Whether you’re a first-year teacher or you’ve been teaching for 20 years, meeting a room full of new faces is enough to make anyone a little nervous.

That’s why creating a community, getting to know your class, and guiding students to build character and form friendships is one of the most important ways to get the back-to-school season off on the right foot.

With the help of Scholastic’s experienced team of librarians, we’re sharing some favorite stories of friendship and connection. From stocking your classroom library to welcoming students with a fresh, new book on their desk—these stories are full of inspiration and wisdom about what to look for in a friend and how to be one.

Meet some of the characters that you and your kids will all want to befriend this fall.

From read-alouds to Me Boards—these books will help build classroom community and establish positive teacher-student and student-student relationships for the year.

Visit the Scholastic Teacher Store to shop more inspiring stories of friendship.