The Good School

By Peg Tyre

Award-winning education journalist Peg Tyre mines up-to-the-minute research to equip parents with the tools and knowledge necessary to get their children the best education possible.

We all know that the quality of education served up to our children in U.S. schools ranges from outstanding to shockingly inadequate. How can parents tell the difference? And how do they make sure their kids get what’s best? Even the most involved and informed parents can feel overwhelmed and confused when making important decisions about their child’s education. And the scary truth is that evaluating a school based on test scores and college admissions data is like selecting a car based on the color of its paint. Synthesizing cutting-edge research and firsthand reporting, Peg Tyre offers parents far smarter and more sophisticated ways to assess a classroom and decide if the school and the teacher have the right stuff. Passionate and persuasive, “The Good School” empowers parents to make sense of headlines; constructively engage teachers, administrators, and school boards; and figure out the best option for their child—be that a local public school, a magnet program, a charter school, homeschooling, parochial, or private. (review courtesy of Amazon)

Wow! School!

By Robert Neubecker

If you are looking for a reassuring book about starting school (preschool or kindergarten) that will give you lots to talk about with your child, check out “Wow! School!” by Robert Neubecker. This almost wordless picture book features big, bright illustrations. It’s Izzy’s first day of school, and there’s so much for the little red-haired girl to see and do. Each of the book’s double-page spreads has a “wow!” caption and a very detailed, colorful, and childlike illustration of some aspect of the classroom and school activities.

The first spread, “Wow! Classroom” shows the entire room, including all the centers and bulletin boards, as well as the children playing and the teacher welcoming Izzy. Other illustrations include: “Wow! Teacher!,” “Wow! Art!,” “Wow! Books!,” “Wow! Lunch!,” “Wow! Playground!,” and “Wow! Music!” This is a positive book and gives such a detailed look at what to expect that it should be a big hit with children ages three to six.

(Review and photo courtesy of

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!

By Mo Willems

The Pigeon is about to get SCHOOLED. Do YOU think he should go? Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! Well … almost everything. And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? I mean, what if he learns TOO MUCH!?! Pigeon is a hilarious character in many beloved books by Mo Willems. This is a great one to help your child laugh and get ready for school!

(Review courtesy of

I am Too Absolutely Small for School

By Lauren Child

Lola is not so sure about school. After all, why would she need to count higher than ten when she never eats more than ten cookies at a time? And why write letters when you have a telephone? Once again, it’s up to ever-patient big brother Charlie to persuade Lola that school is worthwhile — and that her invisible friend, Soren Lorensen, will be welcome, too. Lauren Child’s delightful sibling duo returns to tackle first-day-of-school jitters with their own special brand of energy and humor.

(Review courtesy of

I Can Do Hard Things

By Gabi Garcia

What kids tell themselves matters! It becomes their inner voice. It can help them connect with their power within. Help your child tap into their inner strength and resilience when challenges arise. “I Can Do Hard Things” introduces children to the practice of using mindful affirmations for support and encouragement when they need it. It reflects the beautiful diversity in our world. “I Can Do Hard Things” is a perfect addition to your home or school social emotional library. Parents and educators can find free resources to accompany this book at

(Available in Spanish as Yo Puedo Hacer Cosas difíciles: Afirmaciones Conscientes Para Niños). (Review courtesy of Amazon)

The Everyday Journeys of Ordinary Things

By Libby Deutsch & Valpuri Kerttula (illustrator)

A wonderful book to get kids interested in learning new things and support their natural curiosity. This book is really, really good. It’s got lots of interesting facts, and it’s explained really nicely. I’m just looking at a page here, “Where do clothes come from?” It’s the journey of a pair of jeans and there are little facts—like where the word denim comes from, ‘de Nîmes’ in France—and then the whole process, from growing the cotton right through to shipping it to shops. The book looks at how the internet or GPS work, how electricity works when you turn on your lights. The book is just raising awareness that everything we do, at any moment in our lives, has a big knock-on effect: somebody, somewhere in another part of the world has done something, has grown something, something has been burned to provide electricity. It gives us a better understanding of our context in the whole natural world which I think, often, even as adults we don’t fully appreciate.

(Review from an interview of Mike Kendall, Professor of Geophysics at Oxford University and judge of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize)

Each Kindness

By Jacqueline Woodson (Author), E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)

Each kindness makes the world a little better

Chloe doesn’t really know why she turns away from the new girl, Maya, when Maya tries to befriend her. And every time Maya asks if she can play with Chloe and the other girls, the answer is always no. So Maya ends up playing alone. And then one day she’s gone. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the opportunity that’s been lost. How much better could it have been if she’d just shown Maya a little kindness and opened her heart to friendship? Newbery Honor-winning author Jacqueline Woodson and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis have created a beautiful, poignant picture book with a powerful message that will stay with readers long after they’ve put it down.

(Review courtesy of

New Kid

By Jerry Craft

2020 Newbery Medal Winner

It’s about a kid, Jordan Banks, who transfers to the Riverdale Academy Day School. He’s in seventh grade and he can’t help seeing privilege everywhere. He’s one of the few African American students in the school. The beauty of the story is that he’s regularly dealing with racism and microaggressions and bullying, but there’s also friendship and learning who you are, which is especially hard in middle school. Craft just created this really intimate and relatable world that invites kids in and holds them there. This book just rose to the top for us.

(Review courtesy of

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