Beating Back-to-School Blues

These days, starting (or returning to) school comes with a whole new set of concerns. But even when we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic, some school experiences can be challenging.

Can you recall a time when you made a minor mistake (or maybe a huge one) and it felt like the whole school laughed? Or when you were a new student, feeling very alone?

Or maybe your mom forced you to be friendly with the meanest kid in your class. Some days it feels like the best thing to do is stay in bed with a blanket over your head!

Sometimes, reading about other kids’ school experiences can help beat those back-to-school blues and make school fun again. Here are some great books that use empathy and humor to explore the ups and downs of life at school.

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Butterflies on the First Day of School

Rosie can’t wait to start kindergarten. But suddenly, on the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly, and she’ll feel better soon. As the day goes on, Rosie frees all her butterflies, and even helps another shy student let go of hers, too.

Josh Baxter Levels Up

Because his family has moved again, Josh Baxter is starting at a new school for the third time in two years, and this time he has really started off on the wrong foot- -but when his mother takes away the video games that have become his refuge because of his poor grades, Josh realizes he has to come up with a new strategy for success.

Kate the Great

Fifth-grader Kate faces a challenge when her mother asks her to be especially nice to Nora, a classmate and fellow flute player who is sometimes mean.

Nana Akua Goes To School

Zura is worried about how her classmates will react to her Ghanaian Nana’s tattoos on Grandparents Day, but Nana finds a way to show how special and meaningful they are.

You’re Wearing That to School?

A cautious mouse named Tiny gives advice to his best friend, an exuberant hippopotamus named Penelope, on such things as what to wear and what to take for show-and-tell on the first day of school.