Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

7 Books to Read If You Loved ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’

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Want to read more? Find more books like your favorites?

Well woof and double woof! Cuz you’ve come to the right place!

Fine Wine Fridays

Kimber here. I can’t wait to tell you about a new feature Mom and I are launching here at Pages and Paws. We’re calling it Fine Wine Fridays. (I was holding out for Excellently Scrumptious and Splendiferous Read-a-Like Book Lists That Are So Delicious, They’re Even Better Than My Fave Dog Chow or Squeaky Toy. Mom nixxed that. You know how moms are.)

Anyway! We’ll be featuring The Best in rich, full bodied read-a-like books every other Friday. You may even want to sit down with these titles and pair them with a glass of… whatever. Like:

  • 10 Books to Read if You Loved The Hunger Games
  • 15 Great Reads Set in WWII
  • 10 Books to Read if You Loved The Chronicles of Narnia
  • 12 Great Read Alouds
  • 8 Books to Read if You Loved The Art of Racing in the Rain

You know who thought up that last one, right? Arf! (Being a genius is hard work. But I’m up for the challenge!)


Once we get enough lists going, we’ll add titles to our NEW Fine Wine Category so you can see the different groupings all in one place. We’ll update on a monthly-ish basis. (I know. It’s a bark-worthy stroke of brilliance. And to be honest, it was my idea. Well, okay. Mom helped a little. You know how moms are.)


Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Fine Wine Fridays. Where we only recommend books we’ve actually read. Personally. So…

If You Loved Where the Crawdads Sing…

Mom insists on leading off our new feature with 7 Books to Read If You Loved Where the Crawdads Sing. (I lobbied for Lassie Come Home. I’m a Border Collie mix, dontcha know? So I’m sure Lassie’s like, a cousin or something. But you still know how moms are, right?)

7 Hand-Picked Read-a-Likes

Here are 7 hand-picked book selections with themes or writing styles similar to Where the Crawdads Sing. Both fiction and non-fiction, all feature strong solo or dual characters in outdoor settings that are both beautiful and challenging. Ditto complicated relationships. Includes both fiction and non-fiction.

Image result for Hatchet Book cover

1. Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen


A 1988 Newbery Honor Winner, this is the first book in the Hatchet series.

Like Kya the Marsh Girl in Where the Crawdads Sing, young Brian must survive on his own when the small plane he’s flying in to visit his estranged father crash-lands in a lake in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. The only tool he has is a hatchet given to him by his mother. A compelling, engaging read.

Image result for Born Free A Lioness Book Cover

2. Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds, by Joy Adamson.


(Read my full review here)


Set in Kenya, this compelling true story chronicles the mutual affection and bond between an orphaned lion cub, Elsa, and the Adamsons, who loved her enough to let her go. Powerful, poignant, and timeless.

One of the most moving and inspiring “animal story” I’ve ever read, with lush descriptions of the flora and fauna of East Africa.


Image result for The Edge of Nowhere Book cover

3. The Edge of Nowhere, by C.H. Armstrong

Historical fiction

(Read my full review here)

Told in the first person, The Edge of Nowhere is set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl days of the “Dirty Thirties.”  This briskly paced, gripping story of one woman’s courage and resilience in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds will have you asking “Then what?” until the final page. Like Kya the Marsh Girl, Victoria Hastings Harrison Greene is a survivor. I couldn’t put it down! Loosely based on the author’s grandmother.

Image result for I Am Still Alive Book COVER

4. I Am Still Alive, by Kate Alice Marshall



Sixteen-year-old Jess Cooper suddenly finds herself alone – along with a wolf dog named Bo – in the Canadian wilderness after the murder of her father. A “heart-pounding story of survival and revenge in the unforgiving wilderness” similar to Crawdads. Only colder. Much colder.


Image result for A River Runs Through It Book Cover

5. A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean


This semi-autobiographical novella is recognized as one of the great American tales of the 20th century. Vivid descriptions about the author’s growing-up years in Montana, fly-fishing, and the interlocking beauty between nature, life and art abound.


Image result for Sky in the Deep Book Cover

6. Sky in the Deep, by Adrienne Young



Set in the frozen fjords of the far north, you can almost hear the snow crunch and see your breath when reading this enchanting story. Like Where the Crawdads Sing, this richly plotted coming-of-age tale is Viking-esque in its sweep and sense of outdoor adventure, intrigue, and battles both seen and unseen.


Hardcover Island of the Blue Dolphins Book

7. Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell

Historical Fiction

For strong female characters taking on the elements solo, it doesn’t get much better than this beloved classic.


What titles would you recommend for fans of Where the Crawdads Sing?

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