Whether your child is super excited to head back to school, or groans loudly every single time you mention the impending start of the new school year, books can be a wonderful tool for starting a discussion with your child about the upcoming year — and for finding out what it is they are most excited (or apprehensive) about.
To help ease your child’s transition back to the classroom and potentially initiate some insightful conversations, here is a collection of fabulous titles that can be enjoyed by independent readers or as a read-aloud together.
Kindergarten: Clifford Goes to Kindergarten by Norman Bridwell
Emily Elizabeth is worried about starting kindergarten, but when she receives a letter from her teacher suggesting she bring something from home to help her feel more comfortable, Emily decides to bring Clifford! He helps her realize that school can be a ton of fun — and that this big transition comes with supportive teachers, new friends, and fun activities.
First Grade: Ready, Freddy! series by Abby Klein
Join Freddy Thresher and his friends as they settle into elementary school, facing the everyday trials and tribulations that students in early elementary grades will so easily relate to. In the first book of the series, Tooth Trouble, Freddy is the only kid in his first grade class who hasn’t yet lost a tooth. As a result, his name doesn’t appear on the Big Tooth class list (ugh)! What lengths will Freddy go to in order to have his name added to the class list?
Second Grade: Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows
When Ivy — a shy, quiet girl — meets the rambunctious Bean, they initially have nothing in common. In fact, they're rather reluctant to be friends at first. But the two 7-year-olds soon become the best of friends! With their neighborhood pals, Ivy and Bean get up to all kinds of hilarious adventures and mischief. Through it all, they learn about the ins and outs of friendship and acceptance for exactly who they are!
Third Grade: Marty McGuire by Kate Messner
Marty is a tomboy, and lately she’s been having some issues with her best friend, Annie, who recently embraced dancing, frilly things, and new friendships. In order to win Annie’s friendship back, Marty plays dress up and tries to learn to dance with the other girls at recess, but she’d much rather be over with the boys at the pond as they try to catch a bullfrog! When the school play is announced, guess who's shocked to find out she’s been cast in the role of the princess in The Frog Prince? Marty comes up with her own plan to improve the play, and as a result, delivers a one-of-a-kind performance in this tale about friendship and staying true to yourself.
Fourth Grade: The Complete Set of Fudge by Judy Blume
Beginning with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, kids are introduced to Peter Hatcher's hilarious little brother, Fudge, who often comes up with the zaniest ideas for fun, all of which go unpunished by their parents! Fudge annoys Peter, and as he grows through books like Superfudge and Fudge-a-Mania, Peter keeps having to come to terms with Fudge's hurricane personality.
Fifth Grade: Luna Fortuna by Diana Lopez
Fifth grader Luna has a lot to think about. She has more cousins than she can count, and they always seem to be getting her into trouble. When she locks her know-it-all cousin Claudia in the bathroom at their cousin’s quinceañera, Luna’s hats get taken away from her for a month (which is a big deal because she's embarassed by her hair, and her hats make her feel more comfortable!). To make matters worse, Claudia transfers to her school and the other kids start making fun of her. In this touching read, Luna has to decide what matters more: her family or her reputation.
Sixth Grade: Raina Telgemeier books
Raina Telgemeier takes her stories from her own experiences growing up. With relatable situations like navigating middle school and forging a relationship with siblings among others, these books will make your child feel understood and confident as they experience their own growth. With titles like Smile and Sisters, there are many ways the author's experiences speak to middle-school readers today.
Get ready for your child to go back to school with our guide — it's full of recommended books (like this list of books about moving to a new school), teacher tips, homework help, and more resources for a successful school year.
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