15 Back-to-School Books for Preschool through Middle School

It feels like summer just started, and now everywhere we are seeing Back-to-School advertisements for school supplies, clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes, and more.  In our neck of the woods, we still have a few more weeks of summertime…thankfully!  We’re not quite ready to get back into the routine.  But in some parts of the country, school is already starting!

back to school photo

Books Help!

Everyone has first day of school jitters when school starts back up:  the kids, the parents, and even the teachers:  as a former teacher and school librarian, I can attest to that!  But it is an exciting time, full of promise and the chance for a fresh start.  For some kids, however, nervousness turns to anxiety, and worries become fears about the new situation.  That’s where books can be helpful.  Bibliotherapy is sometimes used to help people deal with psychological issues.  We can use that same concept with our kids.  Somehow it just seems to help to read about someone who is going through a similar experience to yourself.

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When my kids were younger and getting ready to start preschool and Kindergarten, it helped us all to read aloud a few books in preparation for the new experience.   Some of our favorites to read before those first days were The Berenstain Bears Go to School and Katy’s First Day (also printed as “Katy Did,” both of which are now out of print).

I’m including a list of books that will help your children get ready for the new school year.  I hope they help your children feel prepared and ready to start the year!

Preparing for Preschool or Kindergarten (or the first time in a school setting):

 The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn

 The Night Before Preschool, by Natasha Wing

 The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing

 Kindergarten, Here I Come! by D.J. Steinberg

 Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate

 Wemberley Worried, by Kevin Henkes

 The Berenstain Bears: Go to School, by Stan and Jan Berenstain

 Ramona the Pest, by Beverly Cleary

Encouraging students who are starting at a new school this year:

 First Day Jitters, by Julie Danneberg

Ruby and the Booker Boys: Brand New School, Brave New Ruby, by Derrick Barnes

 Top Ten Ways to Ruin the First Day of School, by Ken Derby

And then there are the kids who are starting middle school this year.  We have one of these in our house.  Humor sometimes helps ease some of the nervousness, and these books will have your middle-schooler laughing out loud:

 Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja,by Marcus Emerson

 Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova

Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life, by Rachel Renee Russell

 Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1, by Jeff Kinney


Whether your child is feeling nervous or excited about the upcoming school year, reading relevant books never hurts!  Enjoy your last bit of time before school starts where you live!

Happy Reading!