Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to school, hooray!

School (skool), noun: Where kids go for nine months of the year to learn what made their parents so mixed-up.

A new school year can be confusing and full of questions. Here's a selected list of books old and new to help with the first-day-back jitters of kids and their parents. You can search any book in this list (and on all of BookBag) and locate a library copy near you simply by typing the title, subject or author in the World Catalog search box above on the left. (Booklist courtesy of, an educational-materials organization for teachers and students.)


Amanda Pig, School Girl by Jean Van Leeuwen. Outgoing Amanda befriends a shy girl pig on the first day of school.

Arthur’s Back to School Day by Lillian Hoban. While hurrying to get on the bus, Arthur and his friend unknowingly switch their lunch boxes; later Arthur finds out what surprise his sister had put in hers.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. Chrysanthemum loves her name, until she starts school and the other children make fun of it.

David Goes to School by D. Shannon. David's high-energy antics fill each school day with trouble.

First Day, Hooray! by Nancy Poydar. Ivy Green can't wait for school to start tomorrow. But she is also a little worried. What if she misses the bus? How will she find Mrs. Bell's room?

First Grade Can Wait by L. Aseltine. Luke does not feel ready to move on from kindergarten to the first grade, and he is relived when his parents and teacher decide he can stay in kindergarten for another year.

Froggy Goes to School by J. London. Froggy is nervous about his first day of school, but, even though it's hard to sit still, he has a wonderful time.

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park. A young girl describes her feelings about starting kindergarten and what happens when she decides not to ride the bus home.

Rachel Parker, Kindergarten Show Off by Ann M. Martin. Five-year-old Olivia's new neighbor Rachel is in her kindergarten class and they must overcome feelings of jealousy and competitiveness to be friends.

When Will I Read? by Miriam Cohen. Impatient to begin reading, a first grader doesn't realize that there is more to reading than books.


Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss. The hand-lettered contents of a nine-year-old girl's notebook, in which she records her thoughts and feelings about moving and starting a new school.

Arthur’s Teacher Trouble by Marc Brown. Third-grader Arthur is amazed when he is chosen to be in the school spell-a-thon.

Fourth Grade Weirdo by Martha Freeman. Mr. Ditzwinkle is a "spontaneous" teacher who does magic tricks and gives all kinds of crazy assignments that Dexter doesn't understand.

How to Survive Third Grade by Laurie Lawlor. Ernest, an unpopular third grader, has a difficult adjustment to make until he finds a friend.

Marianthe's Story: Painted Words and Marianthe's Story: Spoken Memories by Aliki. Two separate stories in one book, the first telling of Mari's starting school in a new land, and the second describing village life in her country before she and her family left in search of a better life.

Moses Goes to School by Isaac Millner. Here, Moses and his classmates, all of whom are deaf or hard of hearing, head back to their special school after summer break. The book combines the words with American Sign Language.

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. At first, Trisha loves school, but her difficulty learning to read makes her feel dumb, until, in the fifth grade, a new teacher helps her understand and overcome her problem.

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys by Elizabeth Howard. In the post-Civil War South, a young African American girl is determined to prove that she can go to school just like her older brothers.

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