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School and Being Yourself: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about school is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Maurice the Unbeastly to Better Off Undead there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about school? Let us know!

Maurice the Unbeastly book
#1
Maurice the Unbeastly
Written by Amy Dixon and illustrated by Karl James Mountford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito book
#2
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
Written by Tomson Highway and illustrated by Sue Todd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise! Tomson Highway's musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn't be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for. The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack. The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full-colour volume serves as an interactive read-aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.

Here Comes Teacher Cat book
#3
Here Comes Teacher Cat
Written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cat is not pleased to be tapped as substitute teacher. Not only is it cutting into his nap time, but a roomful of kittens is a little, well, scary. At school, he's faced with six adorable kittens and follows the lesson plan of music, building, and painting-only in pure, mischief-making Cat style. By the end, Cat has learned a thing or two about inspiring others by being himself. But even more heart-melting and humorous is what the kittens have learned from Cat.

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard book
#4
I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
Written and illustrated by Jennifer K Mann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rose’s teacher gives stars for spelling and neatness and giving the right answer, but Rose can’t manage to do any of those things right. Will she ever get a star from Mrs. Benson? Rose is a distracted and creative soul. She does her best at school, but sometimes her mind wanders, and she answers the wrong question. Her reading voice is quiet, not strong and loud. And her desk?—?well, keeping her desk neat is a challenge. When it’s time to make thank-you cards for a class visitor, Rose’s art supplies turn her workspace?—and her?—?into a colorful mess. But her artistic skills shine through in the gorgeous oversize card she creates. Could she possibly get a star after all? A cheerful and empowering picture book for the child whose talents lie in unconventional areas, and those still searching for their strengths.

Geraldine book
#5
Geraldine
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Lilly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

No, no, NO! Geraldine is NOT moving. Not to this new town where she's the only giraffe. Not to this new school where she has no friends. Not to this new place, where everyone only knows her as That Giraffe Girl. But soon Geraldine meets Cassie, a girl who is just as much of an outcast as she is, and as time goes by, she realizes that being yourself and making one really good, unusual friend can help someone who literally stands out fit right in. Together, Geraldine and Cassie play by their own rules.

Exit Strategy book
#6
Exit Strategy
Written by Lauren Allbright
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Twelve-year-old Ross tries to discover the formula for being funny and getting his new classmates to like him in this laugh-out-loud MAX novel!

Better Off Undead book
#7
Better Off Undead
Written by James Preller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

After becoming undead, a boy tries to survive middle school in this quirky, smart adventure for middle grade readers from James Preller. Adrian Lazarus has met with a curious fate. He’s returned from the dead (after a bad bike accident, no helmet), yet not a lot has changed. He’s always been an outcast. But it’s not just being a zombie that makes Adrian feel different. He notices the world has changed, too: bees are vanishing, forest fires are burning, super-flus are spreading. The holographic advertisements in the night sky assure people that all is well. Adrian and his friends—a beekeeping boy, a mysterious new girl, and a seventh-grade sleuth—aren’t so sure. When they discover a birdlike drone has been spying on Adrian, the clues lead two powerful corporate moguls. What do they really want? Find out in Better Off Undead, a smart and funny middle-grade novel that brings together environmental concerns, sci-fi elements, and the supernatural. This title has Common Core connections. Praise for Better Off Undead: “This uproarious middle grade call to action has considerable kid appeal and a timely message.” —School Library Journal “Against a near-future backdrop, Preller thoughtfully chronicles the anxieties of middle school, using a blend of comedy and horror to send a message of empowerment and self-acceptance.” —Publishers Weekly “Adrian may be undead, but this is much more than a zombie tale, as it touches upon cultural issues, media control, family bonds, and environmental issues. Fans of Carl Hiassen’s Hoot will be as satisfied by this as will fans of monster books or those who appreciate stories of outcasts and coming-of-age stories. Highly recommended.” —Children's Literature More fast-paced adventure from James Preller: The Courage Test The Fall The Scary Tales series: Home Sweet Horror I Scream, You Scream! Good Night, Zombie Nightmareland One-Eyed Doll Swamp Monster The Jigsaw Jones Mysteries: The Case of the Smelly Sneaker The Case of the Mummy Mystery The Case of the Glow in the Dark Ghost The Case of the Bicycle Bandit The Case from Outer Space The Case of the Best Pet Ever The Case of the Buried Treasure The Case of the Million-Dollar Mystery The Case of the Disappearing Dinosaur

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!