It’s that time of year again. Our Summer Stars are now calling into the library in their school gear, ready to be back learning beside their friends. For some, the beginning of classes can be nerve-wracking and sometimes frightening, especially if they’re starting in a new school.
Here is a mix of picture books and chapter books that each carry with it a positive or uplifting message around time spent at school. These stories embrace and celebrate diversity and difference or tell of a child’s experience starting anew or overcoming hurdles. Happy reading!
By Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
‘No matter how you start your day, what you wear when you play, or if you come from far away, all are welcome here.
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students grow and learn from each other's traditions. A school where diversity is a strength.
Warm and inspiring, All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, and they are welcome in their school.’
By Natasha Farrant
‘When Alice is expelled and sent away to an isolated boarding-school, she'll do whatever it takes again to get away. But Stormy Loch Academy isn't quite what she expected. With its strange rules and eccentric headmaster and rag-tag mix of students and teachers, it has a way of growing on you.’
By Yangsook Choi
‘The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning.’
By Onjali Q Rauf and Pippa Curnick
‘The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.’
By Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex
‘Chu is a little panda with a BIG sneeze, and when his first day at school approaches, he is nervous. Will the other boys and girls be nice? Will they like Chu? A fabulously warm and funny story about little Chu and his enormous sneeze! A fabulously funny story about first days at school.’
By RJ Palacio
‘Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman: an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, whose first year at school changed the lives and the perspectives of everyone around him.
Auggie & Me is a new side to the Wonder story: three new chapters from three different characters - bully Julian, oldest friend Christopher and classmate Charlotte - giving an insight into how Auggie has touched their own lives. Thought-provoking, surprising, infuriating, heartbreaking and heartwarming, Auggie & Me is a must-read for the thousands of readers who loved Wonder.’ This book is also available as an eBook on BorrowBox.
By Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López
‘There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.’
By Roald Dahl
An all-time classic: ‘Matilda is a bright little girl who is very eager to learn. Eventually, her insensitive parents send her to a school run by Miss (The) Trunchbull. She is a cruel authoritarian that loathes children. Matilda befriends her schoolteacher, Miss Honey.’ This book is also available as an eBook on BorrowBox.
By Patty Brozo and Mark Deas
‘Patty Brozo’s cast of kids brings a playground to raucous life, and Mike Deas’s illustrations invest their games with imaginary planes to fly, dragons to tame, and elephants to ride. And these kids match their imaginations with empathy, identifying and swooping up the lonely among them.
Buddy benches are appearing in schoolyards around the country. Introduced from Germany in 2014, the concept is simple: When a child sits on the bench, it’s a signal to other kids to ask him or her to play.’
By Louis Sachar
‘Bradley Chalkers is the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. Carla, the new school counselor, thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren't afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world.’
All of these titles can be borrowed from your local Fingal Library branch, or reserved through our Online Library Catalogue. You can also check out all the eResources and eServices that Fingal Libraries have to offer.