muchyet how much the adaptability and single-minded passion of actors remain the same.

Patsy's book list on early 20th century English theatre and actors

Patsy Trench Why did Patsy love this book?

I had no idea before I read this book that Jerome K Jerome started his working life as an actor—or rather a would-be actor, as his acting days didn’t last long. This is a highly entertaining account of his days trying to woo corrupt agents and indifferent theatre managers, and how his own lofty perceptions of his talents as an actor were dashed by absconding producers. His experiences of life at the bottom of the acting ladder are also reflected in other actors’ memoirs, some (but not all) of whom went on to bigger things. A must-read for any parent who wants to dissuade their offspring from taking up a life ‘on the boards’.

By Jerome K. Jerome,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Stage and Off as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book contains Jerome K. Jerome's 1891 monograph on stage productions, entitled "On the Stage and Off". Within this work, Jerome reflects on his personal experiences - both good and bad - working as an actor in the late-nineteenth century. A fascinating and insightful text, "On the Stage and Off" is highly recommended for those with an interest in the development of theatre, and would make for a great addition to collections of related literature. The chapters include: "I Determine to Become and Actor", "I Become and Actor", "Through the Stage Door", "Behind the Scenes", "A Rehearsal", "Scenery and Supers",…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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