12 Back-to-School Books for Kids of All Ages

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by: Erin Dower
Starting the school year is a universally exciting and nerve-wracking time for kids (and their parents!). Whether your child is off to preschool, kindergarten, middle school, or any grade in between, find some classic and new back-to-school stories that will help prepare and excite him for the year ahead! Looking for more? Use our Book Finder tool to search for new books for kids of all ages!
Berenstain Bears Go to School, BTS book
The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Sometimes it takes some familiar old characters to get kids comfortable with a new experience. In this 1978 book from the beloved Berenstain Bears series, Sister Bear conquers her fear of going to kindergarten by meeting her teacher, Miss Honeybear, in advance and learning about all the fun things that happen in school.

Ages: 3-7

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Pout Pout Fish, BTS book
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen
Your new preschooler can probably relate to jittery Mr. Fish. He is nervous about his first day of school. What if he forgets how to write his name and draw his shapes? Of course, he soon learns that school is the perfect place to master these skills!

Ages: 2-5

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Planet Kindergarten, BTS book
Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt
A young "astronaut" suits up, boards the space shuttle (his family's station wagon), and boldly goes where he's never gone before: Planet Kindergarten. It's an out-of-this-world story full of funny aliens (classmates) and cool new adventures.

Ages: 3-6

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The Night Before Kindergarten, BTS book
The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
"'Twas the night before kindergarten, and as they prepared, kids were excited, and a little bit scared." Set to the rhythm of a classic Christmas poem, this sweet story shows children packing school supplies, posing for pictures, saying goodbye to Mom and Dad, and having a great first day of school! The Night Before Preschool and The Night Before First Grade are also available.

Ages: 4-6

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The Day the Crayons Quit, BTS book
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Duncan discovers that his crayons are going on strike because of personality clashes: Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Orange and Yellow are arguing over which one is the true color of the sun. It's a cute story that brings kids' school supplies to life!

Ages: 3-7

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Pete the Cat Rockin School Shoes, BTS book
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean and Eric Litwin
In this rockin', rhymin' story, Pete the Cat sports his new red shoes all around school, from the library to the lunchroom, and lots of fun places in between. All the while, he sings one of his signature catchy tunes: "I'm rockin' in my school shoes! I'm rockin' in my school shoes!"

Ages: 4-8

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book for child afraid of kindergarten, First Day Jitters
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
When Sarah Jane's first day at a new school arrives, all she wants to do is hide under the covers. "I don't know anybody, and it will be hard and... I just hate it, that's all." All the reasons to be anxious build up before the author finally reveals that (surprise!) Sarah Jane is a teacher, not a student — proving that even adults get first-day jitters when they face something new.

Ages: 5-8

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Too Much Glue, BTS book
Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre
Matty loves glue. When his art teacher reminds the class to make "glue raindrops, not puddles" because too much glue never dries, he chooses to go for the fullest bottle of glue and squeeze his way into a sticky adventure (one that gets him stuck to his desk!). This lighthearted, school-themed tale is good for a chuckle.

Ages: 5-7

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Miss Nelson Is Missing, BTS book
Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry G. Allard, Jr.
This back-to-school classic was first published in 1978! It's the timeless tale of the worst-behaved class in the whole school: Room 207. When their witchy substitute teacher, Miss Viola Swamp, appears on the scene, they regret all their spitball-spitting, paper airplane–launching antics that must have driven away their good-natured teacher, Miss Nelson.

Ages: 5-8

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Ralph Tells a Story, BTS book
Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon
Nothing ever happens to Ralph. When it's time to write stories in school, he stares at his paper, then stares at the ceiling, and still nothing comes to mind! Then one of his creative classmates comes to the rescue and helps him realize that a great story can be about something very little — and even Ralph has great stories to tell!

Ages 6-8

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Third Grade Angels, BTS book
Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli
George, aka "Suds," is entering third grade and determined to earn "the halo" — the monthly award that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, gives to the student who is the best behaved and kindest to others. But acting perfectly — in and out of school — proves to be a tough task. Will his good deeds pay off? This is the prequel to Spinelli's bestseller Fourth Grade Rats.

Ages: 7-10

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Ungifted, BTS book
Ungifted by Gordon Korman
Middle school trouble-maker Donovan Curtis pulls a huge prank and expects a major punishment. Instead — thanks to a mix-up by a school administrator — he gets placed in a special program for gifted students. While Donovan is no math or science whiz, he shows the gifted kids that his lively antics are another sort of gift that everyone can learn from.

Ages: 8-12

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