Back to School Reads

A blue backpack with school supplies spilling out, including notebooks, pens, pencils, scissors, and a binder clip.

Get ready for the new school year with this selection of books for ages 0-8, ages 9-12, and teens!

Cartoon of a smiling man with a large mustache, short dark hair, wearing a teal jacket and a white turtleneck.
Marketing Coordinator
Book cover of "El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!" featuring a boy with a creature in a basket, colorful flowers, and a cactus.

El Cucuy is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera

Ramón is worried about his first day at a new school, but it helps to remind El Cucuy, the monster who lives in his cactus pot, of how brave and strong they both are.

Book cover of "My School Unicorn" by Willow Evans, illustrated by Tom Knight, featuring a child and a pink unicorn.

My School Unicorn by Willow Evans

It’s almost time for Evie to go to school, but thinking about it makes her feel all wobbly and anxious. But when Evie puts on her new school uniform, she makes a magical discovery. Hidden inside the pocket of her jumper is Bobby, a tiny school unicorn! Bobby has a very important job – helping children feel brave when they go to school. With her new magical friend by her side, Evie soon learns that starting school is LOTS of fun!

Cover of "The Shape of Home" shows a girl pointing at colorful map shapes with a cat and sea lion nearby.

The Shape of Home by Rashin Kheiriyeh

It’s Rashin’s first day of school in America! Everything is a different shape than what she’s used to: from the foods on her breakfast plate to the letters in the books! And the kids’ families are from all over! The new teacher asks each child to imagine the shape of home on a map. Rashin knows right away what she’ll say: Iran looks like a cat! What will the other kids say? Open this book to join Rashin in discovering the true things that shape a place called home.

Cover of "The King of Kindergarten" featuring a smiling child wearing a crown on a green background with colorful letters.

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

A Newbery Honor-winning author offers an empowering story about a confident little boy who takes pride in his first day of kindergarten, encouraging new students with a reassuring message about this exciting milestone.

Illustration of a school bus with children and a bus driver, a boy walks a dog beside the bus; text reads "Best Buddies.

Best Buddies by Lynn Plourde

A boy with Down syndrome and his dog are best friends, but how will they manage being apart when the boy heads to school for the first time?

A bat with swim gear hangs upside down in a classroom, surrounded by school supplies. The book is titled "Little Bat in Night School.

Little Bat in Night School by Brian Lies

Excited for his first night of school, Little Bat finds his world turned upside down when he finally arrives, in this adorable picture book that celebrates the experience of going to school for the first time.

Cover of "The Day You Begin" by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López, featuring a girl holding a book.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

Book cover of "Isabel and Her Colores Go to School" showing a girl holding a vibrant, multicolored cloth.

Isabel and Her Colores Go To School by Alexandra Alessandri

English just feels wrong to Isabel. She prefers her native Spanish. As she prepares for a new school, she knows she’s going to have to learn. Her first day is uncomfortable, until she employs her crayons and discovers there’s more than one way to communicate with new friends.

Book cover of "Swim Team: Small Waves, Big Changes" showing a girl in a swimsuit and goggles, with a pool background.

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

When she has to take Swim 101, middle schooler Bree must face one of her greatest fears, but with a little help from an elderly neighbor and former swim team captain, she becomes her schools best hope to beat their rival.

Cover of "Those Kids from Fawn Creek" by Erin Entrada Kelly, depicting a group of kids sitting and talking outdoors.

Those Kids from Fawn Creek Erin Entrada Kelly

When Orchid Mason moves to their small factory town where everyone knows everything about everyone, the students of Fawn Creek Middle School don’t know what to think of this newcomer who could change everything.

Two girls playing trombones with serious expressions, text reads "Scout is Not a Band Kid" by Jade Armstrong.

Scout is Not a Band Kid by Jade Armstrong

Scout joins her middle school’s band in order to go on the band’s annual trip and meet her favorite author, but she is forced to face the music when the trombone section leader realizes Scout does not know how to play.

Cover of "Falling Short" by Ernesto Cisneros, depicting two boys, one holding books and the other in a sports jersey.

Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros

Two best friends, one athletically gifted and one academically gifted, have more in common than they realize when their goals intersect, forcing them to find a way to support each other so they don’t fall short.

Book cover of "Alice Austen Lived Here" by Alex Gino, featuring two kids back to back with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

Alice Austen Lived Here by Alex Gino

Entering his towns contest for a new statue, nonbinary Sam delves into the history of his subject, photographer Alice Austen, and discovers a rich queer history that they are part of one they must stand up for.

Comic book cover featuring four characters on stage with "Heart Takes the Stage" sign. A "Heart of the City" collection.

Heart Takes the Stage by Steenz

Heart Lamarr is a girl with big dreams who lives in Philadelphia with her single mom. She has her sights set on a life of theater, but she runs into plenty of drama off-stage, too. Luckily, her best friends Dean, Kat, and Charlotte form a stellar supporting cast to help Heart navigate the challenging world of school plays, cliques, rumors, and everything else middle school throws at them.

Cover of "Join the Club, Maggie Diaz" by Nina Moreno; girl in chair pointing up, surrounded by various illustrated items.

Join the Club, Maggie Diaz by Nina Moreno

Maggie Diaz of Miami is excited to start seventh-grade with her best friends, Zoey and Julian, and finally getting a cellphone of her own; but after school her friends are wrapped up in their various clubs, her mother is attending college, and her older sister Caro has her sports and tutoring. Maggie decides that she will find a club to join as well–but trying out ALL the different clubs while still juggling school work is exhausting and confusing–and soon it seems like everybody is mad at her, and the cellphone of her dreams is getting further and further away.

Illustrated cover of "The Secret Battle of Evan Pao" featuring a young boy with a classroom in the background.

The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan Long Shang

Moving to Haddington, Virginia, Evan Pao is targeted by a boy who is determined to make sure that Chinese American Evan is not included, forcing Evan to decide whether to react with the same cruelty shown to him, or choose a different path.

Illustration of two women with the text "Every Variable of Us" beneath them. Background includes buildings and night sky.

Every Variable of Us by Charles A. Bush

After she is injured in a gang shooting, seventeen-year-old Alexis Duncan’s dreams of a college scholarship and pro basketball career vanish, but, encouraged by new student Aamani Chakrabarti, Alexis shifts her focus to the school’s STEM quiz bowl team, a group of self-professed nerds seeking their own futures outside of West Philly.

Book cover of "TJ Powar Has Something to Prove" by Jesmeen Kaur Deo, featuring a woman holding a card that says, "It's about to get hairy.

TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo

A charming rom-com about high school debater TJ Powar whoafter becoming the subject of an ugly mememakes a resolution to stop shaving, plucking and waxing, and prove that she can be her hairy self and still be beautiful but soon finds this may be her most difficult debate yet.

Illustrated cover of "Does My Body Offend You?", depicting two women standing side by side against a pink background.

Does My Body Offend You? by Mayra Cuevas

When outspoken feminist rebel Ruby McAllster stands up for a girl being humiliated into covering up, they become the leaders of the schools dress code rebellion, which forces them to face their own insecurities, biases, privileges and the ups-and-downs of newfound friendship.

Cover of "It Sounds Like This" by Anna Meriano, featuring marching band members playing instruments and music notes.

It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano

After anonymously reporting an Instagram account harassing new band members, flautist Yasmin unwittingly gets the entire low brass section suspended from extracurriculars, but with the help of an introverted section leader and an aro-spectrum boy, things just might work out.

Book cover of "Why We Fly" by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal, featuring two cheerleaders sitting on a bench.

Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones

When her best friend, who is Black, is the only student suspended for taking a knee at the seasons first football game, Eleanor must decide whether or not she wants to jeopardize her new relationship with the star quarterback by protesting the schools actions.

Book cover of "Full Flight" by Ashley Schumacher featuring an illustrated scene of a girl and boy sitting with a night sky background.

Full Flight by Ashley Schumacher

Told in alternating perspectives, in a small town in Texas, mellophone player Weston Ryan and saxophonist Anna James are forced to work together on a duet for their school’s marching band competition.

Two female football players in yellow and green uniforms sit on a field beneath the title "Home Field Advantage.

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler

When it is discovered that the new quarterback Jack Walsh is actually Jaclyn, chaos breaks loose, and cheerleader Amber must take a stand for this girl with whom she is falling head over heels in love.

Book cover of "The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School" by Sonora Reyes featuring a girl in a uniform with roses around her.

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Transferred to a Catholic school, 16-year-old Yami Flores finds it hard to fake being straight when she falls for Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, but refuses to follow her heart until she learns to live her full truth out loud.

Recent Posts