Back to School Books for the Young’uns

So, school is starting soon. For us here in Sudbury, teachers are going back on the 30th for their first PD day of the year, with the first day of school coming quickly on Tuesday, September 4th. How is it so near September already? It seems like the summer just flew by. I’m so jealous of all the teachers that are going back that early that I nearly can’t contain myself. As an occasional teacher, I’m not quite sure when my first day of school is, but I do know that I’ll be prepared for it – I’ve spent the last two weeks making sure of that. My “Magic” bag is all organized with my print-outs, my in-case-of-emergency crafts, and the like. That’s actually how I began researching for Back to School books for the elementary school student. Maybe I was being a little too optomistic by including these in my bag, but a) you never know, and my fingers are always crossed!; and b) I’ll always be able to use them at some point.

When I was a kid, my favourite Back to School book was “Amanda’s First Day Of School” by Joan E. Goodman. I used to beg my mother to read it to me over and over again, until I had memorized all of the words (“Buzz buzz buzz!” said Amanda.) This book was published in 1987, at the peak of the popularity of the name ‘Amanda’. I think my obsession began because the main character and I shared a first name. As I’m sure you all know, having something in common with the main character for a young child (especially sharing a name!) is a big thing. Mom still laughs when the book is brought up, because not only did it begin my obsession with the written word, but I was also obnoxious and quick to correct while reading it (“No, mummy, it’s ‘said Amanda,’ not ‘Amanda said’!” I would cry, because dear Mom thought it was funny to try to trip me up). It’s a great book: Amanda is a bear that is going to school for the first time. She knows nobody there, and has a little anxiety about going there on her own. Although the day starts in tears(which I’m sure many of the children can relate to), it ends in triumph when Amanda makes a great friend. I have to go find my copy of that book. It’s probably horribly worn out, but it would make a great addition to my collection.

The following are some books that I have read to my students and that they have thoroughly enjoyed:

Any recommendations? What is your favourite book to read to the kiddies? Pass it along.

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