Books for Back to School

Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library

Books for Back to School

We here at Shaw Library hope you are having a super summer, and that you took the time to enjoy books with your little one during the break. Children who read over the summer not only maintain their reading levels, but learn to read for enjoyment. Now is the time to bring your child in to pick a out a book of their choosing, before homework starts to encroach on precious free time. The freedom to follow their own interests and tastes on books is such a powerful motivator, leading to a lifetime of reading.

And though there are still a few weeks of summer vacation left, school is just around the corner. The smell of new lunchboxes is already in the air. Back to school can be an emotional time for kids, as new and complex social situations abound. Luckily, there are a lot of books on the topic, and books are a perfect way to facilitate discussion. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Cover of Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

This book features Kevin Henkes’ adorable mouse characters. Chrysanthemum faces an age-old problem...she is being teased about her name. Through supporting adult characters, Chrysanthemum learns to be proud of her uniqueness and deal with the taunting. Appropriate for Kindergarten age and up. This is one of those lovely books with laughs for younger children, older children, and adult children. Another Kevin Henkes classic, Wemberly Worried, takes us through the trials of a young male mouse who can’t bear to face preschool without his beloved, forrbidden blankie. Both are available through the DC Public Library system.

Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka

Cover Image of Yo! Yes? by Chris raschka

Using simple lines and 19 words, this is a dramatic tale of two boys who meet for the first time and begin a new friendship. Raschka’s minimalist style earned a Caldecott Honor for best illustration in 1994. This book can be enjoyed by preschool-age people, but older students and adults will also relate to the anxiety and joys of negotiating a new relationship.



How Do Dinosaurs go to School?  by Jane Yolen

Cover image of How Do Dinosaurrs Go to School? by Jane Yolen

When is a book about sitting still, being quiet, being nice, and doing your homework NOT a moralizing disaster that will turn your kids off to the whole idea in 30 seconds?  When the moralizing is being done by ferocious dinosaurs!  A favorite at our back to school storytimes, kids will crack up as these naughty dinosaurs do the wrong thing for back to school.  




--Anina Ertel