You know that feeling when you finish a book you absolutely loved? That mix of joy, satisfaction, and sadness that it’s over? Leaving characters that have become friends is never easy. It can be so hard to start a new book after finishing one you enjoyed so much, but fear not! Here is a list of read-alikes to help you say goodbye to beloved old characters and meet new ones.
Did you like "Last Stop on Market Street?" Try "The Big Umbrella" by June Bates.
Reading Level: Kindergarten and up
The big umbrella has room for anyone and everyone. No matter now hard it rains, how many legs you have, what you're wearing, what you do, there's always room to stay dry underneath. Like Last Stop on Market Street, The Big Umbrella celebrates the beauty of diversity, kindness, and community building.
Are you sad that "Smile" by Raina Telgemeier is over already? Give "Real Friends" by Shannon Hale a read.
Reading Level: Grade 3 and up
Like "Smile," "Real Friends" is an autobiographical graphic novel about the author’s middle grade years. Shannon has been best friends with Adrienne ever since they were little. When Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girls in school, Shannon is left to figure out who her real friends are and make surprising discoveries about herself along the way.
If you loved the characters in "Because of Mr. Terupt" by Rob Buyea, try "Ms. Bixby’s Last Day" by John David Anderson.
Reading Level: Grade 4 and up
"Ms. Bixby’s Last Day" follows three students as they navigate their favorite teacher’s illness and absence from school. Like "Because of Mr. Terupt," the book shifts perspective, each chapter from a different student’s point of view. As each character shares his story, the perspectives come together like puzzle pieces to reveal a humorously told story of friendship, loss, and life. This is also a fabulous audiobook that really brings the characters to life, perfect for long road trips.
Just can’t get enough "Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling? Try "Akata Witch" by Nnedi Okorafor.
Reading Level: Grade 6 and up
Born in America to Nigerian parents, twelve-year-old Sunny moves to Nigeria and starts to notice some interesting things about herself. Her magical powers develop as she and three similarly gifted friends start on an adventure of a lifetime.
If you liked "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, try "Divergent" by Veronica Roth. You already read "Divergent?" Try "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner. Oh, you already read "The Maze Runner," too? Try "Legend" by Marie Lu.
Reading Level: Grade 7 and up
In "Legend," the Republic is a nation that is constantly at war with its neighbors. A 15 year old from one of the wealthiest districts is set to enter the higher circles of the military, until the murder of her brother sends her on the ultimate cat and mouse chase.
Did you fall in love with "The Fault in Our Stars," "Looking for Alaska," or all of John Green's books? Try "Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah" by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Reading Level: Grade 9 and up
The twins are known for throwing crazy parties at their grandmother’s Manhattan apartment. But they’re graduating, the apartment is sold, and it’s time for one last hurrah, their best dinner party yet. The catch? They each get to invite three guests, and they’re not telling each other who’s on the guest list. Socialites, exes, strangers from the subway: it’s sure to be a crazy night!
We all know how hard it can be to pick up that next book after finishing a beloved story. This list is a great starting point for finding that next read that might become your new favorite. And don't be afraid to try something a different genre, either. You never know what might be your next literary love.