We are all in Back to School mode now, and kids can sometimes have some big feelings surrounding this transition. A great way to help kids process these emotions is through stories. Here I’ve included some of my favorite books for back to school. These are great to be read at home or in the classroom.
All of these books have a great message for kids about how they feel about going Back to School. What is the most helpful though is a meaningful, open discussion after reading. Instead of putting the child on the spot by asking about their feelings, you can focus on their interpretation of the character’s feelings. You could also ask “If you were the main character, what would you have wanted to be different or the same?” “How would you have handled that situation or what would you have done if you were the main character in this story?” Listening to their answers to questions like these can give you insight into what big feelings your child is experiencing and how they are managing those emotions. Then you can decide if you need to offer more connection or support during this transitional time.
Most of these books can be found at your local library, but I know from experience, they may be hard to find checked in at this time of year. I’ve included the Amazon links here for your convenience (Thank you Prime shipping!). Please note, that if you purchase any of the books through these links I do make a small commission to help me keep this blog sharing great information with you parents and teachers, so thank you for supporting our small business. Without further ado, here are my Favorite 15:
- The Berestain Bears Go To School – This is my all time favorite back to school book, probably because I just adore Stan & Jan Berenstain. I think they write about so many things kids face everyday in such a relatable, easy to read story. Most kids can relate to Brother and Sister Bear and how they are feeling.
- Franklin Goest to School – Franklin is another series that I love using, both in the classroom and at home. The calm language and social lessons Franklin learns really help kids figure out some tricky situations with friends.
- Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes – My kids love this book, all of my students over the years and my own personal kids! It’s such a fun way to give the kids a tour of a school while encouraging them not to worry.
- First Day Jitters – I love how this book puts fears and anxieties about school out in the open and reassures kids that they are not the only ones with these feelings. Kids love the surprise ending of this book!
- The Kissing Hand – Another book I always read to my Kindergartners, Audrey Penn has a way of calming fears of leaving parents behind to go to school. A must read if your child has a hard time with separation.
- Wemberly Worried – Kevin Henkes helps kids who worry to realize that school is fun and there is no need to worry so much! A great book for discussing worries or fears your child may have about starting school.
- David Goes to School – David Shannon has a way of connecting with “active” kids who may not fit into the sit & learn student model. He shows that students are loved, no matter what and kids love seeing David’s antics.
- Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon – A great book about being confident in yourself and standing up to bullies. The illustrations fit the story perfectly and students love to show me how they “Stand Tall” after we are finished reading!
- Chrysanthemum – Fitting in is often kids biggest worry when starting school and it can be hard to fit in if you have a unique name. Kevin Henkes does a great job proving the point that everyone is absolutely perfect!
- Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School – I loved Amelia Bedelia growing up and have truly enjoyed sharing her quirkiness with my kids over the years. May be more suitable for older children who will understand the play on words.
- If You Take a Mouse to School – Laura Numeroff’s series is great for teaching cause and effect and this book makes school fun!
- How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? – The Dinosaurs books are great for students, especially boys, as the Dinos are also rambunctious and playful.
- First Day of School (Little Critter) – Little Critter is another great character for teaching social skills and exploring feelings. I love how independent he is and encourages kids that they can do things too.
- Clifford’s First School Day – Everybody loves Clifford! Kids love seeing Clifford as a puppy because he was so tiny. The school day he experiences is different from many schools today, but kids can still relate to the adventures he gets himself into.
- This School Year Will be The Best! – This book explores children’s hopes, wishes and dreams for the school year. It’s a great discussion opener for setting goals for the school year.
Bonus for my Kindergarten friends: Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten – Everyone’s favorite Kindergarten teacher gives a glimpse into the Teacher side of back to school. Kids love the alphabetic animal characters and vibrant illustrations.
What are your favorite Back to School books?