70 books like The Thief

By Megan Whalen Turner,

Here are 70 books that The Thief fans have personally recommended if you like The Thief. 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 Lord of the Rings

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Author Of The Transformational Path: How Healing, Unlearning, and Tuning into Source Helped Me Manifest My Most Abundant Life

From my list on completely transforming your life.

Who am I?

I’ve known I was “special” since I was a child. I saw, felt, and heard things that others did not. Eventually I embraced my clairaudient mediumship gifts and turned it into a thriving business, allowing me to live a life of purpose: helping others find their passions and live their most joyful lives. But the journey never ends; I am always on a mission to transform. Consistently, literature has been where I turn when I am seeking wisdom on becoming the best version of myself. I also pursued certification as a Book Therapist - the first thing I’ll recommend to friends, family, or clients is the best book for their dilemma!

Claudia's book list on completely transforming your life

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Why did Claudia love this book?

J.R.R. Tolkien's masterful storytelling is unmatched, and The Lord of the Rings weaves together moral dilemmas and profound philosophical ideas seamlessly, encouraging me to contemplate the nature of power, the importance of preserving the natural world, and the significance of individual choices.

The book's themes of heroism, friendship, sacrifice, and the struggle between good and evil resonate deeply. In addition, each of his characters feels like an aspect of oneself; the introspection it inspires is brilliant!

The Lord of the Rings instills a sense of wonder, ignites the imagination, and imparts timeless wisdom, which heavily transformed my perspective on life, my values, and my understanding of the human condition.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

52 authors picked The Lord of the Rings 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?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's fastness in the Dark Tower of…

Book cover of The Poet X

Alexandra V. Méndez Author Of What the Jaguar Told Her

From my list on the power of stories and finding your voice.

Who am I?

Stories and the myriad ways they’re told fascinate me. Growing up in Atlanta with Mexican and American heritage, I first learned about Mexican códices—centuries-old books that tell stories through images—on a trip to visit family in Mexico. Later, I studied the history and literature of Latin America at Harvard and got a Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. I’ve studied storytelling in many forms, from Mesoamerican maps to early Spanish chronicles of exploration and invasion, to modern Latin American novels. The books listed here celebrate oral storytelling, written traditions, and artistic expression, and they take seriously the perspectives of young people.

Alexandra's book list on the power of stories and finding your voice

Alexandra V. Méndez Why did Alexandra love this book?

In this novel in verse, Elizabeth Acevedo beautifully evokes the landscape and feel of Harlem through the observant character of Xiomara Batista.

Having lived in upper Manhattan for years, I recognized the neighborhood in the vibrant descriptions. I identified with Xiomara’s need to express herself, how she fills the pages of her notebook with what she feels she can’t speak aloud. Her emotions as she confronts the challenges of friendship, romance, and family feel very real.

When a high school teacher opens up for her the world of spoken word poetry and a whole new set of possibilities for self-expression, I find myself rooting for Xiomara to be brave and take the steps she must take on her personal and artistic journey towards sharing her voice.

By Elizabeth Acevedo,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Poet X 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?


'I fell in love at slam poetry. This one will stay with you a long time.' - Angie Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give

'This was the type of book where "I'll just do 50 pages" turned into finishing it in 2 reads. I felt very emotional, not just because the story and…

Book cover of The Tombs of Atuan

Seymour Hamilton Author Of The Laughing Princess

From my list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld.

Who am I?

When I was six, my father, a tall, bearded naval officer, read me Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” I thought it might be autobiography. Ever since, I've been fascinated by stories where fantasy and reality meet and blend. I studied English literature, taught Dead English Poets to undergraduates, became an editor/writer for hire. Along the way, I canoed, hiked the Rockies, and learned to sail a traditional Nova Scotian schooner. I have two sons, to whom I read stories night after night when they were much younger than they are now. Since retiring, I write fantasy adventure novels set aboard real sailing ships and stories about dragons who talk to exceptional people.

Seymour's book list on in which reality and fantasy meet and meld

Seymour Hamilton Why did Seymour love this book?

The second of LeGuin’s Earthsea books is a story made of fantasy, adventure, horror, mystery, and myth. 

Tenar, the high priestess must choose between her lifelong training and her unexpected compassion for a thief named Ged, who she must execute in the Tombs of Atuan. Tenar leads Ged through darkness and terror to a place where she decides who she will become.

LeGuin’s prose is direct, evocative, and compelling. Read out loud, the story is spellbinding. It stays with me even though it’s years since my first reading. Each time I return to the fantastic yet entirely believable world she created, the characters I meet reveal some fresh insight into what it is to be human.

By Ursula K. Le Guin,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Tombs of Atuan 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?

The second book of Earthsea in a beautiful hardback edition. Complete the collection with A Wizard of Earthsea, The Furthest Shore and Tehanu

With illustrations from Charles Vess

'[This] trilogy made me look at the world in a new way, imbued everything with a magic that was so much deeper than the magic I'd encountered before then. This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking' Neil Gaiman

'Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it' David Mitchell

In this second novel in the Earthsea series, Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless…

Book cover of Cemetery Boys

Natalia Hernandez Author Of The Name-Bearer

From my list on queer Latin fantasy.

Who am I?

I am a queer Latinx author and avid reader. Long before I became an author, I was devouring books and losing myself in fantasy worlds. When I got older, I realized how few books in the market looked like me. I didn’t feel represented in the literary world. Now, I create queer fantasy novels that feature strong women of color in sweeping Latin American-inspired settings for future generations. 

Natalia's book list on queer Latin fantasy

Natalia Hernandez Why did Natalia love this book?

Cemetery Boys was the first time I truly felt represented in a fantasy novel, and once I started, I couldn’t put it down. 

The navigation of family dynamics in the story is brilliant - we follow Yadriel, a gay Latinx trans teen whose family is made up of brujas (women) and brujos (men). The struggle to find his place in that system, and the way that his family members seem accepting in one moment, then dismissive in another is unbearably relatable for many queer kids growing up in Latinx households.

In an effort to prove his worth to his family (and himself) Yadriel accidentally summons the ghost of a very cute dead boy, and together they go on a journey full of both danger and self-discovery.

By Aiden Thomas,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Cemetery Boys 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?

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose…

Book cover of The Scorpio Races

Laurel Wanrow Author Of The Unraveling

From my list on determined heroines who won’t be crossed.

Who am I?

I grew up camping and hiking, and spent my career teaching others about nature. I feel my best in the outdoors. Nature connections thread through my stories, to the point my kids joke my heroines are all geeky me. Well, true…or the geek I wish I was: one with secret magic to protect our earth. Folks know nature needs help, but my volunteer group still runs into roadblocks putting in native plant gardens. While I—and my characters—fight for protecting wild spaces, I appreciate that everyone’s fight is different and my keeper stories are those with determined characters—IRL or on the page—who turn the tables to succeed.

Laurel's book list on determined heroines who won’t be crossed

Laurel Wanrow Why did Laurel love this book?

Puck is doing all she can to keep her and her brothers together after their parents die from an attack by bloodthirsty waterhorses surrounding their island home of Thisby. I admire how this one fantastical element changes a ‘normal’ life to an ‘otherworldly’ one, and makes the island a strong character in the story. Raising and racing waterhorses is Thisby’s livelihood, and dire circumstances lead to Puck competing for the annual Scorpio Race prize money as the first girl to race, against great odds by riding her beloved island pony. 

I love the feel of the small Thisby and its quaint community of characters. Some are mercenary, some tough, but, like Puck and love-interest Sean, most love the wild nature of the ocean and waterhorses, which is magic to me.

By Maggie Stiefvater,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Scorpio Races as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

A spellbinding novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

Some race to win. Others race to survive.It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio…

Book cover of Iron Widow

Kate Chenli Author Of A Bright Heart

From my list on fantasy novels by Asian authors for young adults.

Who am I?

I write adult and young adult fantasy. I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of magic. While growing up in China, I often found myself immersed in fantasy literature based on Asian history, mythology, and legends. I enjoyed getting lost in the rich imaginary worlds where the characters came to life. These tales fed my imagination and inspired me to create my own magical adventures. Writing has allowed me to expand on the ancient legends and mythology that I’ve always loved. Moreover, I’ve enjoyed creating lifelike characters, especially strong women who inspire young girls.

Kate's book list on fantasy novels by Asian authors for young adults

Kate Chenli Why did Kate love this book?

This book has the most badass female protagonist of all young adult novels I’ve read!

Talking about a resolute heroine set on overhauling an entire misogynistic system. She’s not restrained by what society deems as appropriate or moral, and despite their constant attempts to oppress her, she grows even more determined to break free. 

The book blends mecha-science and fantasy perfectly. It has Pacific Rim vibes, but they are based in a Chinese composite of history and culture, while also rooted in traditional Chinese Qi magic.

By Xiran Jay Zhao,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Iron Widow 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?

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers.

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through…

Book cover of Howl's Moving Castle

TJ Klune Author Of Wolfsong

From my list on what you should read read after a book destroys your feelings.

Who am I?

I am a queer author of over thirty novels, most recently The House in the Cerulean Sea, Under the Whispering Door, In the Lives of Puppets, and my upcoming novel, Wolfsong. Though I’ve written across many genres, science fiction, and fantasy are where I feel most at home, and my writing reflects that. I love exploring worlds where good people fight for what’s right even when they make mistakes along the way. Humanity is always at the forefront of what I do, and though we can be disappointing, there is nothing quite like us in all the universe—as far as we know.

TJ's book list on what you should read read after a book destroys your feelings

TJ Klune Why did TJ love this book?

After reading a book that destroys your feelings, you might be feeling a little… fragile. That’s okay! I have the perfect remedy. 

Howl’s Moving Castle is a delight from start to finish, and while many people are familiar with the wonderful animated film of the same name, the book itself (as is the case with most books) is the superior story, especially given the different characterization of Howl in the book versus the movie. Also, Calcifer!

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Howl's Moving Castle 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?

Now an animated movie from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, the oscar-winning director of Spirited Away

In this beloved modern classic, young Sophie Hatter from the land of Ingary catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell...

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, Sophie makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above her town, Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl, whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls...

There Sophie meets Michael, Howl's apprentice, and Calcifer…

Book cover of Akata Witch

Shelly X. Leonn Author Of The Ghost and the Wolf

From my list on girl MCs who are owning life.

Who am I?

My novel choices were part of the Afterschool Literacy & Building Modules for an organization called LitShop. It encourages growth in literacy, making, building, and leadership in girls ages 10-15 in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m honored to lead the writing classes. All of the LitShop books feature strong girls who believe they can make and build their way to a better world, and I aim to include similar characters in my stories. Stories can provide us with motivation, inspiration, and companionship, and all of these books have done just that… for the girls of LitShop as well as myself.

Shelly's book list on girl MCs who are owning life

Shelly X. Leonn Why did Shelly love this book?

A misfit loner is chosen to save the world. I know, it’s been done before. But this story is special. Firstly, it is set against the backdrop of Nigerian culture and lore. And secondly, Sunny. The main character is memorable for more than just her “differences.” She is determined and fierce, making her a hero you want to see bring home a “w” over and over again.

By Nnedi Okorafor,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Akata Witch 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?

Affectionately dubbed "the Nigerian Harry Potter," Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one's place in the world.

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be…

Book cover of Astrid the Unstoppable

S. E. Grove Author Of The Glass Sentence

From my list on young adult stories about secrets.

Who am I?

I think secrets are part of who we are. Everyone has things they keep secret and things they don’t want others to know. Why is this? I’ve always been fascinated by it, even though I don’t have any major secrets myself – but I still have aspects of how I think that I don’t wish to share. I see the same thing with my eight-year-old, who just doesn’t want to tell me about that one nightmare… Hm. We keep secrets perhaps because, somehow, having other people not know is critical to how we imagine ourselves. And they make for great stories, don’t they?

S. E.'s book list on young adult stories about secrets

S. E. Grove Why did S. E. love this book?

This book is for slightly younger readers, but I think it has genuine multi-generational appeal. I read it aloud to my eight-year-old, who laughed aloud and loved it – in fact, it was the first read-aloud chapter book that he stuck with. And his grandmother is also reading and loving it! Astrid has the feel of a classic, with its humor and its gentle wisdom. Though it’s a story about a feisty girl who loves sledding, it’s also a story about how someone you love can keep a hurtful secret. How does one forgive such a thing? Astrid figures it out. 

By Maria Parr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Astrid the Unstoppable as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

"Classic storytelling at its best, delightful and moving. I loved it." M. G. Leonard, author of Beetle Boy

Maria Parr's second novel is a hilarious and heart-warming story about family and friendship that will delight fans of Pippi Longstocking.

Astrid Glimmerdal loves to spend her days racing down the mountainside on her sledge and skis - the faster the better! She just wishes there were other children to share in her adventures. Instead, she has to put up with a grumpy 74 year old for a best friend (although secretly, she knows she wouldn't have it any other way).


Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Judith Ratcliffe Author Of The Silver Shoes In The Land Of The Dinosaurs

From my list on children’s stories with fantastic heroines.

Who am I?

As you may notice, in my own stories, I like to find the magic in everyday things and, to a greater or lesser extent, each of the books I have chosen to write about here, do that. Having worked with children as a Rainbow Guide Leader, taught children, for a brief spell, abroad, I know children and their intelligence, understanding, and kindness, amongst other things, can often be underestimated. The books I chose, show how children (girls in particular) win the day by using their intelligence, skills, and talents. Celebrating girls and their achievements is increasingly important in improving their rights and access to opportunities in life.

Judith's book list on children’s stories with fantastic heroines

Judith Ratcliffe Why did Judith love this book?

Again, a much-loved childhood favourite – two strong female leads and demonstrates leading with empathy for others and kindness, which can sometimes be missing from adult adventure stories.

While there have been a number of television and film adaptations, nothing compares to reading this story and getting lost in the magic of the words that conjur their own power and charm.

By C. S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 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?

Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns... and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the country's creatures are ever going to be free again...

5 book lists we think you will like!

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