August 14, 2017

10 Must Read Books for Back to School

Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year.


It's that time of year to start getting ready to go Back to School (cue the Grease 2 song). Do you already have your read alouds planned for the first few weeks of school? If not, hopefully this list will help make the first days easier with some amazing book recommendations. And if you do already have your books planned, maybe you'll find a new book to read. I have decided to include some classics that every teacher has probably read at least once as well as some of my new favorites that I think you'll love too!

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And here they are, my 10 must read books for back to school!


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. The Kissing Hand

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

The Kissing Hand is one of the classics that I'm sure most of you have already read multiple times, but a back to school list of books would not be complete without it. This is a sweet story to help out any of your students who may be feeling a little sad and missing their families.


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. Miss Nelson is Missing

Miss Nelson is Missing by James Marshall

I have been reading Miss Nelson is Missing to students since I was a substitute teacher, which was 15 years ago! Sweet Miss Nelson goes missing and is replaced with the mean Viola Swamp. I love using this book to remind students that while we can have fun there are still rules that need to be followed. You don't want Miss Viola Swamp to show up when those rules are broken!


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. A Fine, Fine School

A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech

Principal Keene loves his school so much that he thinks there needs to be even more of it. In fact, maybe students should go to school on holidays, weekends, and even during summer vacation! This is a fun book that reminds us of all the amazing things about our schools and why learning is important. I like to use it as an opportunity for students to write about the things that make our school a fine, fine school.


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. David Goes to School

David Goes to School by David Shannon

David Goes to School and No David are both books by David Shannon that I'm sure you've read before, but I felt the list would be incomplete without them. (You're actually getting a bonus recommendation with No David - so these are books #4 and #4.5 on the list!) These books starring the lovable but mischievous David are a great way to remind students about the rules in school.


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. This School Year will be the Best

This School Year will be the Best! By Kay Winters

I only recently found out about this book. I honestly wish I knew about it when I was a classroom teacher. In this book, the students share their wishes for the upcoming school year. These wishes range from the expected to the very unexpected! A really fun follow-up writing activity could be having your students write their realistic and/or creative wishes for your school year together.


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. First Day Jitters

First Day Jitters by Julie Dannenberg

We have all felt a bit nervous about the first day of school, either as a teacher or when we were students ourselves. (If you haven't ever felt this way, I want to know your secret!) This is the story of one learner's struggles on the first day. It helps us empathize for the emotions others might be feeling but reassures us that it will all be alright!


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes by James Dean & Eric Litwin

I have a confession... I have only recently read Pete the Cat books for the first time! Yes, it's true... Now close your mouth since I know this is very shocking, but I have redeemed myself by turning into a fan! Pete is a cool cat with a catchy tune about his shoes that you're sure to get stuck in your head!


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. My Mouth is a Volcano

My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook

A few years ago this book seemed to be showing up everywhere I looked online, so I had to see what all of the hype was about! I'm definitely glad I did! I'm sure we've all had experiences with students who always have something to say and they have to say the second it comes into their minds. This is a lighthearted book that sympathizes with those students about how it feels to have so many important things to say but also teaches them the value of listening to others and waiting to speak.


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON'T by Elise Parsley

Elise Parsley has quickly become one of my favorite authors! If you haven't read any of her books before, you need to read them ASAP! In this hilarious book, she explores what might happen if you were to bring an alligator to school for show and tell. As you read it, be sure to pay close attention to the details since they add another level of humor to the book. Students will love to write about other mishaps that could happen as a result from bringing in the wrong item (or creature) for show and tell!


Rounding up a list of 10 children's books you must read at the beginning of the school year. You're Finally Here

You're Finally Here by Melanie Watt

You're Finally Here is another funny book by Melanie Watt who also writes the hilarious adventures of Scaredy Squirrel. In this book, we meet a cute bunny who has been waiting a long time for you to arrive. It is a great way to welcome students to your classroom by letting them know how excited you are they're there and how you've been patiently awaiting their arrival. Plus, it's fitting since kids think teachers live at school anyway! 


There you have it, my list of 10 Must Read Books for Back to School. Did you find any new books on the list? Are there any books you love that did not make my list? Please share your book recommendations in the comments!



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