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School and Teachers: 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 Wonder to Miss Brown Is Upside Down! there’s something here for everyone’s tastes. Do you have a favorite book about school? Let us know!

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Wonder
Written by R. J. Palacio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Born with a facial deformity that initially prevented his attendance at public school, Auggie Pullman enters the fifth grade at Beecher Prep and struggles with the dynamics of being both new and different, in a sparsely written tale about acceptance and self-esteem.

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Catch That Cookie!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Solve the riddles to find the runaway gingerbread men in this funny and magical cookie hunt!

Marshall knows one thing for sure, despite what all the stories say: Gingerbread men cannot run. Cookies are for eating, and he can’t wait to eat his after spending all morning baking them with his class. But when it’s time to take the gingerbread men out of the oven . . . they’re gone! Now, to find those rogue cookies, Marshall and his class have to solve a series of rhyming clues. And Marshall just might have to rethink his stance on magic. Catch That Cookie! is an imaginative mystery, deliciously illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner David Small. It’s sure to inspire a new classroom tradition . . . and maybe even a few new believers!

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The Dot
Written & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind.

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The View from Saturday
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

HOW HAD MRS. OLINSKI CHOSEN her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team? It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories — one for each of the team members — that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

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The Art of Miss Chew
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She’s thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew’s special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she’s wasting time on art when she should be studying – but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for!

This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child’s life – and celebrates the power of art itself.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse book
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The Spelling Bee Before Recess book
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Mister Lincoln's Way book
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Mrs. Gorski I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets book
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  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse - Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can’t wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly’s fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends. Lilly, the star of Chester’s Way and Julius, the Baby of the World, is back. And this time she has her name in the title - something she’s wanted all along. If you thought Lilly was funny before, you are in for a treat. So hurry up and start reading. Lilly can’t wait for you to find out more about her.

  • The Spelling Bee Before Recess - The students were squirming but none made a sound, as the spelling bee entered its championship round. It’s right before recess, and the annual school spelling bee is down to just three spellers: Cornelius the Genius, Smart Ruby, and The Slugger, who never strikes out. Round after round, the words whizz at them, but with one minute left until recess, there’s still no winner. Who will triumph? It all comes down to one final word, and a curveball that no one sees coming! Deborah Lee Rose’s clever rhyming text packs a laugh-out-loud wallop with words that young readers will enjoy spelling and reading aloud again and again. Fun and whimsical illustrations by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis provide the perfect balance of humor and suspense as readers find out whether The Slugger will hit a grand slam or finally strike out. The book includes three spelling lists that can be used for spelling bees at home, in school, at the library, or for community events. An author’s note describes why and how words were chosen.

  • Mister Lincoln's Way - When Mr. Lincoln, “the coolest principal in the whole world,” discovers that Eugene, the school bully, knows a lot about birds, he uses this interest to help Eugene overcome his intolerance.

  • Mrs. Gorski I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets - The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses is meant to demonstrate various forms of learning, creativity, and intelligence. Each book introduces a realistic example of triumph over difficulty in a positive, humorous way that readers of all ages will enjoy! David gets scolded a lot by his teacher, Mrs. Gorski, for not paying attention in class. He wants to pay attention but it is just so hard when an exciting idea pops into his head. And he usually can’t tell that he’s making a mistake until after he makes them. But after a particularly big mistake, David comes up with his own plan to tone down his wiggle fidgets. This award-winning story is a simple introduction to ADHD and the creative ways of finding solutions to the challenges that ADHD can create. Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgetsis the recipient of: the Academics’ Choice Gold Seal Mom’s Choice Award Gold Parents’ Choice Award “A masterful tale of empowering children…Esham artfully describes the gifts and challenges of children with ADHD.” -Dr. Susan Baum, professor emeritus, the College of New Rochelle Praise for the series: “This is a wonderful book series. Each story shows children that success is about effort and determination, that problems need not derail them, and that adults can understand their worries and struggles. My research demonstrates that these lessons are essential for children.” —Dr. Carol S. Dweck

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Yoko
Written & illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mmm, Yoko’s mom has packed her favorite for lunch today—sushi! But her classmates don’t think it looks quite so yummy. “Ick!” says one of the Franks. “It’s seaweed!” They’re not even impressed by her red bean ice cream dessert. Of course, Mrs. Jenkins has a plan that might solve Yoko’s problem. But will it work with the other children in class? Now in paperback for the first time, this tender story from Rosemary Wells demonstrates the author’s uncanny understanding of the pleasures and pains of an ordinary school day.

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Ben Draws Trouble
Written & illustrated by Matt Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Ben loves to draw and does so in all of his classes, but his drawings of people are so good he is afraid to let his classmates see them, until the day he loses his notebook and his talent is revealed.

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Miss Nelson is Missing!
Written by Harry G Allard Jr & illustrated by James Marshall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school. So begins this quirky classic, first published in 1977 and still relevant today as a lighthearted reminder to show our appreciation to those we value. The students don’t proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways. James Marshall’s scritchy, cartoonish full-color ink and wash illustrations are hilarious. A back-to-school perennial!

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The Junkyard Wonders
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Inspired by a teacher who believes each of them is a genius, a class of special-needs students invents something that could convince the whole school they are justifiably proud to be “Junkyard Wonders.”

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Chrysanthemum
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. “I’m named after my grandmother,” said Victoria. “You’re named after a flower.” Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn’t improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed….

The Noisy Classroom book
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Sideways Stories from Wayside School book
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One Time book
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Not This Bear book
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  • The Noisy Classroom - The first day of school is coming… and I’m going to be in the noisy class. Any class but the noisy class will do! A young girl is about to enter the third grade, but this year she’s put into Ms. Johnson’s noisy class. Everything about the noisy class is odd. While all the other classes are quiet, Ms. Johnson sings and the kids chatter all day. The door is always closed, yet sounds from it can be heard in the hallway. With summer coming to an end and school starting, the girl realizes that soon she’ll be going to the noisy class. What will school be like now? Featuring the honest and delightful humor of debut author Angela Shanté and the bold, graphic imagery of debut illustrator Alison Hawkins, The Noisy Classroom encourages those with first-day jitters to reevaluate a scary situation by looking at it from a different angle and to embrace how fun school can be, even in nontraditional ways.

  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author Louis Sachar knows how to make readers laugh. And there are laughs galore in perennial favorite Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Accidentally built sideways and standing thirty stories high (the builder said he was very sorry for the mistake), Wayside School has some of the wackiest classes in town, especially on the thirtieth floor. That’s where you’ll meet Bebe, the fastest draw in art class; John, who only reads upside down; Myron, the best class president, ever; and Sammy, the new kid—he’s a real rat.

  • One Time - Imaginative, eleven-year-old Gina, her mysterious new neighbor, Antonio, and their classmates are inspired by an unusual young teacher to see who they are and envision who they are meant to become.

  • Not This Bear - It’s Bear’s first day of school, and he’s a bit reluctant to go. Mama says all bears love school; Bear isn’t so sure. But school turns out to be full of fun—painting pictures, listening to stories, and making new friends. Maybe this bear will like school after all.

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Mae's First Day of School
Written & illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The first day of school can be scary for everyone—not just the students. As Mae gets ready for her very first day, she reflects on all the things she’s afraid of. What if the other kids don’t like her? What if she can’t learn to read? What if she misses her mom? On the way to school, she decides that instead of facing all the unknowns, it would be much easier to climb up into her favorite tree and wait there until school is over. As other kids pass by, they, too, share their own fears with Mae, and she learns that everyone gets nervous about trying new things, even her teacher! Together, Mae and her new friends decide to face the day and celebrate new beginnings, hand in hand.

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Each Kindness
Written by Jacqueline Woodson & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

WINNER OF A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR AND THE JANE ADDAMS PEACE AWARD!

Each kindness makes the world a little better

This unforgettable book is written and illustrated by the award-winning team that created The Other Side and the Caldecott Honor winner Coming On Home Soon. With its powerful anti-bullying message and striking art, it will resonate with readers long after they’ve put it down.

Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.

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Islandborn
Written by Junot Diaz & illustrated by Leo Espinosa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places. So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.” Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves

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Maisy's Preschool
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Make up your own stories! Two clever (and wonderfully portable) books with pop-up play scenes and press-out pieces spark little ones’ imaginations. It’s time for school! Maisy and her friends play with building blocks, practice their counting, and sit down for storytime. A pop-up classroom scene waits at the end of the book with paper press-outs of Maisy and her pals. Kids will relish the chance to play teacher and decide the lessons, all the while putting their imaginations to the test and learning about the routines that make up a day at school.

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Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!
Written by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Started by Dr. Seuss, finished by Jack Prelutsky, and illustrated by Lane Smith, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! is a joyous ode to individuality starring unsinkable teacher Miss Bonkers and the quirky Diffendoofer School (which must prove it has taught its students how to think—or have them sent to dreary Flobbertown). Included is an introduction by Dr. Seuss’s longtime editor explaining how the book came to be and reproductions of Dr. Seuss’s original pencil sketches and hand-printed notes for the book—a true find for all Seuss collectors! Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith pay homage to the Good Doctor in their own distinctive ways, the result of which is the union of three one-of-a-kind voices in a brand-new, completely original book that is greater than the sum of its parts. For all of us who will never forget our school days and that special teacher, here is a book to give and to get.

Miss Daisy Is Still Crazy! book
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Miss Brown Is Upside Down! book
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  • Miss Daisy Is Still Crazy! - With more than 12 million books sold, My Weird School really gets kids reading! In this fifth book in the laugh-out-loud My Weirdest School series, the students of Ella Mentry School are in for a surprise. Mr. Cooper is sick, and that means A.J. and the gang are getting a substitute teacher—crazy Miss Daisy! Now that she’s back, she’s weirder than ever. Instead of learning, she wants the kids to eat bonbons all day. And she thinks that germs are out to get her. Will third grade ever be normal again? Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!

  • Miss Brown Is Upside Down! - With more than 12 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! In this third book in the laugh-out-loud My Weirdest School series, the Brain Games are coming to Ella Mentry School! Miss Brown will help the kids do creative projects, like building a bridge out of toothpicks and designing a remote control car. But the kids are up against some tough competition. They will have to compete against the students of Dirk School to win the grand prize: a free trip to PizzaWorld! Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!

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