Back to School ✏️

by Public Service Associate Hannah

Where did summer go!? Hopefully into some wonderful memories. Back-to-school season always gets me thinking about just how many materials and resources the library has to assist educators  and learners of all ages. From study spaces and curated teaching collections to college dorm cookbooks and test prep tomes, we have so much school spirit it’s spooky!  Well, that just might be all the dark academia novels talking…  Allow me to share some of my back-to-school book recommendations for Pre-K to Ph.D.  

Illustrations help listeners and readers follow the narrative, which increases comprehension. So what better way to calm first day jitters, offer socializing tips, and show school can be fun than enjoying picture books? 

  • The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen | book / Libby
    • On his very first day of school, Mr. Fish anxiously goes from one classroom to another watching students do things he cannot do. Thankfully, Miss Hewitt shows him to a class right for beginners.
  • A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn | book / book + CD
    • When Chester the raccoon is worried to be apart from his mother, she teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.
  •  The Playground Problem by Margaret McNamara| book
    • There’s a problem on the playground! The boys won’t let the girls play soccer with them during recess. In the end, they learn that the best teams are the ones that everyone gets to play on.
  • Ring, Ring, Click, Clack: Sounds from School by Jennifer Shand | book
    • Listen for students, computer keyboards, art class projects, lunch bells, and so much more in this book about the sounds you can hear at school. 

Chapter books enrich readers with more complex storytelling and help develop inferential skills. They can also be hilarious.

  • Mrs. Stoker is a Joker! by Dan Gutman | book / audiobook / Libby
    • Mrs. Stoker has to face Vice Principal Mrs. Jafee in a big joke-off duel to defend her new job. Will Mrs. Stoker have the last laugh? Or will she lose her audience when things get serious?
  • School Spirit by John Sazaklis | book
    • After Dawson is bullied into being the basketball team’s school mascot he realizes the costume is possessed by a spooky spirit, so he decides to befriend the ghost and take school spirit to a new level.
  • Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros | book / audiobook 
    • Best friends Isaac and Marco face various challenges in sixth grade, such as Isaac getting better grades and Marco winning a spot on the basketball team. They hope their friendship and support for one another will be enough to help them from falling short.

Young adult fiction was developed to meet the transition between children’s and adult literature. YA readers can meet characters who are like them or whom they may not necessarily come across in real life. The stories build our imaginations, empathy, and understanding of the world all while being entertaining of course. 

  • Tough as Lace by Lexi Bruce | book
    • Smart, accomplished teen lacrosse player Lacey “Lace” Stewart is confident and outgoing — on the outside. A powerful and compelling novel-in-verse that explores mental health struggles, friendship, and adolescence.
  • Freaks by Brett  Riley | book
    • After accidentally opening a portal to another dimension, four bullied high school friends find themselves endowed with strange superpowers and they must team up to stop the bloodthirsty creatures invading their small Arkansas town.
  • It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano | book
    • Yasmín is ready to take sophomore year by storm. That means mastering the marching band so she can earn first flute chair and impress both her future college admission boards and her comfortably unattainable drum major crush Gilberto. Will an anonymous gossip Instagram account get in the way?

Don’t forget to make use of our nonfiction selection filled with homework-assisting facts, career introductions, and real-life inspirational stories.

  • Growing Pangs by Kathryn Ormsbee | book
    • Eleven-year-old homeschooled Katie experiences the ups and downs of growing up–from bad haircuts and friendship breakups to new experiences, new friends, and a new understanding of her OCD.
  • The Mammoth Book of Math Activities for Minecrafters: Super Fun Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, and Code-Breaking Activities! by Jen Funk Weber | book
    • Colorfully illustrated puzzles and high-interest, engaging practice problems and activities reinforce the development of first through fourth-grade math skills.
  • What Color is Your Parachute? for Teens by Carol Christen | book / Libby
    • How do you pick a great-for-you job or college major that will finance your future? You need a plan! These exercises help to uncover a major or career path that is uniquely suited to your passions, strengths, and goals.

Ah, higher education. Whether you are tackling your first 20 page paper or setting out to teach future generations, you can polish up and save money by borrowing the latest guides from the library. You got this!

  • The Mindful College Student: How to Succeed, Boost Well-Being, and Build the Life You Want at University and Beyond by Eric B. Loucks | print
    • Based on the clinically proven Mindfulness-Based College course at Brown University, this book teaches students essential mindfulness skills to help them establish and maintain better mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
  • OAE Primary Education (PK-5) (055) Secrets Study Guide | print
    • The ideal prep solution for anyone who wants to pass their Ohio Assessments for Educators. The study guide includes practice test questions, tip, strategies, and more.
  • Write for Your Life: A Guide to Clear and Purposeful Writing (and Presentations) by Charles Wheelan | print
    • Covers how to organize and present information, why it’s necessary to adapt one’s tone to different audiences, and when to use other tools for making information more digestible.

As school activities, homework and the general buzz build back up, and you have stayed with me this long, I’m going to step up on my public library staff soap box and remind you to make time to read for pleasure! Our personalized pick bundles are convenient when you have a million things to do on a school night, but browsing the stacks is oh so lovely.