99 books like When Stars Are Scattered

By Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson,

Here are 99 books that When Stars Are Scattered fans have personally recommended if you like When Stars Are Scattered. 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 Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story)

Andrea Christenson Author Of How Sweet It Is: A Deep Haven Novel

From my list on when you’re in the mood for food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an aspiring foodie and a huge lover of books with a great food subplot (or main plot!). I’ve been known to read cookbooks for fun and probably the most thumbed book in our house is my copy of The Joy of Cooking. I’m a firm believer in reading books at the lunch table and that no book should be read without a cup of coffee and a cookie (at the minimum) near one’s elbow. Hopefully you find these books to be as drool-worthy as I did!

Andrea's book list on when you’re in the mood for food

Andrea Christenson Why did Andrea love this book?

Okay, as a middle grade novel, this one may seem a little strange to have on this list, but bear with me.

The protagonist, Khosrou, tells the story of his Iranian family stretching back decades. Woven throughout the story are descriptions of the foods they enjoyed, many of which, as refugees to America, they cannot find anymore. Several times throughout this book I turned to the internet to tell me how to make something Daniel Naveri described.

A beautiful book that also contained more about using the bathroom than I ever expected!

By Daniel Nayeri,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) 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?

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.

But Khosrou's stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the sad, cement refugee…


Book cover of Hey, Kiddo

Alyssa Bermudez Author Of Big Apple Diaries

From my list on graphic novels for young readers to encourage empathy.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a graphic novel creator and art teacher with years of experience, I understand the importance of introducing serious topics for discussion in an accessible way. My art students of all ages are curious about different subjects, wondering what life is like for others and if their own feelings are normal. Graphic novels are a perfect tool for fostering these discussions. Having been interested in comics as a medium for a long time, I'm thrilled to share this with young audiences and encourage exploration of diverse perspectives.

Alyssa's book list on graphic novels for young readers to encourage empathy

Alyssa Bermudez Why did Alyssa love this book?

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and it's crucial for children to see a variety of experiences in literature.

Hey, Kiddo portrays the author's upbringing with his grandparents due to his absent father and mother's substance abuse. The book offers child-friendly talking points on the challenging topic of addiction. It captures the complexities of growing up and family life amidst life-changing events.

By Jarrett J. Krosoczka,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hey, Kiddo 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 important graphic novel memoir that was a US National
Book Award Finalist.
In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw
his family, with a mommy and a daddy.

But Jarrett's family is much more complicated
than that.

His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and
in and out of Jarrett's life.

His father is a mystery - Jarrett doesn't know
where to find him, or even what his name is.

Jarrett lives with his grandparents - two very
loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they
were through with raising children until Jarrett…


Book cover of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

Alison Prowle Author Of Strength-based Practice with Children and Families

From my list on finding hope following childhood adversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in the South Wales Valleys during the 1970s and 80s, I witnessed firsthand the effects of multiple adversities on the lives of those around me. Life was difficult for many families in the area as they battled with poverty, ill health, and lack of opportunity. I watched many amazing, creative, and talented young people fail to realise their potential. This sparked a passion and a career for supportive intervention with families and young children. It is my aim to help equip the workforce to better understand and respond to childhood adversity, be trauma aware, advocate for children’s rights, and make a positive difference in the lives of children and young people.

Alison's book list on finding hope following childhood adversity

Alison Prowle Why did Alison love this book?

I had been wanting to read this book for a long while but knew that it deserved setting aside a good chunk of time to really appreciate it! I finally picked it up during the first COVID lockdown and was fully engaged from the very first page.

This is the very best book that I have ever read on childhood trauma. For me, this book was like doing a specialist course in neuroscience. I learned so much about how adversity and extreme stress affect a child’s brain. However,  despite dealing with harrowing material, the authors never lose their focus on hope for a positive outcome. They consider how even children who have lived through unspeakable suffering can experience healing and wholeness.

The importance of compassionate and nurturing relationships is paramount within this exceptional book, based on real-life case files.

By Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind-and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: homicide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of extreme neglect and family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Dr. Perry tells their stories of trauma and transformation. He explains what happens to the brain when children are exposed to extreme stress and trauma and reveals his innovative (non-medicinal) methods for helping to…


Book cover of A Place at the Table

Kerry M. Olitzky Author Of Strangers in Jerusalem

From my list on bringing Muslims and Jews together.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a rabbi and educator who lives in the midst of a large Jewish community and a large Muslim community. But up until about 10 or so years ago, I had no Muslim friends. My wife and I set out to change that. (She formed the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and I benefited as a plus one.) I am also the author of nearly 100 books, a growing number of which are for children and some focus on the relationship between Muslims and Jews. 

Kerry's book list on bringing Muslims and Jews together

Kerry M. Olitzky Why did Kerry love this book?

There are so few young adult novels that demonstrate positive relationships between Muslim kids and Jewish kids. This one succeeds masterfully.

The main characters in the story come from very different backgrounds and seem to share little in common. Their friendship grows slowly, and eventually they learn to trust one another. This story shows both the risks and rewards of such a friendship. With taking risks, there can be no reward.  

By Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Place at the Table 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 timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom.

Sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been struggling with depression.

The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has…


Book cover of American Born Chinese

Sylvie Kantorovitz Author Of Sylvie

From my list on middle-grade depicting different cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was five, my family moved from Morocco to France. We were Jewish in a very homogeneously Catholic world. My French upbringing didn’t include much exposure to other cultures and I often felt uncomfortably different. I would have liked to know more about various lifestyles, cultures, and traditions than those I observed around me. I now love to learn about other cultures through personal accounts, stories, and memoirs. I feel engaged and interested in a way I never experienced with textbooks. Reading about people who live a different life from our own can be an eye-opening experience.

Sylvie's book list on middle-grade depicting different cultures

Sylvie Kantorovitz Why did Sylvie love this book?

This book seems to be three different stories until one realizes they are the same story told in different ways: the most realistic one is the story of young Jin Wang who suffers intensely from the racist mockery of his peers. Then there is the wondrous tale of the Monkey King who wanted to join the other gods and refused to be a monkey. And finally the parable of Danny who hates his caricature of a Chinese cousin. The three strands converge to reveal one truth: the way to save our soul is to accept who we are. 

I particularly loved the character of Wei-Chen who is Jin’s best friend: he is kind, smart, and accepts his origins. 

A bonus: the artwork is very beautiful!

By Gene Luen Yang,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gene Luen Yang was the fifth the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and is a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what's popularly known as the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

A tour-de-force by New York Times bestselling graphic novelist Gene Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who…


Book cover of The Legend of Auntie Po

Sylvie Kantorovitz Author Of Sylvie

From my list on middle-grade depicting different cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was five, my family moved from Morocco to France. We were Jewish in a very homogeneously Catholic world. My French upbringing didn’t include much exposure to other cultures and I often felt uncomfortably different. I would have liked to know more about various lifestyles, cultures, and traditions than those I observed around me. I now love to learn about other cultures through personal accounts, stories, and memoirs. I feel engaged and interested in a way I never experienced with textbooks. Reading about people who live a different life from our own can be an eye-opening experience.

Sylvie's book list on middle-grade depicting different cultures

Sylvie Kantorovitz Why did Sylvie love this book?

I love learning about life in another time period through a story. This one transported me to a logging camp in 1885. I learned about the life of the camp, the hard and dangerous work, and the treatment of the Chinese workers. 

Mei is the daughter of a Chinese cook. She dreams of studying at the university, but doubts she will ever be able to, because of her Chinese origins. 

I loved the deep but complex friendships between Mei and the foreman’s daughter and between Mei’s father and the foreman himself. I loved the affection between Mei and her father, their observance of Chinese traditions, and I loved Mei’s story-telling, re-casting Paul Bunyan as a benevolent Auntie Po.

By Shing Yin Khor,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Legend of Auntie Po 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 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
 
Part historical fiction, part fable, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885.

Cover may vary.
 
Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman's daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan--reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch.

Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the…


Book cover of Save Me a Seat

Shannon Hitchcock Author Of Flying Over Water

From my list on written by collaborators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about topics I’m curious about. When a friend’s daughter converted to Islam that piqued my interest in the religion. I started researching Islam, not entirely sure of where the journey would take me. Around that same time, I saw a picture in my minister’s office of a Syrian refugee and her young son. They held a handwritten sign that said, WE ARE FROM SYRIA, CAN YOU HELP US? I started writing a story about a Christian girl whose church is helping a Syrian refugee family. To enrich the book, I sought a Muslim coauthor to tell half of the story. Together, we read LOTS of books by collaborators. 

Shannon's book list on written by collaborators

Shannon Hitchcock Why did Shannon love this book?

Most of the books I’ve read by collaborators have fairly somber tones, but not Save Me A Seat. This book is laugh-out-loud funny. Joe has lived in the same town all his life. Ravi’s family recently moved from India. The boys seem to have nothing in common until they team up against the biggest bully in their class.

By Sarah Weeks, Gita Varadarajan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Save Me a Seat 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 new friend could be sitting right next to you.

Save Me a Seat joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL.Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in…


Book cover of Two Naomis

Tamara Ellis Smith Author Of Here and There

From my list on helping kids rethink home after divorce.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my sister got divorced, she and my nephew, Jordy, moved in with our parents. My mother was—and still is—a big music fan, and she decided to play the same music in her house that Jordy’s dad played in his. The music became a bridge; a way for Jordy to feel like he was at home in both places. I loved this and kept it tucked away for years before Here and There came to me. I feel passionate about helping kids find a way to feel safe and comfortable in themselves—no matter where they are or what they’re going through—and all the books on my list do this brilliantly.

Tamara's book list on helping kids rethink home after divorce

Tamara Ellis Smith Why did Tamara love this book?

I’m cheating and throwing in a middle grade novel! It’s that good! This one can be read independently or as a read-aloud. (Side note: I still read every night to my 14- and 10-year-olds and plan to for as long as they’ll let me.) A story about redefining family, Two Naomis explores the growing relationship—first antagonistic and slowly becoming loving—between Naomi Marie and Naomi Edith, whose parents become seriously involved. Hilarious and full of heart, this story is a great contemporary take on divorce and blended families. And Audrey and Olugbemisola are brilliant human beings and make a kick-ass writing team to boot!

By Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Audrey Vernick,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Two Naomis 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 realistic contemporary story of two girls whose divorced parents begin to date—perfect for fans of Lisa Graff, Sara Pennypacker, and Rita Williams-Garcia. “A smart, endearing story about two girls who are blending families, growing up, and building a friendship.” (Kirkus starred review)

Other than their first names, Naomi Marie and Naomi Edith are sure they have nothing in common, and they wouldn’t mind keeping it that way.

Naomi Marie starts clubs at the library and adores being a big sister. Naomi Edith loves quiet Saturdays and hanging with her best friend in her backyard. And while Naomi Marie’s father…


Book cover of Same Sun Here

Shannon Hitchcock Author Of Flying Over Water

From my list on written by collaborators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about topics I’m curious about. When a friend’s daughter converted to Islam that piqued my interest in the religion. I started researching Islam, not entirely sure of where the journey would take me. Around that same time, I saw a picture in my minister’s office of a Syrian refugee and her young son. They held a handwritten sign that said, WE ARE FROM SYRIA, CAN YOU HELP US? I started writing a story about a Christian girl whose church is helping a Syrian refugee family. To enrich the book, I sought a Muslim coauthor to tell half of the story. Together, we read LOTS of books by collaborators. 

Shannon's book list on written by collaborators

Shannon Hitchcock Why did Shannon love this book?

Same Sun Here is told by pen pals Meena and River in their letters to each other. Meena is an Indian immigrant living in New York City. River lives in the coal mining region of Kentucky. I am from a rural area myself so was especially drawn to River’s voice and the rural setting. 

By Silas House, Neela Vaswani, Hilary Schenker (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Same Sun Here 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?

“Even better than reading a refreshingly honest story by one talented writer is reading one by two such writers.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Pen pals Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. With honesty and humor, Meena and River (each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author) bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship…


Book cover of New Kid

Alyssa Bermudez Author Of Big Apple Diaries

From my list on graphic novels for young readers to encourage empathy.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a graphic novel creator and art teacher with years of experience, I understand the importance of introducing serious topics for discussion in an accessible way. My art students of all ages are curious about different subjects, wondering what life is like for others and if their own feelings are normal. Graphic novels are a perfect tool for fostering these discussions. Having been interested in comics as a medium for a long time, I'm thrilled to share this with young audiences and encourage exploration of diverse perspectives.

Alyssa's book list on graphic novels for young readers to encourage empathy

Alyssa Bermudez Why did Alyssa love this book?

Representation in literature matters, and Jerry Craft's book offers a unique perspective on a young boy's experience of transferring to a private middle school where he stands out due to his race and socioeconomic background.

The book thoughtfully highlights microaggressions and their impact, making it an essential read for children. It's an excellent starting point for important conversations on race, identity, and friendship.

By Jerry Craft,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked New Kid 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?

Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature!

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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