Books: Back-to-School Reads
Great books to welcome students back to class.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
1 | Community Soup
By Alma Fullerton
In this Kenyan spin on Stone Soup, a group of kids comes up with a way to help make the village soup, and save some wily goats, to boot. Lush paper-sculpture art. Grades PreK–2.
2 | Map My Neighborhood
By Jennifer Boothroyd
This simple graphic book, which is part of a series, is perfect for a start-of-year community unit. Comes with teaching guide and available as an e-book. Grades K–2.
3 | Monstergarten
By Daniel J. Mahoney, illustrated by Jef Kaminsky
A little monster tries hard to be fierce but finds out his best tactic is just to be himself. Kids will love the colorful and goofy drawings. Grades PreK–1.
4 | Joe and Sparky Go to School
By Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
A giraffe and a turtle hitch a ride on a bus “for noisy short people” and end up having a day of mishaps
in Ms. Hootie’s class. Grades K–2.
5 | Tony Baloney: School Rules
By Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
An eager little penguin breaks all of Mrs. Gamboney’s rules on his first day — but ends by showing he’s the best friend ever. Grades K–2.
6 | The Invisible Boy
By Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Patrice Barton
A lonely boy who loves to draw aliens and dragons goes from B&W to color by using his skills to make friends. Pitch-perfect words and art. Grades 1–3.
7 | One + One = Blue
By MJ Auch
Two preteens with similar “freakisms” (they have synesthesia) bond after a bumpy start and help each other find a way to navigate school and troubled family dynamics. Grades 6–8.
8 | Troublemaker
By Andrew Clements
Frindle author Clements tells a cautionary tale of serial troublemaker Clay. It takes a brother who’s been to jail and a wise principal to set him straight. Grades 3–7.
9 | Star Wars: Jedi Academy
By Jeffrey Brown
Middle school is tough everywhere: In this graphic novel, Roan thinks he’s doomed when he’s rejected by Pilot School — until he rocks Jedi Academy. Grades 4–7.
10 | My Life as a Cartoonist
By Janet Tashjian, illustrated by Jack Tashjian
Cartoonist Derek butts heads with a wheelchair-driving bully — until they unite. From an award-winning mother-son team. Grades 4–7.