Short and sweet today. Six reads for a variety of school start-ups!
Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students from Around the World, by Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Isabel Muñoz
published in 2018 by Little Bee Books
Children from 13 different nations get to school in a fascinating variety of ways, including rickshaws and boats, amazing bridges, and tall ladders!
A thought-provoking, beautifully-illustrated compendium that will expand your understanding of this great big world! Ages 5 and up.
The Truth About My Unbelievable School, by Davide Cali, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
published in 2018 by Chronicle Books
Henry is taking the new student on a tour of their school, a most surprising, fantastical place! Will she be overwhelmed by the strangeness of it all? Hardly!
Discover why in this goofy delight for ages 4 and up.
Someone New, written and illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien
published in 2018 by Charlesbridge
I love O’Brien’s original title, I’m New Here, introducing four immigrant/refugee students who have just begun their first year in an American school. Here is her follow-up, seeing these same faces from the viewpoint of American students who are asked to welcome them to their classrooms and friendship circles.
That’s rarely easy from either vantage point, but O’Brien presents realistic, kindhearted paths towards inclusion. Thoughtful and helpful for ages 4 and up.
Nile Crossing, written by Katy Beebe, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
published in 2017 by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Khepri is a boy in Ancient Egypt. Just now he’s traveling to Thebes with his father for the start of something utterly new — scribe school.
Gorgeous, fascinating, factual, relatable, this is an excellent read for a variety of purposes or just for the sheer joy of discovery. Ages 5 and up.
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
published in 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
Ryan Higgins is a wonder at warmhearted humor that illustrates our foibles with charm, honesty, and love.
Penelope Rex feels a bit anxious about her first day of school, but that’s nothing to what her human classmates encounter when she indulges her craving for those tasty snacks, children! I mean, even when she obediently spits them out, they’re still dripping with dino-saliva. Ook.
How can Penelope learn to reign in her behavior and be the kind of classmate others want as a friend? A delightful, sideways look at social niceties for ages 5 and up.
This is My Home This is My School, written and illustrated by Jonathan Bean
published in 2015 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Still the best title — and an awesome one at that — for the more than a million homeschoolers in the United States. Bean presents a lively, creative life of discovery and learning rather than a sheltered, control-oriented setting.
If you are looking for a back-to-school book for home-educated children, this is by far and away your best bet. Ages 4 and up.
Lots more school stories…