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School and Making Friends: 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 It's Valentine's Day, Chloe Zoe! 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 Truth About My Unbelievable School . . . book
#2
The Truth About My Unbelievable School . . .
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Beware of . . . this school?! Henry is taking his new classmate on a whirlwind tour of their school. Mysterious inventions lurk, the cafeteria requires ninja skills, and some teachers may be monsters! Is this fantastical school to be believed? Or is there an even more outrageous surprise in store? Celebrated international author-illustrator team Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud—the duo behind Junior Library Guild selections I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . and The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer . . . —are back with yet another rollicking tale about truth, lies, and . . . school!

A Friend for Henry book
#3
A Friend for Henry
Written by Jenn Bailey and illustrated by Mika Song
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend—or will a friend find him? With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship.

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat book
#4
Llama Llama and the Bully Goat
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Llama Llama likes to sing. Gilroy laughs at everything. Llama sings out just the same. Gilroy says a not-nice name. Teacher has some things to say: calling names is not OK. Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?

Totally Tardy Marty book
#5
Totally Tardy Marty
Written by Erica S Perl and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Marty tries his best to be on time, but a new invention, a giant squid, or something else slows him down every day to the delight of Never Late Kate, but one day Marty needs Kate's help and their unlikely new friendship changes both of their nicknames.

Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench! book
#6
Hooray! My Butt Left the Bench!
Written by Henry Winkler and illustrated by Lin Oliver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In this winning addition to the easy-to-read bestselling series, Hank has to hustle to prove he can be his basketball team's secret weapon! For two years running, Hank's school has beaten their arch rivals at the annual second grade basketball game. When his friends try out, Hank is determined to play, too. There's just one problem: Hank is terrible at basketball. Luckily Dr. Dunk (AKA Hank's dad) and Hank's friends have his back. With a little help, Hank just might be what the team needs to win their first three-peat in PS 87 history! This bestselling series written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is perfect for the transitional reader. With a unique, easy-to-read font, endless humor, and characters every kid would want to be friends with, any story with Hank is a slam dunk! From the Trade Paperback edition.

Dory and the Real True Friend book
#7
Dory and the Real True Friend
Written by Abby Hanlon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

The star of Dory Fantasmagory is heading to school. Her older siblings, Luke and Violet, warn her to leave her imaginary friend, Mary, at home—or better yet, leave her whole imagination at home! But on her very first day she meets a new friend, a girl whose imagination and style are just about as wild as her own. Now she just has to convince her siblings that she’s not making it all up!

School for Skylarks book
#8
School for Skylarks
Written and illustrated by Sam Angus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her great-aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the center of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life. Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.

Just My Luck book
#9
Just My Luck
Written by Jeff Anderson and illustrated by Tad Carpenter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Zack Delacruz is back—and this time he has a crush! Zack really wants to meet Abhi, the new girl at school. But things get off to a rough start when he accidentally knocks her to the ground during a game of dodgeball. And whenever he tries to make amends, she just ignores him. Nothing works—not his friends’ advice or his “lucky” cologne. In fact, he just seems more and more cursed! Then, at the Fall Fiesta-val, Zack finally learns the real reason behind Abhi’s cold shoulder . . . but not before total chaos erupts. With a runaway train, exploding confetti-filled eggs, and Abhi’s terrifying older brother, will Zack ever get a chance to talk to his crush? In the end, Zack learns what it means to to listen and to be a good friend. This dynamite sequel captures the middle-school experience—and will keep readers laughing from beginning to end.

It's the First Day of Kindergarten, Chloe Zoe! book
#10
It's the First Day of Kindergarten, Chloe Zoe!
Written and illustrated by Jane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Chloe Zoe is starting kindergarten! Full days of school for a full week. Chloe Zoe has a new backpack and matching lunch box and is so excited to see her best friends Mary Margaret and George. On the first day of school, Chloe Zoe discovers Mary Margaret is in a different kindergarten class. Will kindergarten be any fun without her best friend?

Liz and the Nosy Neighbor book
#11
Liz and the Nosy Neighbor
Written by Callie Barkley and illustrated by Tracy Bishop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Liz has a big class project to complete but how can she focus on it when her nosy new neighbor seems to be popping up everywhere? Liz must solve both problems in the nineteenth book of the Critter Club series. When a boy Liz’s age moves in next door, Liz hopes they might become friends. But right away Liz can tell the boy has no interest in being friendly. So why does he keep showing up everywhere she is? Plus, Liz has a big class project to complete—an animal habitat diorama—but she can’t think of anything to create and her nosy new neighbor isn’t helping! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!

The Class book
#12
The Class
Written by Boni Ashburn and illustrated by Kimberly Gee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Count along with twenty young students from nineteen different homes as they get ready for their first day of kindergarten. Alarm clocks go off and students all over town wake up and get ready for their big day. Some feel eager, others are nervous, and a few are even grumpy! But they all get dressed, eat breakfast, pack backpacks, and make their way to school, where they will meet their new teacher and become a wonderful new class. Boni Ashburn’s snappy rhyming text and Kimberly Gee’s adorable and diverse group of children make this a great pick for little ones getting ready for their first day of school.

Geraldine book
#13
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.

The Curse of Einstein’s Pencil book
#14
The Curse of Einstein’s Pencil
Written and illustrated by Deborah Zemke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Bea Garcia is looking for a new best friend, and she almost has one—the smartest girl in school, Judith Einstein. So when Einstein asks Bea to be her partner in the upcoming school geography contest, Bea is thrilled…at first. Schoolwork comes so easily to Einstein that Bea thinks the secret might be Einstein’s special pencil. But when Bea takes Einstein’s pencil home, it’s not quite what she expected.

Exit Strategy book
#15
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!

Kindergarten Countdown book
#16
Kindergarten Countdown
Written by Marjorie Blain Parker and illustrated by Sophie Burrows
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Let the countdown to kindergarten begin! This engaging picture book captures a child's excitement as the big day nears. Just 10 more sleeps till school starts! A young child happily anticipates the arrival of the first day of kindergarten--the new clothes he'll wear, the lunch he'll pack, the bus he'll ride, the friends he'll make, and the fun things he'll do in class. Reassuring and joyful, with rhyme kids will love to read aloud, it's the perfect book to welcome in the school year.

My Preschool book
#17
My Preschool
Written and illustrated by Anne Rockwell
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A little boy takes part in many activities at preschool, from cheerful hellos in circle time, to painting colorful pictures and playing at the water table before snack time, and sharing toys with new friends. The best part of saying good-bye at the end of the day is that the little boy knows he will come back tomorrow. In her signature style, Anne Rockwell captures a child's preschool experience with warmth and reassurance.

The Best Friend Bandit book
#18
The Best Friend Bandit
Written and illustrated by Marty Kelley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Everyone in class loves the new student, Tori. Everyone except Molly Mac. Molly thinks Tori is not only a snack bandit, but a best friend bandit, too. Will Molly figure out a way to get her best friend, Kayley, back?

It's Valentine's Day, Chloe Zoe! book
#19
It's Valentine's Day, Chloe Zoe!
Written and illustrated by Jane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Chloe Zoe's class is having a valentine exchange! Chloe Zoe made valentines for all her classmates, including an extra-special red-robot-cherry-lollipop valentine for her extra-special friend George. But when it comes time to hand them out, the special valentine for George is missing! Can Chloe Zoe and her friends work together to find the missing valentine.

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