5 Back-to-School Stories and Other Picks for Classroom Libraries
Stories about first-day jitters and making new friends, from favorite authors, about math, and more
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?
By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. $16.99
Yolen and Teague illuminate once more the logistics of dinosaur life, this time with an eye toward the classroom. Teague's smart illustrations make this series,and kids will get a kick out of centrosaurus riding to school on top of a minivan. Grades PreK-2
The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School
By Candace Fleming. $15.99.
Fleming spins a series of modern fables about a charismatic and wily group of kids.Stories that literally end with a moral run the risk of pedantry, but the author's innate sense of humor and school life make this a nice companion to Aesop's traditional tales. Grades 3-6
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf
By Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Elicia Castaldi. $12.99.
We can't stop flipping through the pages of this Year Told Through Stuff. It's the story of Ginny Davis's seventh-grade year, but instead of traditional text, there are school schedules,handwritten notes, instant messages, and even bank statements. It's a pitch-perfect choice for reluctant readers. Grades 5-8
Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie
By Laura Rankin. $15.95.
Ruthie likes small things: dinky dinosaurs and itty-bitty trains. So she's in heaven when she discovers a teeny tiny camera on the playground. But then Martin says the camera is his. Rankin nails Ruthie's voice and dilemma, and this book would be a great way to talk recess ethics. Grades PreK-3
Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for School?
By Barney Saltzberg. $25.99.
David Shannon fans, meet Cornelius P. Mud. This little pig's spunkiness and Saltzberg's vivid humorous illustrations echo Shannon at his best. Use this silly story as a springboard to talk about morning routines. Grades PreK-2
5 Treats From Old Friends
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
By Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle. $16.95.
Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle again bring a cast of wild animals to life using simple rhyming text and colorful illustrations. Readers will meet a red fox, a flying squirrel, and a blue heron–not to mention two picture-book legends. Grades PreK-2
The Aurora County All-Stars
By Deborah Wiles. $16.
This novel proves that Each Little Bird That Sings was no fluke: Wiles has the storytelling goods. Here, she tells the adventures of House Jackson, who must confront the nefarious director of his town's anniversary pageant. Grades 3-7
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World
By E.L. Konigsburg. $16.99.
Two kids, an eccentric old woman, and a mysterious piece of art–Konigsburg created this formula for success with From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and continues it in this brand-new, completely original adventure. Grades 4-8
Aunt Nancy and the Bothersome Visitors
By Phyllis Root,illustrated by David Parkins. $16.99.
The award-winning author of Big Momma Makes the World is back with a rollicking collection of trickster tales that begs to be read aloud. Readers will be hooked from the first line: "Aunt Nancy should of knowed Old Man Trouble was in the neighborhood." Grades 2-5
By Jerry Spinelli. $16.99.
inally, we discover what happened to the mysterious girl that ruled Leo's life–this time,from her enchanting perspective. Spinelli delivers a companion story to the best-selling Startgirl that is just as compelling as the first. Grades 6 and up
4 Books You Can Count On
Fun story lines plus a dose of 1, 2, 3's that equals a back-to-school review that's tops.