10 books like Written in the Sky

By Matthew Kaopio,

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

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KINO and the KING

By Jen Angeli,

Book cover of KINO and the KING

With a sacred stone in hand, twelve-year-old Kino hides from bullies in an ancient grass hut on display at Bishop Museum. In a blinding flash, she travels back in time to 1825 and meets a young boy who is destined to become King Kamehameha III. Together they go on an epic adventure facing sharks, Night Marchers, wild boars, and more as they collect the four items Kino needs to return home. I love this fantasy story with Hawaiian kids as heroes because it treats Hawaiian history and culture as both magical and ordinary rather than sensationally exotic.

KINO and the KING

By Jen Angeli,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Want to escape into an epic adventure back in time? Pick up a copy of KINO and the KING and follow Kino Kahele on her visit when Hawaii was a young nation, and the Kamehameha Dynasty ruled the land. After Kino receives a pohaku (stone), that is supposed to help Kino find her destiny, she is chased by bullies into the Hawaiian Hall at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. She ducks into the ancient grass hut display and hides her rock in a conch shell. With a flash of bright light, she is transported to 1825 where she meets 11-year-old…


Night of the Howling Dogs

By Graham Salisbury,

Book cover of Night of the Howling Dogs

What starts out as a camping trip in remote Halape for a boy scout troop from Hilo turns desperate when an earthquake hits and their camp is devastated by a tsunami. The boys are scattered, and it’s up to Dylan and his nemesis Louie to reunite the troop and get them to safety. Inspired by real events that I remember, this book is a survival story about friendship, leadership, and teamwork that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

Night of the Howling Dogs

By Graham Salisbury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Night of the Howling Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

DYLAN'S SCOUT TROOP goes camping in Halape, a remote spot below the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The only thing wrong with the weekend on a beautiful, peaceful beach is Louie, a tough older boy. Louie and Dylan just can't get along.That night an earthquake rocks the camp, and then a wave rushes in, sweeping everyone and everything before it. Dylan and Louie must team up on a dangerous rescue mission. The next hours are an amazing story of survival and the true meaning of leadership.


The Islands at the End of the World

By Austin Aslan,

Book cover of The Islands at the End of the World

When sixteen-year-old Leilani and her father traveled to O’ahu from Hilo to try a promising but experimental treatment for her epilepsy, they never expected to be stranded in the middle of a worldwide geomagnetic storm. With tsunamis striking randomly, all modern technology broken, and facing food shortages under martial law, Leilani and her father have to fight their way home. Along the way, Leilani discovers that the one thing that makes her different may be the one thing that saves us all. It’s an apocalyptic page-turner centered on Hawaii’s ecology and traditional cultural solutions.

The Islands at the End of the World

By Austin Aslan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Islands at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this fast-paced survival story set in Hawaii, electronics fail worldwide, the islands become completely isolated, and a strange starscape fills the sky. Leilani and her father embark on a nightmare odyssey from Oahu to their home on the Big Island. Leilani’s epilepsy holds a clue to the disaster, if only they can survive as the islands revert to earlier ways. 
   A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the…


'Ewa Which Way

By Tyler Miranda,

Book cover of 'Ewa Which Way

This coming-of-age story is powerful, immediate, and like a bloody scraped knee, painfully evocative of the transition between childhood and adulthood. I loved this book for its ability to show all the complicated rules, expectations, and entanglements of being a kid trying to make sense out of adult behavior. Set in ‘Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i, in 1982, Landon and Luke face prejudices of class and race, their parents’ alcohol abuse and valium popping coping mechanisms, and sheer dysfunction. Landon shares his reality with heartbreaking twelve-year-old clarity.   

'Ewa Which Way

By Tyler Miranda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 'Ewa Which Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fiction. EWA WHICH WAY is a coming-of-age novel set in the early 1980s, around the time of Hurricane ‘Iwa. The DeSilva family, in economic straits, has suffered the setback of having to move from town to Ewa Beach, and the dissonance between parents impacts the lives of their young sons, Landon and Luke. In addition to humorous moments of growing up local, Portuguese, and Catholic, there are serious underlying themes regarding religion, ethnic tensions, assimilation issues, domestic violence, and the reality that children sometimes need to find their own way in the world at a very young age. With problems…


Pinto!

By M.J. Evans,

Book cover of Pinto!

Although I enjoy reading fiction the most, this true story, Pinto, intrigued me because the “star” of the show is a horse. Set in 1912, four men, called the "Overland Westerners," decided fame and fortune awaited them as they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all 48 state capitals in 3 years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World's Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves, and near starvation, the men went through 17 horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey... Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the sky! The page-turning book describes Pinto's account of his dangerous adventure. 

Pinto!

By M.J. Evans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

★"A forgotten piece of Americana brought to vivid life."★ —Kirkus Review

In 1912, four men, calling themselves the "Overland Westerners," decided fame and fortune awaited if they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all forty-eight state capitals over the course of three years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World's Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves and near starvation, the men went through seventeen horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey...Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the whole country! This is…


All about Dad and Me

By Rockridge Press,

Book cover of All about Dad and Me: A Journal for Fathers and Daughters

I wish I had a book like this when I was a moody teenager! My dad and I could have been closer and shared more things. A journal like this helps show pre-teens that their father was pretty cool when he was younger, and that parents and kids probably have more in common than they think! This book for 8-12-year-old daughters has questions that both dad and daughter answer plus prompters such as What is your greatest talent? It’ll make a great keepsake for daughters to revisit when they are an adult.

All about Dad and Me

By Rockridge Press,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All about Dad and Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Deepen your connection to your 8- to 12-year-old daughter using this fun, encouraging journal

From sharing embarrassing stories to describing your perfect day, this dad journal is an opportunity for you and your daughter to learn about each other through writing exercises that encourage honesty, humor, and understanding.

This guided journal will help you strengthen the bond between you and your pre-teen girl with:

A range of thought-provoking prompts―Father-daughter relationships are rewarding, but they can also be an emotional roller coaster at times. Both dad and daughter will answer the same questions, from lighthearted entries to deeper questions about your…


The Elvenbane

By Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey,

Book cover of The Elvenbane

Probably the most traditional book on this list, I am starting with The Elvenbane because it is my measuring stick for other fantasy. I read it first as a preteen, and I have revisited it many years since, always to be delighted by the world Norton and Lackey created. The detailed illusions, varied settings, the disparate magics, and the mischievous dragons all kept me guessing and in a haze of delight. There was so much that was familiar but with fresh twists that made it new again. It might not be as novel as the other books on my list, but a fantasy has hit the spot if it brings me back to the wonder I felt reading The Elvenbane.

The Elvenbane

By Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Possessed of great magical abilities, the Elvenlords can change the very world around them to suit their will. They rule their human slaves with an iron hand but they also fear them. According to an ancient prophecy, one day the Elvenbane - a person half-elf and half-human will be born, and the elvenlords will be overthrown. Neither the elves nor the desperate humans know that the prophecy was created by a third, hidden race: the dragons. The dragonkin love to secretly manipulate the elven society and they get a fresh chance when a human woman, pregnant by an Elvenlord, flees…


Letting Go!

By Dr. Sharie Coombes, Ellie O’Shea (illustrator),

Book cover of Letting Go!

Grief, unfortunately, is a part of life. Western culture has a habit of ignoring and minimizing grief in detrimental ways. When we gently turn toward the difficult stuff in life, we can “feel and deal” in ways that benefit mental health. There are many books about grieving the death of a loved one (a list for another day, perhaps), but few acknowledge the other intense and life-altering kinds of loss and change that children are grieving. Dr. Coombes’ book is much more inclusive–plus, it delivers a treasure trove of activities to help children (and adults) navigate this challenging part of being human. The delightful doodles will appeal to upper elementary and quite a few tweens and teens.

Letting Go!

By Dr. Sharie Coombes, Ellie O’Shea (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

These writing, craft, and doodling activities are designed to offer children support through experiences of loss, change, disappointment, and grief by using creativity to combat negative feelings and help them work through difficult times.


On The Roof

By Samantha Hahn,

Book cover of On The Roof: A look inside Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

If you’ve never done theater, this book will have you running for the nearest audition. The non-fiction book contains heartwarming reflections from the cast, crew, and creative team for Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, including director Joel Grey. Readers get an inside look at show life, from cast bonding to pre-opening stress to performance mishaps. The vignettes convey what each cast and crew member contributes to making the magic happen. While heavy on the feel-good memories, it rings true and mesmerizes.

Theatre Quotient: High. It’s all theater, all the time!

On The Roof

By Samantha Hahn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A look inside Off-Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, the ground-breaking, award-winning musical.
Samantha Hahn, the youngest member of the cast, tells the story of how "Yiddish Fiddler" came to be.
Samantha has interviewed the cast, crew, and creative team - each with a unique take on the show and the impact it has had on their lives - for a behind-the-scenes look at what makes "Yiddish Fiddler" so special.
On the Roof takes the reader on a never before seen journey - from rehearsals that end in tears and screaming in elevators, to the beautiful bonds between company…


Between Perfect and Real

By Ray Stoeve,

Book cover of Between Perfect and Real

A high school production of Romeo and Juliet isn’t the focus of this plot, but the book still makes my shortlist. The concept of a trans guy acknowledging his gender identity after having been cast as a girl playing the boy Romeo is profound. Dean questions his gender as rehearsals progress. By showtime, he decides to use the production’s program to publicly announce he is trans. Friend and parental issues arise, so there’s plenty of drama on and off the stage in this one.

Theater Quotient: Medium. Gender identity is the focus, but rehearsals and performances figure prominently.

Between Perfect and Real

By Ray Stoeve,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding his voice--and himself

Dean Foster knows he's a trans guy. He's watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he's a lesbian--including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a "nontraditional" Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now--not just on the stage, but everywhere in…


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