100 books like Wheels of Change

By Sue Macy,

Here are 100 books that Wheels of Change fans have personally recommended if you like Wheels of Change. 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 Bicycle: The History

Evan P. Schneider Author Of A Simple Machine, Like the Lever

From my list on the beautiful act of bicycling.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cyclist from a young age (thanks to the encouragement and engineering of my dad—he literally welded one of my first bikes together from the carcass of another kid’s bike that was run over by a car in his driveway on accident), I’ve always had a fondness for bicycles and, more specifically, *riding* bicycles. So, as is probably common for anyone who is fond of something, I’ve spent years exploring it from as many angles as possible. In the process, I’ve loved studying bicycles in motion, along with collecting artistic and philosophical expressions that center the act of getting around on two wheels under your own power. 

Evan's book list on the beautiful act of bicycling

Evan P. Schneider Why did Evan love this book?

For the history-curious cyclists among us, I submit for your consideration David V. Herlihy’s excellently-researched and well-told history of the two-wheeled machine we love so much.

From its beginnings as a literal “bone shaker” (an iron frame on wooden wheels), to the impossibly-light machines of the 20th and 21st centuries, Herlihy’s tale of cycling commerce, commuting, and competition over time and across the world is as enlightening as it is entertaining.

I’ve turned to it again and again for its historical perspective (and its great photos).

By David V. Herlihy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first comprehensive history of the bicycle-lavishly illustrated with images spanning two centuries

During the nineteenth century, the bicycle evoked an exciting new world in which even a poor person could travel afar and at will. But was the "mechanical horse" truly destined to usher in a new era of road travel or would it remain merely a plaything for dandies and schoolboys? In Bicycle: The History (named by Outside magazine as the #1 book on bicycles), David Herlihy recounts the saga of this far-reaching invention and the passions it aroused. The pioneer racer James Moore insisted the bicycle would…


Book cover of Around the World on a Bicycle - From San Francisco to Tehran

Peter Zheutlin Author Of Spin: A Novel Based on a (Mostly) True Story

From my list on bicycles and cycling.

Why am I passionate about this?

About thirty years ago I learned that my great-grandaunt Annie was, arguably, the first woman to circle the world by bicycle (1894-1895) and I spent years rescuing her story from the trash bin of history, for she was virtually forgotten for more than a century. An avid cyclist myself, Annie became both my muse and my inspiration. She was an outlandish character who stepped far outside the bounds of what was expected for women of her time; among other things, she was the married mother of three young children when she took off from Boston for fifteen months on the road, and she pioneered sports-related marketing for women, securing corporate sponsors and adorning her body and her bicycle with advertisements wherever she traveled.

Peter's book list on bicycles and cycling

Peter Zheutlin Why did Peter love this book?

First published in 1887, Stevens was the first person to circumnavigate the earth on a bicycle, and a high-wheeler at that. Over three years he pedaled, pushed, and dragged his bicycle through all corners of the globe on one of the most epic journeys ever undertaken.

By Thomas Stevens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Around the World on a Bicycle - From San Francisco to Tehran as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Around the World on a Bicycle - From San Francisco to Tehran" is a fascinating and profusely-illustrated account of an epic bicycle journey around the world. Starting in America and travelling through Europe, the Middle East, and Finally Asia, the author's entire adventure is here chronicled for the enjoyment of bicycle and travel enthusiasts alike. Contents include: "Over the Sierras Nevadas", "Over the Deserts of Nevada", "Through Mormon-Land and over the Rockies", "From the Great Plains to the Atlantic", "From America to the German Frontier", "Germany, Austria, and Hungary", "Through Slavonia and Servia", "Bulgaria, Roumella, and into Turkey", "Through European…


Book cover of Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

Peter Zheutlin Author Of Spin: A Novel Based on a (Mostly) True Story

From my list on bicycles and cycling.

Why am I passionate about this?

About thirty years ago I learned that my great-grandaunt Annie was, arguably, the first woman to circle the world by bicycle (1894-1895) and I spent years rescuing her story from the trash bin of history, for she was virtually forgotten for more than a century. An avid cyclist myself, Annie became both my muse and my inspiration. She was an outlandish character who stepped far outside the bounds of what was expected for women of her time; among other things, she was the married mother of three young children when she took off from Boston for fifteen months on the road, and she pioneered sports-related marketing for women, securing corporate sponsors and adorning her body and her bicycle with advertisements wherever she traveled.

Peter's book list on bicycles and cycling

Peter Zheutlin Why did Peter love this book?

This New York Times Notable Book of the Year by a Vietnamese-American who was forced to flee his native country after the fall of Saigon is both travelogue and memoir, beautifully written, and a profound meditation on identity.

By Andrew X. Pham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Jack Kerouac meets "Wild Swans".' The Times. A voyage through Vietnam's ghost-ridden landscape, at once a moving memoir, travelogue and compelling search for identity.

Vietnamese-born Andrew Pham finally returns to Saigon, not as a success showering money and gifts onto his family, but as an emotional shipwreck, desperate to find out who he really is. When his sister, a post-operative transsexual, committed suicide, Pham sold all his possessions and embarked on a year-long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert; around a thousand-mile loop from Narita to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,357 miles, to…


Book cover of Life Is a Wheel: Memoirs of a Bike-Riding Obituarist

Peter Zheutlin Author Of Spin: A Novel Based on a (Mostly) True Story

From my list on bicycles and cycling.

Why am I passionate about this?

About thirty years ago I learned that my great-grandaunt Annie was, arguably, the first woman to circle the world by bicycle (1894-1895) and I spent years rescuing her story from the trash bin of history, for she was virtually forgotten for more than a century. An avid cyclist myself, Annie became both my muse and my inspiration. She was an outlandish character who stepped far outside the bounds of what was expected for women of her time; among other things, she was the married mother of three young children when she took off from Boston for fifteen months on the road, and she pioneered sports-related marketing for women, securing corporate sponsors and adorning her body and her bicycle with advertisements wherever she traveled.

Peter's book list on bicycles and cycling

Peter Zheutlin Why did Peter love this book?

Weber was for many years the lead obituary writer for The New York Times, hence the somewhat odd subtitle of this wry chronicle of a bicycle journey from Oregon to New York City. Weber has a sardonic wit that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

By Bruce Weber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life Is a Wheel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Life Is a Wheel chronicles the cross-country bicycle trip Bruce Weber made at the age of fifty-seven, an “entertaining travel story filled with insightful thoughts about life, family, and aging” (The Associated Press).

During the summer and fall of 2011, Bruce Weber, an obituary writer for The New York Times, bicycled across the country, alone, and wrote about it as it unfolded. Life Is a Wheel is the witty, inspiring, and reflective diary of his journey, in which the challenges and rewards of self-reliance and strenuous physical effort yield wry and incisive observations about cycling and America, not to mention…


Book cover of Chirri & Chirra, On The Town

Elizabeth Verdick Author Of Bike & Trike

From my list on bikes and biking for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Minnesota-based children’s writer focusing on a mix of books for kids ages baby to teen. I love writing stories as well as nonfiction books focused on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). After more than 25 years spent writing for a young audience, I started thinking about how I may be old but don’t necessarily feel old. An image came to mind: a rusty, dusty old tricycle. How might “Trike” feel if a happy, snappy new bike were to appear in the garage? Bike & Trike is the story that arose, one about old vs. new and a daring challenge to determine which bike will be the winner on wheels.

Elizabeth's book list on bikes and biking for kids

Elizabeth Verdick Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Originally published in Japanese, this multicultural story portrays little Chirri and Chirra, an adventurous duo (two girls) who take a leisurely bike ride full of discovery. Through forest paths and alleyways, the girls experience an adventure that’s best enjoyed on wheels. 

Dring-Dring go their bike bells, all through the town!

By Kaya Doi, David Boyd (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chirri & Chirra, On The Town as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Having explored blossoming fields, a magical mound of tall grass, crystal caves and underground passageways, here Chirri and Chirra explore life in town!


Winner of Multicultural Award, 2021 Northern Lights Book Awards


In this fifth book of perhaps the most charming series ever, Chirri and Chirra venture down forest paths and through alleyways into a yarn shop and an old woman's house, where they enjoy hot drinks and soup. When they're done, they find a wonderful surprise hidden in the branches of a tree. Memorable for Doi's luminous appreciation of the natural world as well as her respect for beautiful…


Book cover of Poppleton in Spring

Elise Broach Author Of The Miniature World of Marvin & James

From my list on early readers with funny animal friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of nearly thirty books for children, ranging from board books to young adult novels. This list combines two of my great loves: animals and early readers. I love animals because they are funny, amazing, and mysterious, and they have brought me so much joy throughout my life. I love early readers because they are small books about big feelings—big problems, big dramas, big adventures. The words may be simple, but there is nothing simple about the emotions in these stories. For beginning readers, these first, short chapter books are the gateway to a lifetime of literary pleasures. Below are a few of my favorites, old and new. 

Elise's book list on early readers with funny animal friendships

Elise Broach Why did Elise love this book?

Rylant is the true maestro of early readers, with her trademark blend of kid-friendly adventure, childhood truth, and humor. It’s hard to pick a favorite from her many offerings, but the Poppleton books—about an independent-minded pig with lots of plans—stand out for their appealing silliness and the bright, energetic pictures by Teague.  In this book, Poppleton embarks on a spring-cleaning project to clear out his overcrowded house but ends up finding a host of new treasures at the home of his llama friend, Cherry Sue. He has other schemes for enjoying the springtime—maybe he’ll go for a bike ride or camp out under the stars—but with Poppleton, you never know how these adventures will end up.

By Cynthia Rylant, Mark Teague (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Poppleton in Spring as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Revisit three wonderful stories from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant and award-winning illustrator Mark Teague--with new cover art and design!

In this easy-to-read chapter book, Poppleton the pig charms young readers with his quirky adventures, whimsical ideas, and engaging community of friends! In three wonderful springtime stories, Poppleton tries his hand at spring cleaning, riding a bike, and staying up all night in his new tent.

These hilarious stories feature simple language, everyday experiences, and beautiful illustrations--perfect for beginning readers!


Book cover of Chirri & Chirra

Billy Aronson and Jen Oxley Author Of Melia and Jo

From my list on best friends.

Why are we passionate about this?

Besides creating inventive best friends Melia and Jo, Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson created problem-solving best friends Peg and Cat, stars of Peg + Cat picture books and the PBS TV series which airs around the world. While creating those sets of best friends Jen and Billy became best friends themselves, brainstorming together, learning together, singing and dancing together, sharing pizza, inspiring and supporting each other, and laughing together many times a day. So yeah, they know a lot about best friends. 

Billy's book list on best friends

Billy Aronson and Jen Oxley Why did Billy love this book?

In Chirri and Chirra, Japanese author and artist Kaya Doi captures the magic of best friendship with gorgeous colored pencil illustrations and a dream-like tale. When twins Chirri and Chirra head off into the woods for a bike ride they find themselves in a wonderland that blends the strangeness of Lewis Caroll with the sweetness of Goodnight Moon. Along the way they stop to enjoy chestnut coffee, clover blossom tea and jelly sandwiches, all served by forest animals. They swim in a lake, nap under a tree, and ride on to a cozy hotel just in time for a forest animal concert that lights up the night of the girls’ perfect day.

By Kaya Doi, Yuki Kaneko (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Chirri & Chirra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book in a completely charming series by a well-known Japanese author and illustrator, Chirri & Chirra introduces two girl characters who go on wonderful adventures together through the natural world. Vibrant, lively, and astonishingly sweet in a pure, unsentimental way, these pages present us with relatable children, small animals, lots of food, atmosphere, and many mysteries.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kaya Doi graduated with a degree in design from Tokyo Zokei University. She got her start in picture books by attending the Atosaki Juku Workshop, held at a Tokyo bookshop specializing in picture books. Since then she has…


Book cover of Bicycle

Evan P. Schneider Author Of A Simple Machine, Like the Lever

From my list on the beautiful act of bicycling.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a cyclist from a young age (thanks to the encouragement and engineering of my dad—he literally welded one of my first bikes together from the carcass of another kid’s bike that was run over by a car in his driveway on accident), I’ve always had a fondness for bicycles and, more specifically, *riding* bicycles. So, as is probably common for anyone who is fond of something, I’ve spent years exploring it from as many angles as possible. In the process, I’ve loved studying bicycles in motion, along with collecting artistic and philosophical expressions that center the act of getting around on two wheels under your own power. 

Evan's book list on the beautiful act of bicycling

Evan P. Schneider Why did Evan love this book?

One of the most compelling parts of this gem of a book are Adam Thompson’s immaculate line drawings that capture the artfulness, and beautiful simplicity, at the heart of a bicycle ride—their white space pulls you in and invites you to imagine the landscape and circumstances around them.

Bicycles, and the paths they forge, take many shapes, but in the hands of Fattaruso and Thompson those shapes take center stage, and the essence of bicycling shines.

It’s a lovely interlude that always makes me nostalgic for riding a single speed on a rural road at the height of summer.

By Paul Fattaruso, Adam Thompson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Somewhere between prose poem and sacred incantation lies Bicycle. In spare, comically surreal and beautiful prose, Paul Fattaruso does for bicycles what Richard Brautigan did for trout—he elevates them to the status of an idol. An intimate, inventive, and vibrant book.

Paul Fattaruso is the author of Travel in the Mouth of the Wolf. His work has appeared in Volt, Jubilat, Fence, Black Warrior Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Tiny, and others. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife Kristin and his son Max. He rides a silver bicycle.


Book cover of The Stolen Bicycle

Shawna Yang Ryan Author Of Green Island

From my list on an otherworldly Taiwan.

Why am I passionate about this?

The ghostly/magical and Taiwan are two of my major interests—I have written about both in my fiction. After living in Taiwan for a few years and getting to know my mother’s side of the family, I gained an appreciation for its complicated history, riveting politics, and the energy of daily life there. Its confluence of people and histories has made it a unique cultural amalgam and these books capture the way folk religion and the spiritual/magical are wedded into the bustling contemporary urban life of Taiwan. I hope you find yourself as enchanted and intrigued by these stories as I have been!

Shawna's book list on an otherworldly Taiwan

Shawna Yang Ryan Why did Shawna love this book?

There is a scene in this book where one of the characters finds himself diving among the bodies of dead veterans in the flooded basement of a building. Is it real? Is it a dream? The uncanniness and careful sense of loneliness and history in the scene not only intrigued my imagination, but touched my heart too. In talking about the search for a bicycle, this Booker International Prize-nominated novel encompasses so much more—archive, history, memory, war, colonialism, butterflies. This is a surprising and expansive book by one of Taiwan’s best contemporary writers.

By Ming-Yi Wu, Darryl Sterk (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A writer embarks on an epic quest in search of his missing father’s stolen bicycle and soon finds himself ensnared in the strangely intertwined stories of Lin Wang, the oldest elephant who ever lived, the soldiers who fought in the jungles of South-East Asia during World War II, and the secret world of butterfly handicraft makers in Taiwan. The result is both a majestic historical novel and a profound, startlingly intimate meditation on memory, family and home. Wu’s writing has been compared to that of Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, W.G. Sebald and Yann Martel.


Book cover of Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle

Judith V.T. Wilson Author Of Growing Smarter

From my list on embracing your mistakes and a growth mindset.

Why am I passionate about this?

My perspective as a parent, grandparent, and teacher has changed since I’ve read Mindset. I only wish I had heard about this book sooner. After I read Mindset, I felt like I had discovered the secret sauce for learning. As a teacher, I was always searching for new ways to motivate my students. I adopted innovative strategies and new trends that were engaging. As a result, I was named Teacher of the Year in my school district. Because Dweck’s messages about how the brain learns, the value of mistakes, and perseverance are key to improving a child’s achievement, I annually present this topic at both teacher conferences and parent meetings.

Judith's book list on embracing your mistakes and a growth mindset

Judith V.T. Wilson Why did Judith love this book?

The first two words of this book’s title “Everyone Can” got my attention. And as I flipped through the pages, I was really drawn to its brightly painted illustrations that reminded me so much of modern artwork.

This book is by a two-time Caldecott Medalist and was a Junior Library Guild Selection winner. Its theme is very relatable, for I myself endured the same challenges that many face when learning to ride a bike. The story includes training wheels, holding on, letting go, and of course, falling. (However, I sure don’t remember having the benefit of training wheels.)

There are lots of ups and downs in the story with encouraging words that can propel any child through their many attempts. Perhaps you can predict how this story ends.

By Chris Raschka,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

“[Raschka's] marvelous sequences, fluid style, and emotional intelligence capture all of the momentum and exhilaration of this glorious accomplishment,” raves School Library Journal in a starred review.

Learning to ride a bike is one of the most important milestones of childhood, and no one captures the emotional ups and downs of the experience better than Chris Raschka, who won the 2012 Caldecott Medal for A Ball for Daisy. In this simple yet emotionally rich "guide," a father takes his daughter through all the steps in the process—from choosing the perfect bicycle to that triumphant first successful ride. Using very few…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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