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Head Back To School With Books 12 Reading Recommendations To Start Off a New Year

Ease the return-to-school jitters with stories about schooltime adventures.

Board Book

“Pete the Kitty’s First Day of Preschool”

“Pete the Kitty’s First Day of Preschool”
by Kimberly and James Dean


Pete the Kitty is getting ready for his first day of preschool in this fun and colorful board book. Armed with his school supplies, snacks and a backpack, Pete has so much fun making friends at school. Pete also joins in the fun activities like listening to stories, making art and singing his favorite songs. Who knew preschool was so cool?

Picture Books

“I Got the School Spirit”

“I Got the School Spirit”
by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison

Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Getting ready for a new school year is exciting and filled with wonder in this lively story. Following a student who is ready to learn and make friends, readers will get a glimpse into the great things that happen at school every day. Let the school spirit chase all your child’s anxious nerves away.

“Our Class Is a Family”

“Our Class Is a Family”
by Shannon Olsen, illustrated by Sandie Sonke

School can be a home away from home for students. This picture book about the sense of community and togetherness that can be felt in the classroom expresses this inspiring message. By creating a safe and welcoming space to learn, discover and grow, teachers make it possible for students to dream big. Regardless of where you attend school or the size of your class, caring for one another and making sure everyone feels included helps make class feel like a family.

“Butterflies On the First Day of School”

“Butterflies On the First Day of School”
by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Dream Chen

Sometimes starting something new can make you feel nervous, and that’s OK! In this beautiful picture book, Rosie is getting ready to start her first day of school and she’s feeling a bit scared. As she goes through her day meeting her teacher, sharing in class and playing with friends, Rosie starts to feel so much better. Read along to find out how wonderful school can be.

“I Will Be Fierce!”

“I Will Be Fierce!”
by Bea Birdsong, illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

Just like a hero in a fairy tale, a young student forges her way into a new school year. Facing the unknown with bravery and confidence, she discovers that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. This book details why you should fight for what you believe in and stay true to yourself.

“David Jumps In”

“David Jumps In”
by Alan Woo, illustrated by Katty Maurey

Anxious about starting a new school and having to make new friends, David feels a little lonely on his first day. Meeting new people can be scary sometimes, but David is not giving up. In this heartfelt story, see what happens when David shares a fun game with other classmates as he learns and plays at school.

Elementary Readers

“The Magnificent Makers”

“The Magnificent Makers #1: How To Test a Friendship”
by Theanne Griffith, illustrated by Reggie Brown

Best friends Pablo and Violet are excited to see each other on their first day back to school. When they get an assignment in science class, they’re joined by new student Deepak. Transported into a Maker Maze, the trio must work together to solve the mysterious science puzzles. Will they be able to find their way out of the maze and form new friendships along the way?

“Geeger the Robot Goes To School”

“Geeger the Robot Goes To School”
by Jarrett Lerner

Geeger, a very hungry robot, is gearing up for his first day of elementary school, and he’s nervous about fitting in with the other students. Will everyone like him? Read along as Geeger has one silly mishap after another in this funny first chapter book. If a robot can do it, so can you!

Middle Readers

“Power Up” (A Power Up Graphic Novel)

“Power Up” (A Power Up Graphic Novel)
by Sam Nisson, illustrated by Darnell Johnson

“Power Up” (volume 1) is an inventive graphic novel where the events take place online and in real life in a story that takes the reader from the halls of middle school to robot battles for the ages and back again. Rhys and Miles know each other online only as Backslash and Gryphon. Together, they make a formidable team while playing the video game Mecha Melee. Rhys and Miles aren’t even aware that they attend the same school. Life happens, and the two friends drift apart. Can Rhys and Miles play their way back to one another?

“Twins”

“Twins”
by Varian Johnson, illustrated by Shannon Wright

Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and absolute best friends. They literally do everything together. Just before the girls begin sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran and does everything she can to separate herself from Maureen. The sisters begin to grow apart, and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Has middle school changed their sisterhood forever?

Teens

“With the Fire On High”

“With the Fire On High”
by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ever since Emoni Santiago got pregnant her freshman year, her life has been all about making difficult decisions. She feels the pressure of doing what she must do for her daughter and her abuela. The kitchen is where Emoni can put all her stressors to the side and work to perfect dish after dish. Emoni’s dream is to become a chef, but she feels like that goal is impossible considering her current situation. Despite the limitations that Emoni believes she must abide by, she has a talent that’s begging to break free.

“Love a La Mode”

“Love à La Mode”
by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Rosie Radeke fully believes that happiness can be found within a mixing container. Never in her wildest dreams did she think a random girl from East Liberty, Ohio, could gain admission to celebrity chef Denis Laurent’s school in Paris. This program happens to be the most prestigious cooking program for teens across the globe. Faced with challenging curriculum and trying to adjust to such dramatic changes in atmosphere, Rosie begins to doubt her talents. Adding to this doubt, a potential love interest and rival by the name of Henry Yi arises. Can Rosie find a balance between love and goals?

About Conni Strittmatter

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