To purchase any of these books


Back-to-school can be an exciting time for children and can also be a time of anxiety and fear of the unknown. Books are a great way to prepare together, explore together or inspire discussion of the complicated feelings surrounding the upcoming school year and changes in your family’s daily routine.

It’s still not too late to participate in the Bookelicious Summer Reading Challenge!

This Is a School

by John Schu (Author) Veronica Miller Jamison (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A moving celebration of school and all it may signify: work and play, creativity and trust and a supportive community that extends beyond walls.

A school isn’t just a building; it is all the people who work and learn together. It is a place for discovery and asking questions. A place for sharing, for helping and for community. It is a place of hope and healing, even when that community can’t be together in the same room. John Schu, a librarian and former ambassador of school libraries for Scholastic, crafts a loving letter to schools and the people that make up the communities within in a picture book debut beautifully illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison.

Too Cool for School (Pizza and Taco)

by Stephen Shaskan (Author)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Series: Pizza and Taco

New backpacks? Check! Besties Pizza and Taco are ready to head back to school, but are they ready to meet the cool new kid? B.L.T. wears sunglasses–even in school! He’s not even worried about being late to class. SO COOL! I mean, whatever. Pizza and Taco quickly pick up on what’s cool–and what’s not–by watching B.L.T.’s every move. Will that spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e for Pizza and Taco with their teacher, Mr. Apple? This hilarious young graphic novel–with chapters–will tickle the funny bones of kids ages 5-8 and bolster their reading confidence. Young graphic chapter books are a great step on the way to graphic novels and longer chapter books. Readers will also love the first three books in the series: Pizza and Taco: Who’s the Best? Pizza and Taco: Best Party Ever! Pizza and Taco: Super-Awesome Comic!

Isabel and Her Colores Go to School (English With Some Spanish)

by Alexandra Alessandri (Author) Courtney Dawson (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

English, with its blustery blues and whites, just feels wrong to Isabel. She prefers the warm oranges and pinks of Spanish. As she prepares for class at a new school, she knows she’s going to have to learn–and she would rather not! Her first day is uncomfortable until she discovers there’s more than one way to communicate with friends. This is a universal story about feeling new and making new friends.

Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective

by Elizabeth Olsen (Author) Marissa Valdez (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Award-winning actress Elizabeth Olsen and esteemed musician Robbie Arnett have created a fresh approach to wellness in a new series that shows children the importance of self-care and ways to manage anxiety. A perfect back-to-school read!

Meet Hattie Harmony, Worry Detective. She’s always there to help her friends when they need her. And the first day of school can cause a lot of jitters–from speaking in front of the class to taking the bus. Hattie always finds the perfect tools to calm her friends’ bodies and minds. But when her own fears start to bubble up, can Hattie learn to overcome them herself?

Kalamata’s Kitchen

by Sarah Thomas (Author) Jo Kosmides Edwards (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Dora the Explorer meets No Reservations in this delicious picture book debut! Follow Kalamata and her alligator sidekick on the first of many exciting food adventures in a charming story about facing fears and overcoming back-to-school jitters.

Tomorrow is Kalamata’s first day at a new school, and she’s nervous! What if the kids aren’t friendly? Or worse, what if they don’t like alligators!? If only Kalamata and Al Dente could go back to the Indian spice market they visited this summer; then maybe she’d remember how to feel brave when new experiences seem scary.

Luckily for Kalamata, all the magic required for her journey is right in her own kitchen! As Kalamata and her alligator friend, Al Dente, transport themselves to a magical land filled with tasty ingredients, she realizes being brave is exciting! And most importantly, she learns that when we’re nervous about trying new things, food can comfort us and remind us to stay curious, courageous and compassionate.

Never, Not Ever!

by Beatrice Alemagna (Author and Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A perfect back-to-school book…with a twist! For little kids everywhere who feel anxious leaving home to go back to school. A Kids’ Indie Next Pick! Never, Not Ever! is the instant classic from Beatrice Alemagna–a laugh-out-loud tribute to little kids everywhere who would prefer not to leave home on the first day of school. The other animals are marching dutifully to school, but Pascaline couldn’t care less. “Never, not ever!” she declares. She’s NOT going. And nothing–not even her parents pulling her by her feet–will change her mind. She shrieks so loudly that her parents shrink down to the size of peanuts–becoming just the right size to fit snugly under Pascaline’s wing. Now they can all go to school together! In Never, Not Ever! award-winning picture book creator Beatrice Alemagna reminds us that small children need their parents to be close by . . . but not too close.

The Double Life of Danny Day

by Mike Thayer (Author)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

A boy who lives every day twice uses his ability to bring down bullies at his new school in Mike Thayer’s humor-filled middle-grade novel, The Double Life of Danny Day.

My name is Danny Day, and I live every day twice. The first time, it’s a “discard day.” It’s kind of like a practice run. At the end of the day, I go to bed, wake up and poof, everything gets reset, everything except my memory, that is. The second time, everything is normal, just like it is for everyone else. That’s when everything counts and my actions stick. As you could probably guess, “Sticky Day” Danny is very different from “Discard Day” Danny.

When Danny’s family moves across the country, he suddenly has to use his ability for more than just slacking off and playing video games. Now he’s making new friends, fending off jerks, exposing a ring of cheaters in the lunchtime video game tournament, and taking down bullies one day at a time … or is it two days at a time?

Absolute Hero (Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad #1)

by Valerie Tripp (Author) Geneva Bowers (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

Series: Izzy Newton and the S.M.A.R.T. Squad

When middle school mishaps happen, five friends form the S.M.A.R.T. Squad and use their collective skills and the power of science to bring order to their school.

Science reigns supreme with this squad of young brainiacs. Join Izzy Newton and her friends in the first adventure of this fun new middle-grade fiction series from National Geographic Kids.

A crowded new school and a crazy class schedule are enough to make Izzy feel dizzy. It may be the first day of middle school, but as long as her best friends Allie Einstein and Charlie Darwin are by her side, Izzy knows it’ll all be okay. However, first-day jitters take an icy turn when Izzy’s old pal Marie Curie comes back to town. Instead of a warm welcome, Marie gives her former pal the cold shoulder.

The problems pile up when the school’s air-conditioning goes on the fritz and the temperature suddenly drops to near freezing. The adults don’t seem to have a clue how to thaw out the school. Cold temperatures and a frigid friendship? Izzy has had enough of feeling like an absolute zero. She rallies the girls to use their brainpower and science smarts to tackle the school’s chilly mystery … and hopefully to fix a certain frozen friendship along the way. Will the girls succeed and become the heroes of Atom Middle School?


by Ingrid Laguna (Author)

Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

Jamila is in a new country, at a new school and starting a brand new life. Will she find her voice?

Jamila wants to fit in, but it’s hard when you miss your very best friend back home in Iraq, you’re worried about your dad’s safety and your mum needs your help with the simplest of tasks. When she joins the school choir, Jamila believes she may just have found somewhere to belong. Soon, she finds a new friend, and she dares to hope again.

Songbird follows Jamila as she experiences life as an Iraqi refugee in Australia. Author Ingrid Laguna draws on her experiences as a teacher to adults and children from all over the world to create this timely and tender story about resilience, new experiences, friendship and finding a way to shine.

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