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Life at the Library

Posted on: August 23, 2019

Our favorite back to school books for kids and teens

back to school TW

The slight chill in the morning air and the aisles of notebooks and pens at your favorite retailer can only mean one thing – it's almost time to head back to school! In honor of this change in season, we looked to our expert children's librarians to get some of their favorite picture books, chapter books, and young adult books about school. Here's what they recommend!

Picture Books

book cover schools first day of schoolSchool’s First Day of School by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson – Everyone has anxiety about the new school year, especially school! What will happen when all the children arrive? Will everything be clean and tidy? This delightful story depicts a contemporary school, based within iconic school imagery, from a new perspective. – Katelyn, Park Grove Library
book cover rosie goes to preschoolRosie Goes to Preschool by Karen Katz – It's the first day of preschool, and the narrator, Rosie, knows everything a new preschooler needs to know. Rosie introduces the reader to her cubby, her teacher, her reading circle, her music class, her lunch table, and more. Rosie helped my own daughter feel prepared and confident about starting preschool. For those kids who like to know what to expect, Rosie’s is their girl! – Dawn, Library Administration
book cover fish in a treeFish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt – Ally doesn't always feel comfortable in class. She is in the sixth grade but the letters on the page always seem to slow her down and the teachers just don't get her. But this time it's different, because she has an awesome teacher, Mr. Daniels, who sees much more to Ally than others. – Shelby, Hardwood Creek Library
book cover the pigeon has to go to schoolThe Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems – The pigeon must go to school, but frets about math, learning the alphabet, heavy backpacks, and what the teacher and other birds will think of him. Finally, a new Pigeon book! Kids familiar with Mo Willem’s notorious pigeon character will laugh at his usual antics and might recognize themselves in his long list of “what ifs” that go along with the first day of school jitters. – Dawn, Library Administration


Chapter Books

book cover the unbeatable squirrel girlThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale – Moving to a new school on the other side of the county is hard, especially when you have a lush squirrel tail! Doreen Green, age 14 is transplanted to New Jersey and finds blending in when you have the powers of a squirrel (climbing trees, super strength and squirrel communication to name a few) isn't easy. But when Doreen begins to go undercover as Squirrel Girl on her search to figure out where all the stray dogs are coming from she makes new friends and even knocks down some bad guys, but not without giving them a thorough talking to about their bad behavior! – Shelby, Hardwood Creek Library
book coverharriet the spyHarriet the Spy by Louis Fitzhugh – As a quiet, bookish kid who loved to write, Harriet was one of my favorite characters as a kid. Harriet keeps a secret notebook on her friends, classmates, and neighbors… but finds herself in trouble when the notebook falls into the wrong hands. – Kim, Library Administration


Young Adult Books

book cover piecing me togetherPiecing Me Together by Renée Watson – Jade is given opportunities that don't always feel right, at her mostly white private school. When Jade is partnered with a mentor who is black like her, she can't see how they are similar in the least. Not only does this a deep look at how racial biases continue to effect students, it is also a Maud Hart Lovelace Division II choice for 2020. – Shelby, Hardwood Creek Library
book cover the infinite inbetweenThe Infinite In Between by Caroline Mackler – This book is about five who meet at their freshman orientation, and follows their experiences throughout high school. It’s not a “friendship” story as much as a story about how formative the high school years are. The teens grow and change, and they deal with a gauntlet of experiences. It’s very, very good! – Amy, Oakdale Library


Still looking for your next great read? Browse through our catalog to find a great book, or reach out to a Washington County librarian at your local branch to get their best recommendation for you. Happy reading!

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