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80+ Terrific Books About Teachers

Searching for great children's books to celebrate teachers?

Some of our most formative years are spent in classrooms, giving teachers ample opportunity to influence young minds. While certainly not all teachers are created equal, there are so many truly amazing teachers out there who care about their students—their minds, their goals, their failures, and their successes. I still remember many of my teachers and the impact they had on me. My first grade teacher who loved to read, my third grade reading teacher who had us start off each lesson with a jingle, my fourth grade teacher who used a soft orange ball to quiz us on math, a fifth grade teacher who motivated us to learn even more in our free time rather than goof off, a seventh grade teacher who genuinely apologized to me after I brought something he’d said I found offensive to his attention and a gym teacher who offered me an opportunity to work at a sports camp for underprivileged children barely younger than me … the list goes on. In appreciation of the amazing teachers who help shape young minds, here are a few of our favorite books with some fabulous fictional (and not so fictional) teachers.

Top 10 Books About Teachers

#1
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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.
#2
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Thank You, Mr. Falker
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age. Patricia Polacco is now one of America's most loved children's book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha's dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we. This inspiring story is available in a deluxe slipcased edition, complete with a personal letter to readers from Patricia Polacco herself. Thank You, Mr. Falker will make a beautiful gift for the special child who needs encouragement or any special teacher who has made a difference in the child's life.
#3
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The Art of Miss Chew
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a beautiful portrayal of several phenomenal teachers (contrasted with one not so amazing substitute) and the powerful impact they made in one little girl's life. Patricia Polacco's signature illustration style vividly tells this emotional story based on her own childhood and her own start as an artist. I love the personal attention and care both Mr. Donovan and Miss Chew give her in helping her overcome her struggles with reading and also excel at her passion—art.
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.
#4
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The Dot
Written & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
All about a little girl's journey to discover her artistic talent but more especially her self-confidence! I love that after a little encouragement from her very wise and positive teacher, she takes it upon herself to pass along the lesson she learned to a little boy in her same predicament.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher's encouragement leads her to change her mind.
#5
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Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This was a very cute story. Lilly was infatuated with her teacher. She thought he was the greatest. She wanted to be a teacher like him when she grew up. She pretended to be him at home, and she even bought a chain for her glasses just like his. Then the unthinkable happened. She had brought something very special to school and wanted to show everyone. Her teacher asked her to wait. She could not. She finally could not handle it and did not listen to her teacher. This caused some trouble and tension between the two of them. She was very very sad because she had really liked her teacher before. The best part is how her family helps her overcome this difficulty and she learns to apologize and to listen.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.
#6
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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.
#7
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Mrs. Gorski I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets
Written by Barbara Esham & illustrated by Mike Gordon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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
#8
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The Spelling Bee Before Recess
Written by Deborah Lee Rose & illustrated by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this book. The rhyme and vocabulary use are fantastic, and the lessons in this book are wonderful without being overly obvious or literal. I think it's great that the main character *SPOILER* didn't win the spelling bee, and that was ok. I also appreciated the encouragement the school librarian gives at the end of the book, adding a reminder on the importance of reading and that we can always keep trying. :) This book shows that winning isn't everything, and that reading is one of the best things we can do. Plus, there's a list of spelling words used throughout the book in the very back so that you can try spelling them yourself!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
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.
#9
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Willow
Written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan & illustrated by Cyd Moore
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book is a reminder that sometimes it's not the teachers who always have a profound impact on the students... sometimes it's the other way around. Willow's positivity, kindness and resilience despite continuous criticism from her art teacher allow her to break down barriers and touch her teacher's heart, changing her for the better. The illustrations are bright and just the right amount messy... just like Willow herself.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Miss Hawthorn's room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that's how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn's classroom comes young Willow. She doesn't color inside the lines, she breaks crayons, and she sees pink trees and blue apples. What will Miss Hawthorn think? Magical things can happen when your imagination is allowed to run wild, and for Miss Hawthorn the notion of what is art and what is possible is forever changed.Willow is the first joint writing effort for sisters Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan. Denise's other Sleeping Bear Press books include Someday Is Not a Day of the Week and My Grandma Likes to Say. She lives in Howell, Michigan. Rosemarie Brennan juggles careers as a writing teacher and an author. She lives in Brighton, Michigan. Cyd Moore studied graphic design and fine arts at the University of Georgia. Her work includes posters, billboards, books, newspaper and magazine articles, and cassette and CD covers. She is the illustrator of I Love You, Stinky Face and I Miss You, Stinky Face. She lives in Commerce, Michigan.
#10
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Mister Lincoln's Way
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
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.
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Teachers and...

Books About Teachers and Self-esteem

Add to list
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.
Add to list
Thank You, Mr. Falker
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
The real-life, classic story of a dyslexic girl and the teacher who would not let her fail. A perfect gift for teachers and for reading students of any age. Patricia Polacco is now one of America's most loved children's book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha's dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we. This inspiring story is available in a deluxe slipcased edition, complete with a personal letter to readers from Patricia Polacco herself. Thank You, Mr. Falker will make a beautiful gift for the special child who needs encouragement or any special teacher who has made a difference in the child's life.
Add to list
The Art of Miss Chew
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a beautiful portrayal of several phenomenal teachers (contrasted with one not so amazing substitute) and the powerful impact they made in one little girl's life. Patricia Polacco's signature illustration style vividly tells this emotional story based on her own childhood and her own start as an artist. I love the personal attention and care both Mr. Donovan and Miss Chew give her in helping her overcome her struggles with reading and also excel at her passion—art.
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.
Honorable Mentions
The Dot book
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Mrs. Gorski I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets book
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Chrysanthemum book
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The Junkyard Wonders book
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  1. The Dot - The Book Snob Mom -

    All about a little girl's journey to discover her artistic talent but more especially her self-confidence! I love that after a little encouragement from her very wise and positive teacher, she takes it upon herself to pass along the lesson she learned to a little boy in her same predicament.

  2. 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

  3. Chrysanthemum - 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….

  4. The Junkyard Wonders - 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.”

Books About Teachers and New Experiences

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The Noisy Classroom
Written by Angela Shanté & illustrated by Alison Hawkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
_**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.
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Not This Bear
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & illustrated by Lorna Hussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
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.
Honorable Mentions
How to Grow a Friend book
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Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show book
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One Time book
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Sadiq and the Green Thumbs book
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  1. How to Grow a Friend - A lovely metaphor teaches valuable lessons in how to treat others and make friendships blossom! Making a friend takes patience, care, and room to bloom—just like growing a flower. Soon your little gardeners will have their very own green thumbs for this most important of life skills.

  2. Andy & Sandy and the Big Talent Show - Andy and Sandy hit the stage in this fourth book of an easy-to-read picture book series about friendship—from Caldecott and Newbery Honoree Tomie dePaola and Emmy Award–winning writer for the Muppets Jim Lewis. Outgoing Sandy convinces shy Andy to do a dance at the big talent show. The only problem? Andy doesn’t know how to dance! Luckily, Sandy is a good teacher. But when showtime finally arrives, it’s Sandy who freezes up! A true friend through and through, Andy overcomes his shyness to save the performance. Let’s give a standing ovation to friendship! Written in simple words and short, declarative sentences, this book is perfect for little ones just learning to read on their own.

  3. 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.

  4. Sadiq and the Green Thumbs - Even though it is summer Sadiq goes to religious school four days a week to study the Quran; he and his friends find their teacher, Mr. Kassim, strict and intimidating, but when Sadiq finds out that Mr. Kassim has a injured shoulder he decides to volunteer to help with the gardening—and he convinces his friends to volunteer as well.

Books About Teachers and Friendship

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First Day Critter Jitters
Written by Jory John & illustrated by Liz Climo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
First-day-of-school jitters have never been funnier or more reassuring than in this picture book by the New York Times bestselling author Jory John and critically acclaimed illustrator Liz Climo It's almost the first day of school, and the animals are nervous. Sloth worries about getting there on time, snake can't seem to get his backpack fastened onto his body, and bunny is afraid she'll want to hop around instead of sitting still. When they all arrive at their classroom, though, they're in for a surprise: Somebody else is nervous too. It's their teacher, the armadillo! He has rolled in as a ball, and it takes him a while to relax and unfurl. But by the next day, the animals have all figured out how to help one another through their jitters. School isn't so scary after all.
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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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Fish in a Tree
Written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-16
“Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder will appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts.” —Kirkus Reviews Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike. The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. This paperback edition includes The Sketchbook of Impossible Things and discussion questions. A New York Times Bestseller! * “Unforgettable and uplifting.”—School Library Connection, starred review * “Offering hope to those who struggle academically and demonstrating that a disability does not equal stupidity, this is as unique as its heroine.”—Booklist, starred review * “Mullaly Hunt again paints a nuanced portrayal of a sensitive, smart girl struggling with circumstances beyond her control.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Honorable Mentions
The View from Saturday book
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My Weird School Special: Oh, Valentine, We've Lost Our Minds! book
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The Unteachables book
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Treasure of the Golden Skull book
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  1. The View from Saturday - 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.

  2. My Weird School Special: Oh, Valentine, We've Lost Our Minds! - A.J. and the gang from My Weird School star in this series of after-school, holiday-themed chapter books featuring all-new hilarious stories and thirty-two pages of games, puzzles, and more. It’s the week of Valentine’s Day, and A.J.’s class is getting a foreign exchange student! His name is Pierre, and he’s from France. But what happens when Pierre challenges A.J. to a duel (or at least a thumb war) over Andrea? One thing’s for sure: when L-O-V-E comes to Ella Mentry, it spells the weirdest Valentine’s Day story in the history of the world! Bestselling author Dan Gutman brings his kid-friendly sense of humor to this all-new series of holiday adventures. With My Weird School checklists and trivia plus tons of Valentine-themed facts and puzzles, this is one weird Valentine special you don’t want to miss!

  3. The Unteachables - A hilarious new middle grade novel from beloved and bestselling author Gordan Korman about what happens when the worst class of kids in school is paired with the worst teacher—perfect for fans of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day. The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and academic train wrecks. Like Aldo, with anger management issues; Parker, who can’t read; Kiana, who doesn’t even belong in the class—or any class; and Elaine (rhymes with pain). The Unteachables have been removed from the student body and isolated in room 117. Their teacher is Mr. Zachary Kermit, the most burned-out teacher in all of Greenwich. He was once a rising star, but his career was shattered by a cheating scandal that still haunts him. After years of phoning it in, he is finally one year away from early retirement. But the superintendent has his own plans to torpedo that idea—and it involves assigning Mr. Kermit to the Unteachables. The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again. Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction—and maybe even a shot at redemption.

  4. Treasure of the Golden Skull - Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when they are told the school might close, our heroes realize being apart and somewhere else could be even worse! What starts out as a secret hunt for buried treasure quickly becomes weirder than Mildew and Sponge could ever have imagined. Who is that new boy who can get people to do whatever he wants just by looking them intently in the eye? (A hypnotist!) Why does that strange teacher have tattoos and a beard? (He’s really a pirate also looking for the treasure!) Could their heartbroken English teacher hold the key to this riddle of riddles? (Just maybe…) Most importantly, can Mildew and Sponge save the day – and the school – once more?

Books About Teachers and Imagination And Play

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Willow
Written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan & illustrated by Cyd Moore
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book is a reminder that sometimes it's not the teachers who always have a profound impact on the students... sometimes it's the other way around. Willow's positivity, kindness and resilience despite continuous criticism from her art teacher allow her to break down barriers and touch her teacher's heart, changing her for the better. The illustrations are bright and just the right amount messy... just like Willow herself.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Miss Hawthorn's room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that's how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn's classroom comes young Willow. She doesn't color inside the lines, she breaks crayons, and she sees pink trees and blue apples. What will Miss Hawthorn think? Magical things can happen when your imagination is allowed to run wild, and for Miss Hawthorn the notion of what is art and what is possible is forever changed.Willow is the first joint writing effort for sisters Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan. Denise's other Sleeping Bear Press books include Someday Is Not a Day of the Week and My Grandma Likes to Say. She lives in Howell, Michigan. Rosemarie Brennan juggles careers as a writing teacher and an author. She lives in Brighton, Michigan. Cyd Moore studied graphic design and fine arts at the University of Georgia. Her work includes posters, billboards, books, newspaper and magazine articles, and cassette and CD covers. She is the illustrator of I Love You, Stinky Face and I Miss You, Stinky Face. She lives in Commerce, Michigan.
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Dotty
Written by Erica S Perl & illustrated by Julia Denos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
It’s Ida’s first day of school. She carries her new lunch box and a long, blue string with her special friend Dotty attached to it. A big, colorfully spotted pal with horns, Dotty just happens to be invisible. On that first day of school, Ida and Dotty find out there are plenty of other imaginary friends in attendance. But as the year passes and fewer and fewer imaginary friends come to class, Ida begins to wonder if Dotty is welcome at school anymore . . . Perceptive and warmly funny, with charming art from exciting illustrator Julia Denos, Dotty is a celebration of the power of friendship and imagination.
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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!
Honorable Mentions
My Teacher Is A Monster (No, I Am Not.) book
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Open the Preschool Door book
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My Teacher Is a Robot book
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  1. My Teacher Is A Monster (No, I Am Not.) - A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher. She’s loud, she yells, and if you throw paper airplanes, she won’t allow you to enjoy recess. She is a monster! Luckily, Bobby can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day… he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem. Each page is filled with “monstrous” details that will have kids reading the story again and again. Peter Brown takes a universal and timeless theme, and adds his own humorous spin to create another winner of a picture book.

  2. Open the Preschool Door - A lift-the-flap board book all about preschool from the creator of OPEN THE BARN DOOR and OPEN THE GARAGE DOOR! Little preschoolers will love lifting 11 fun flaps to find a smiling teacher, a playground, a class pet, and much, much more in this bright and engaging board book. With a simple story and colorful and inviting illustrations, this is the perfect way to introduce the youngest of students to a preschool classroom.

  3. My Teacher Is a Robot - From the author of the New York Times bestselling Jedi Academy books comes an imaginative picture book about a kid whose creative outlook has everyone at school seeing the world through new eyes. Perfect for fans of The Adventures of Beekle and The Most Magnificent Thing. Fred does not want to go to school because it’s boring. Especially since he thinks his teacher is a robot. If only Fred could imagine a way for his day to be more exciting… An inventively funny picture book that celebrates the boundlessness of a child’s imagination and celebrates the teachers, families, and friends who get wrapped up in their fantastic worlds.

Books About Teachers and Animals

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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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My Friends
Written & illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Using simple words and bright illustrations, author-illustrator Taro Gomi shows children that sometimes knowledge can come from all kinds of friends.
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The Tale of Tricky Fox
Written by Jim Aylesworth & illustrated by Barbara McClintock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Tricky Fox uses his sack to trick everyone he meets into giving him ever more valuable items.
Honorable Mentions
Rescuing Mrs. Birdley book
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Maisy's Preschool book
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Mary Had a Little Lizard book
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No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks! book
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  1. Rescuing Mrs. Birdley - In this wildly charming and fantastically imaginative story by the New York Times bestselling author of Creepy Carrots and Creepy Pair of Underwear, a young animal expert knows just what to do when she spots her teacher in the wild. Miranda is an animal expert. Or at least, she watches a lot of Nature Joe. Nature Joe is incredible. He rescues animals, returning them to their natural habitat. Mrs. Birdley is a teacher. The natural habitat of a teacher is a classroom. So when Mrs. Birdley escapes school and ends up wild, loose, and confused at the local grocery store, Miranda knows just what to do: she must use her brain, her guts, and her extensive knowledge of Nature Joe to rescue Mrs. Birdley—at any cost! This delightfully over-the-top picture book by newcomer Emma Reynolds explores the weirdness of seeing a teacher outside of school and will have young readers laughing out loud every time they read.

  2. Maisy's Preschool - 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.

  3. Mary Had a Little Lizard - A modern take on “Mary Had a Little Lamb” featuring hilarious antics as Lizard sneaks into Mary’s backpack and causes nothing but mayhem in her Kindergarten class. He eats someone’s lunch, makes a mess in the painting corner, and scares the teacher silly during story time before being sent to the principal’s office to wait for Mary’s mom to pick him up. It’s no fun being alone. But when Mary finally comes home from school, Lizard knows he’ll always have his very best friend. Rendered in a combination of traditional and digital color, Mary Had a Little Lizard is a silly, satisfying celebration of new experiences and friendships that can never be broken.

  4. No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks! - It’s the last day of school! Gilbert is excited about summer vacation, but first there’s the class party, and Mrs. Byrd will give out the end-of-the-year awards. But will Gilbert even get one? Patty’s the best speller. Philip’s the best reader. What is Gilbert best at? Humorous and reassuring, this story by Diane deGroat perfectly captures the bittersweet emotions of the last day of school. As Gilbert’s class says good-bye to Mrs. Byrd, she reminds each of them how special they really are. And that she will miss them very, very much!

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Teachers and Family

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Because of Mr. Terupt
Written & illustrated by Rob Buyea
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Seven students are about to have their lives changed by one amazing teacher in this school story sequel filled with unique characters every reader can relate to. It’s the start of a new year at Snow Hill School, and seven students find themselves thrown together in Mr. Terupt’s fifth grade class. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school. They don’t have much in common, and they’ve never gotten along. Not until a certain new teacher arrives and helps them to find strength inside themselves—and in each other. But when Mr. Terupt suffers a terrible accident, will his students be able to remember the lessons he taught them? Or will their lives go back to the way they were before—before fifth grade and before Mr. Terupt? Find out what happens in sixth and seventh grades in Mr. Terupt Falls Again and Saving Mr. Terupt, the can’t-miss follow ups to Because of Mr. Terupt! “The characters are authentic and the short chapters are skillfully arranged to keep readers moving headlong toward the satisfying conclusion.”–School Library Journal, Starred
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The Wednesday Wars
Written & illustrated by Gary D. Schmidt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns muchof value about the world he lives in.
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These Happy Golden Years
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but keeps at it so that she can help pay for her sister Mary's tuition at the college for the blind. During school vacations Laura has fun with her singing lessons, going on sleigh rides, and best of all, helping Almanzo Wilder drive his new buggy. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo in the romantic conclusion of this Little House book.
Honorable Mentions
A Piece of Home book
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Islandborn book
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Mrs. Master Is a Disaster! book
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Our Teacher's Having a Baby book
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  1. A Piece of Home - “When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates, and he can’t understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate’s house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea, “mugunghwa,” or Rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a “piece of home” in their new garden.”—Provided by publisher.

  2. Islandborn - 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

  3. Mrs. Master Is a Disaster! - With more than 11 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! In this eighth book in the new My Weirdest School series, it’s Grandparents Day at Ella Mentry School! Alexia’s grandmother Mrs. Master makes weird inventions for a living, but A.J. and the gang come up with the weirdest invention of all. And they’re going to make a bazillion dollars from it! Will they succeed? Or will their great big idea be flushed down the drain? Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!

  4. Our Teacher's Having a Baby - As the months pass during the pregnancy of first-grade teacher Mrs. Neal, her class writes letters to the baby, thinks up names, and designs a baby room on the bulletin board.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Teachers and Social Themes

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Mister Lincoln's Way
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
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.
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Miles McHale, Tattletale
Written by Christianne C. Jones & illustrated by Elina Ellis and Christianne C. Jones
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6
Miles McHale is a tattletale. And everybody knows it. But he's not the only one who needs help, so his teacher decides: it's time to fight the Tattle Battle! But will Miles figure out the right time to tell a grown-up about another person's behavior, or is he doomed to be a tattletale forever?
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Seeing Orange
Written by Sara Cassidy & illustrated by Amy Meissner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Seven-year-old Leland has trouble writing, but he loves drawing. He so dislikes his teacher that he conjures up Delilah, an imaginary seeing-eye dog to help him into class each day. When a neighborhood painter recognizes Leland's gifts as an artist, Leland grows more confident about the world as he uniquely sees it. And when his family's cat goes missing, it is Leland's keen observation skills that lead to finding him. Leland's newfound confidence helps him both confront and sympathize with his teacher, who only wishes Leland could be a bit more focused.
Honorable Mentions
A Teacher Is the Greatest Gift book
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A Whole New Ballgame book
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Rock Star book
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First Day Jitters book
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  1. A Teacher Is the Greatest Gift - Sharing A Teacher is the Greatest Gift is the perfect gesture to remind teachers of the difference they make in their student’s lives. What does your teacher mean to you? A compass that points the way, an umbrella in a windy storm, an encyclopedia of knowledge—a teacher can be all these things and more. This sweet picture book beautifully illustrates all the different things our teachers have taught us, the care they have given us, and how they’ve inspired us. It’s undeniable that a teacher is the greatest gift of all, and this book is a lovely way to express your thanks.

  2. A Whole New Ballgame - Rip and Red are best friends whose fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo, who doesn’t believe in tests or homework and who likes off-the-wall projects, the more “off” the better. They also find themselves with a new basketball coach: Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who has autism and really needs things to be exactly a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other—and find ways to make a difference—in the classroom and on the court. With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.

  3. Rock Star - When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend?

  4. First Day Jitters - Sarah is afraid to start at a new school, but both she and the reader are in for a surprise when she gets to her class.

Books About Teachers and Substitute Teachers

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Miss Nelson is Missing!
Written by Harry G Allard Jr & illustrated by James Marshall
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is a delightfully fun book about one very clever teacher who uses a little bit of subterfuge to help her classroom of misbehaving students appreciate how lucky they actually are and learn to behave a lot better. The contrast between Miss Nelson and her "evil" substitute counterpart is humorous (particularly as the reader may suspect the truth long before the big reveal!)
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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My Weirder-est School #2: Miss Porter Is Out of Order!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! In this second book in the My Weirder-est School series, A.J. and his friends are getting a substitute. Miss Porter isn’t your average teacher, though. She’s a Personal Digital Assistant that literally knows everything. She can tell a million hundred weird jokes and get pizza delivered by drone in seconds! But what happens when Miss Porter’s system is no longer set to fun? Will anyone be able to shut her down before she takes over Ella Mentry? Perfect for reluctant readers and all kids hungry for funny school stories, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!
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Same Way Ben
Written & illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Ben likes things the same way every day at school—he sits at the same table, eats the same lunch, and likes the daily class routine. But when his teacher leaves to have her baby and a substitute teacher comes and changes everything, Ben gets upset. He liked everything the way it was before! But soon Ben starts to think differently about change and realizes that doing things another way can be fun.
Honorable Mentions
Georgia's Greatness book
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Ms. Todd Is Odd! book
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Here Comes Teacher Cat book
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Pout-Pout Fish: Back to School book
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  1. Georgia's Greatness - As the Huit octuplets prepare for a St. Patrick’s Day parade, Georgia discovers her powers and uncovers the substitute teacher’s secret.

  2. Ms. Todd Is Odd! - Something weird is going on! Ms. Todd is subbing, and A.J. and his friends are sure she kidnapped Miss Daisy so she could take over her job. They’re going to have to do the detective work to get the goods on her. But it won’t be easy! Ms. Todd is the weirdest substitute teacher in the history of the world!

  3. Here Comes Teacher Cat - 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.

  4. Pout-Pout Fish: Back to School - Get ready to go back to school with the Pout-Pout Fish! Mr. Fish is going back to school to be a substitute teacher, and he’s nervous—until he meets a little guppy who can help him! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish’s fans and newcomers alike.

Books About Teachers and Elementary School

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Miss Newman Isn't Human!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
**With more than 12 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!** In this tenth book in the new My Weirdest School series, Sprinkles Newman, the local TV meteorologist, is coming to Ella Mentry School! She's going to teach A.J. and the gang all about the weather. But what happens when a real live (well, not live) hurricane comes to the school? Hold on to your umbrellas! Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman's hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don't miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!
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Ms. Cuddy Is Nutty!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
**With more than 12 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!** In the second book in the laugh-out-loud My Weirdest School series, the students of Ella Mentry School are about to get a wonderful gift--a million dollars! A.J. and the gang vote to create an in-school, state-of-the-art TV station so the morning announcements can be broadcast to all the classes. There's even enough money to hire Ms. Cuddy, a new digital media arts teacher who knows a thing or two about broadcasting. But soon Ms. Cuddy decides the ratings on the announcements are too low, and the show needs to "get more eyeballs." How long will the camera keep rolling? 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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Mrs. Meyer Is on Fire!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
**With more than 12 million books sold, My Weird School really gets kids reading!** In this fourth book in the laugh-out-loud My Weirdest School series, the students of Ella Mentry School are learning about fire safety. Mrs. Meyer of the local fire department has been brought in to teach the students, but she is the weirdest safety expert in the world. She likes fire just a little too much. Will Mrs. Meyer catch on fire? Will she retire? What will transpire? 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!
Honorable Mentions
Yasmin the Teacher book
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Gooney Bird Is So Absurd book
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  1. Yasmin the Teacher - When Ms. Alex is called away from the classroom, she leaves Yasmin in charge, but the other children just ignore her and start acting silly and noisy—until Yasmin thinks up a way to motivate them to finish the math assignment, quietly.

  2. Gooney Bird Is So Absurd - It’s a cold January at the Watertower Elementary School—the perfect weather for Gooney Bird Greene to break out her special brain-warming hat! It’s a good thing she has one. Gooney Bird’s brain will need to be as warm as possible this month, because Mrs. Pidgeon is teaching her class about poetry. Who knew there could be so many different ways to write a poem? Haikus, couplets, limericks—Mrs. Pidgeon’s students soon find that writing good poetry takes a lot of hard work and creative thinking. Gooney Bird and her classmates are up to the challenge. But just when things are going well, the kids get some terrible news. Gooney Bird will need all the inspiration her brain can muster to organize the most important poem the class has ever written.

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