Books for the First Day of School—Pre-K through 8

Posted by Lowell School on 8/27/15 5:48 PM

Getting ready for the first day of school and a new school year? Here are some books recommended by Lowell teachers and librarians that will help you and your kids prepare for the new year! 

Books for Preschool Children

These books touch on themes of separation anxiety, making friends, and encountering new situations. They are helpful for parents and children alike!

The Kissing Hand* by Audrey Penn— “A wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated picture book about a young raccoon dealing with his anxiety about going to school. The story highlights the ways in which love (in this case the love of a parent) can work to reassure us and give us the ability to muster up the necessary strength to face our challenges.”—Christine McDaniels, Pre-Primary and Primary School Librarian

*This book is a favorite of Stefania Rubino, Director of Pre-Primary School!

Little School by Beth Norling—“Twenty different preschoolers highlight the rituals and routines of a school day—each child experiencing the events of the day in different ways. A 'how to' for navigating preschool life.”—Christine McDaniels, Pre-Primary and Primary School Librarian

Oh My Baby, Little One by Kathi Appelt—“A sweet story about a young bird and his mother as they find a way to deal with the challenges of separation anxiety.”—Christine McDaniels, Pre-Primary and Primary School Librarian 

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen—“A title from Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s series How Do Dinosaurs…?, this book focuses on acceptable school conduct featuring a friendly group of dinosaurs mimicking human behavior. The catchy rhyming phrases and vivid illustrations get children thinking about appropriate classroom behavior.” —Christine McDaniels, Pre-Primary and Primary School Librarian

Don’t Go! by Jane Breskin Zalben—"Daniel the elephant is a preschooler who has difficulty saying goodbye when his mom drops him off for his first day of school. A sweet story for any child who is apprehensive about going to school.”—Christine McDaniels, Pre-Primary and Primary School Librarian

Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman—Recommended by Stefania Rubino, Director of Pre-Primary School

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff—Recommended by Stefania Rubino, Director of Pre-Primary School

Books for Children Kindergarten–2nd Grade

Rain School by James Rumford—Teacher Natalie Stapert says, “I love Rain School!” She found a handy YouTube video of the book, so you and your child can read the story right now.

Brand New School, Brave New Ruby by Derrick Barnes—“The writing is so vivid. The author evokes a cascade of feelings, which is a real characteristic of the start of school. I also like this book because it is a real-life story and not at all pretentious.”—Annette Davis, Primary School Librarian

Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London—"Froggy has a dream that he goes to school without getting dressed. Then, when he really gets to school, people are very nice and understanding. It's funny, but also does a fine job of expressing and alleviating anxiety.”—Annette Davis, Primary School Librarian

Books for 3rd–5th Graders

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea—“This book takes reader through the school year and shows how a class of 5th grade students change as a group and individually through their relationship with a special teacher. Kids love this book!”—Melissa Hill, Middle School Librarian

Frindle by Andrew Clements—“So much fun! When 5th grader Nick Allen learns about words and where they come from, he decides to invent one of his own. Find out how just one new word can have a lasting impact on a classroom and community.”—Melissa Hill, Middle School Librarian

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman—“A homework machine. What could be better, right? But what happens when the machine doesn’t follow directions, and worse, when it develops a mind of its own? A funny, provocative read by one of the best!”—Melissa Hill, Middle School Librarian

Books for 6th–8th Graders

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson—"This is a funny, fast paced book that combines all the elements of a classic school story with a classic caper.  You will root for Jackson Greene and his friends as they try to pull off a con (for a good cause, of course).”—Melissa Hill, Middle School Librarian

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt—"Set in 'junior high' during the 1960s, the novel shows a teenager trying to understand school, his family, and the war in Vietnam. As if all that weren't enough, he's also forced to read Shakespeare while the rest of his class has religious instruction. Find out why!”—Melissa Hill, Middle School Librarian

Murder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens—"A funny new mystery series! Daisy and Hazel start a detective agency at their British boarding school. Their first task is to find something worth investigating!”—Melissa Hill, Middle School Librarian

Looking for a school for your child?

Lowell School is an independent school in the Colonial Village neighborhood of Washington, DC, that offers Pre-Primary, Primary, and Middle School programs. It offers a rigorous and hands-on curriculum that nurtures each child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn, and supports the development of individual voice and self-reliance. For more information, please call 202-577-2000, email admissions@lowellschool.org, or follow Lowell on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Topics: Reading and Books

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Written by Lowell School