Back to School Reads with the Washington Mystics

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Back to School Reads with the Washington Mystics

This summer, DC Public Library is teaming up with the Washington Mystics to recommend great reads that you can check out with yoru library card! This month we are celebrating heading back to school. The first day of school can be very exciting but it can also make children nervous! Starting a new grade, meeting a new teacher and making new friends can give a child some anxiety about heading back to the classroom. Each book we have selected helps children understand that they are not alone in their feelings and that they are a special and unique addition to their school exactly the way they are.

Check out the library's Back to School page to find more great resources to help your child stay engaged this school year. Happy Reading!

The Day You BeginWritten by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Raphel López
National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone. There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

Isabel and Her Colores Go To SchoolWritten by Alexandra Assandri, Illustrated by Courtney Dawson
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.

The Name JarWritten and Illustrated by Yangsook Choi
A heartwarming story about the new girl in school, and how she learns to appreciate her Korean name. Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what happens when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious about fitting in. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she decides to choose an American name from a glass jar. But while Unhei thinks of being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, nothing feels right. With the help of a new friend, Unhei will learn that the best name is her own. From acclaimed creator, Yangsook Choi comes the bestselling classic about finding the courage to be yourself and being proud of your background.

Mae's First Day Of SchoolWritten and Illustrated by Kate Berube
As Mae's first day of school approaches she decides she IS. NOT. GOING. School is scary! What if the other kids don't like her? Or what if she's the only one who doesn't know how to write? Or what if she misses her mom? Mae's anxiety only builds as she walks to school. But then she meets Rosie and Ms. Pearl. Will making new friends show her that they can conquer their fears together?

All Are WelcomeWritten by Alexandra Penfold, Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Join the call for a better world with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. The perfect back-to-school read for every kid, family and classroom! Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated. Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other's traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.