7 Best Reads for Back-to-School

7 Best Reads for Back-to-School

Our Educational Sales Manager, Sarah, shares her top picks for back-to-school. These books will allow you to start the year off with hope, empathy, curiosity and laughter!

Inspire hopeful thinking and a caring mindset

Using simple but powerful statements, Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith delivers a touching message about loving, nurturing and wishing the best for the children in our lives and asks young readers what hopes they have for themselves. 

Themes: empathy, friendship, community, kindness, hope, family

Grades: Preschool to Kindergarten

Help students dealing with nerves and anxiety at school

Olivia imagines her anxiety as vines that wrap around her body making it difficult to do the things she loves. A caring teacher helps her with strategies for managing her fears and worries.

★ “Scenes are evocative and provide endless opportunities for discussion with young children.”

—SLJ, starred review

Grades: Preschool to Kindergarten

Spark curiosity with a scientific view of the world

★ “In this delightfully original nonfiction picture book…the readable text offers understandable science, while the engaging illustrations promote careful investigation. A valuable addition to science and nature collections. Highly recommended.”

SLJ, starred review

Supports: STEAM, biodiversity, animal adaptations, seasons, time, nature, inquiry-based learning

Grades: Preschool to Kindergarten

Have a laugh together!

Junior the giraffe is just looking for a nice quiet place to read his book. But there is one problem (actually, five problems): Junior’s brothers and sisters are just too noisy! In an act of desperation, he finally discovers the one thing that will keep them quiet: reading his book out loud.

Teachers: A great read-aloud to help with transitions to independent quiet time, this book is guaranteed to have your students laughing at its fart and burp jokes.

Grades: Preschool to Kindergarten

Make connections and inspire inquiring minds

Rooted in Indigenous teachings, this picture book encourages readers to consider the ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and to think deeply about their behaviors. Every decision we make ripples out.

Themes: Indigenous ways of knowing, nature, life cycles, animal welfare, self-esteem, self-respect

Grades: Preschool to Kindergarten

Encourage kindness and empathy towards others

This beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives.

Themes: empathy, friendship, community, kindness, compassion, gratitude

Grades: Preschool to Kindergarten

Explore prejudice in this coming-of-age story

Told in vignettes, this novel for middle readers shares the story of Indigenous youth Mia in the coastal fishing town of Prince Rupert in the 1980s. Mia and her best friend, Lara, have been friends since kindergarten, but Mia begins to recognize that there are some big differences between them.

★ “Readers will be left with a rich image of Mia’s world and the family and people that surround her as well as a strong sense of how culture and class impact people’s experiences. A touching exploration of identity and culture.”—Kirkus Reviews

Grades: Four to Seven

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