10 books like The Yearling

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Yearling. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

By Bill Bryson,

Book cover of The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

The title might sound like fiction, but the Thunderbolt Kid is simply an imaginary superhero version of himself that Bryson created as a child. Mostly, this trope is used sparingly throughout the book, which is a memoir of growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1950s. Bryson brings plenty of humor to the work, as well as a wistful nostalgia for the era. He is roughly a decade older than me, but I identified greatly with his descriptions of the time period. Plus, he and I were both fans of The Roy Rogers Show on TV, though Bryson seems a little more put off than I was about how the show couldn’t seem to decide which century the characters were living in.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of our most beloved and bestselling authors, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s.

Born in 1951 in the middle of the United States, Des Moines, Iowa, Bill Bryson is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24 carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generation, Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around the house wearing a jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel round his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings…


An American Childhood

By Annie Dillard,

Book cover of An American Childhood

Annie Dillard, probably best known for her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, is masterful with words and brings all of her writing abilities to this memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh. For a city girl, she is especially entranced by nature as she gathers in her bedroom a rock collection that seems to foretell a career as a geologist that never happened. But it’s her tales of her father that are the most striking to me because as a child I didn’t know any fathers quite like him. He once set off alone on a long-planned river trip from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. Most wonderful of all, he had a role in the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead. Finally, think of the title Dillard chose for her memoir: An American Childhood. In many ways, her childhood was no more unique than any other…

An American Childhood

By Annie Dillard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An American Childhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"[An American Childhood] combines the child's sense of wonder with the adult's intelligence and is written in some of the finest prose that exists in contemporary America. It is a special sort of memoir that is entirely successful...This new book is [Annie Dillard's] best, a joyous ode to her own happy childhood."  — Chicago Tribune

A book that instantly captured the hearts of readers across the country, An American Childhood is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard's poignant, vivid memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and 60s. 

Dedicated to her parents - from whom she learned a love…


Eastern Sun, Winter Moon

By Gary Paulsen,

Book cover of Eastern Sun, Winter Moon: An Autobiographical Odyssey

Gary Paulsen is best known for his novels for young people, such as the popular Hatchet, but this R-rated memoir is aimed at an adult audience. Of my five recommendations, this one is far and away the most representative of the miseries of a dysfunctional childhood. Paulsen’s parents were both alcoholics, and his mother had affairs that she could have done a much better job of hiding from her young son. Somehow, despite the trauma (or maybe because of it), Paulsen emerged as a successful and extraordinarily prolific writer. For those of us with wonderful childhood memories, this book serves as a reminder that not everyone is so lucky.

Eastern Sun, Winter Moon

By Gary Paulsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eastern Sun, Winter Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work describes the author's experiences as a child during World War II. Along with his mother, who is alternatively protective and selfishly neglectful, Paulsen travelled to the Philippines to live with his father, a distant and imperious army officer.


Morningstar

By Ann Hood,

Book cover of Morningstar: Growing Up with Books

I was a huge bookworm as a boy, so I identified greatly with Ann Hood’s memoir that focuses on her own love of reading, which she developed as a child growing up in Rhode Island. While I still enjoy reading as an adult, nothing matches the way I could lose myself in a Hardy Boys adventure or a Doctor Dolittle tale as a youngster. Hood captures this total-book-immersion experience as she recalls reading Little Women, one of the first books to whisk her away to a different world. The title of this memoir refers to another of Hood’s beloved books, Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk.

Morningstar

By Ann Hood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Morningstar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her admired works of fiction, Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature. Now, with warmth and honesty, Hood reveals the personal story behind these works of fiction.

Growing up in a household that didn't foster the love of literature, Hood channelled her imagination and curiosity by devouring The Bell Jar, Marjorie Morningstar, The Harrad Experiment and other works. These titles introduced her to topics that could not be discussed at home: desire, fear, sexuality and madness. Later, Johnny Got His Gun and The Grapes of Wrath influenced her political thinking and Dr. Zhivago and Les Miserables stoked her…


Stepping Stones

By Lucy Knisley,

Book cover of Stepping Stones

This graphic novel is based on Lucy’s real life. It’s about a girl who begrudgingly moves from her home in the city to the country to live with her mom’s new boyfriend and share a bedroom with his daughters. I love this one because when you’re a kid, so many things are out of your control, and grown-ups are the ones making decisions for you. Sometimes, kids are forced to learn a whole new way of life. Stepping Stones is a great depiction of that experience—an experience I can relate to as someone whose mom remarried and then had to move towns and schools. I love how the main character, Jen, is terrible at math but has to handle money at the farmer’s market. She spends the summer persevering through her math troubles, her embarrassment related to it, and her new family and farm work expectations. 

Stepping Stones

By Lucy Knisley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This contemporary middle-grade graphic novel about family and belonging from New York Times bestselling author Lucy Knisley is a perfect read for fans of Awkward and Be Prepared.

Jen is used to not getting what she wants. So suddenly moving the country and getting new stepsisters shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Jen did not want to leave the city. She did not want to move to a farm with her mom and her mom's new boyfriend, Walter. She did not want to leave her friends and her dad.

Most of all, Jen did not want to get new…


All the Places to Love

By Patricia MacLachlan, Michael Wimmer (illustrator),

Book cover of All the Places to Love

No matter how young or old, everyone needs a timeless picture book about the best of hearth and home. The illustrations by Mike Wimmer are breathtaking and inviting. Patricia MacLachlan’s carefully chosen words reflect the relationship glue that creates connecting and belonging within families. No matter how old you are, All the Places to Love is a touch point for the heart.

All the Places to Love

By Patricia MacLachlan, Michael Wimmer (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All the Places to Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A young boy describes the favorite places that he shares with his family on his grandparents' farm and in the nearby countryside


Cross Creek

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,

Book cover of Cross Creek

Marjorie Rawlings is best known for The Yearling, but her autobiographical Cross Creek paints a vivid picture of rural north/central Florida in the 1920s and 1930s. It describes both her hard-scrabble life and her endearing connections to the people who live in the quiet back-woods hamlet of Cross Creek. Remarkably, even today this area is sparsely populated. Rawlings’ circa-1890 home and the surrounding property are now the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Historic Site.

Cross Creek

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Cross Creek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cross Creek is the warm and delightful memoir about the life of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings—author of The Yearling—in the Florida backcountry.

Originally published in 1942, Cross Creek has become a classic in modern American literature. For the millions of readers raised on The Yearling, here is the story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's experiences in the remote Florida hamlet of Cross Creek, where she lived for thirteen years. From the daily labors of managing a seventy-two-acre orange grove to bouts with runaway pigs and a succession of unruly farmhands, Rawlings describes her life at the Creek with humor and spirit. Her…


How Kind!

By Mary Murphy,

Book cover of How Kind!

This charming story showcases kindness pared down to its most basic: Kindness feels great to both the giver and the receiver, and it’s easily passed from one person (or, in this case, animal) to another.  Hen is kind to Pig, who in turn is kind to Rabbit, and so on, until the circle is complete. The simple, repetitive text and joyful, brightly-colored illustrations make me smile—and make this book an ideal choice for sharing with very young children.

How Kind!

By Mary Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Kind! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What goes around comes around in this farmyard tale about the contagiousness of kindness.

Hen gives Pig an unexpected present. "How kind!" says Pig. Pig is so touched, in fact, that he decides to do something kind too. So Pig gives Rabbit a gift. "How kind!" says Rabbit, who does something kind for Cow, who is kind to Cat, who wants to be kind in turn. Where will all of this kindness lead?


Turkey Trouble

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Book cover of Turkey Trouble

Turkey has a problem. Thanksgiving is on the way. Maybe if Turkey wears a disguise, the farmer won't recognize him. He'll make the farmer think he's one of the horses. Great idea–until Cow figures it out. So, Turkey disguises himself as a cow. Another great idea—until Pig figures it out. Finally, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise. This story made me laugh out loud, and I'm sure it will have the same effect on young readers. Funny illustrations by Lee Harper add to the silliness.

Turkey Trouble

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Turkey Trouble as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving...and you're the main course. But Turkey has an idea-what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?

After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

Wendi Silvano's comical story is perfectly matched by Lee Harper's watercolors.


What We Harvest

By Ann Fraistat,

Book cover of What We Harvest

Action-packed and fast-moving, What We Harvest is one of those books that you can’t put down. A horrible (sentient?) blight infecting crops, animals, and people is a terrifying foe, and at times this book is brutal. But its main character and her friends are the most resilient, resourceful crew I’ve encountered in a long time. I rooted for them so hard.

What We Harvest

By Ann Fraistat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What We Harvest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Wilder Girls comes a nightmarish debut guaranteed to keep you up through the night, about an idyllic small town poisoned by its past, and one girl who must fight the strange disease that's slowly claiming everyone she loves.

Wren owes everything she has to her hometown, Hollow’s End, a centuries-old, picture-perfect slice of America. Tourists travel miles to marvel at its miracle crops, including the shimmering, iridescent wheat of Wren’s family’s farm. At least, they did. Until five months ago.
 
That’s when the Quicksilver blight first surfaced, poisoning the farms of Hollow’s End one by one. It…


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