20 Children’s Books for Back to School

Welcome your students to the new school year with silly, humorous, and inspiring books to get them started on a wonderful school year!

Calm their first-day jitters and get them laughing with some silly books for elementary students and encourage them to set some goals for the upcoming school year.

Books for Back to School


This list of books for back-to-school reading is full of both fiction and nonfiction, silly and serious titles! They are picked for kindergarten through 3rd-grade students, but can be read with students of any age.

Books for Back to School

  • Dear Teacher is a cute book about a student that is really nervous about going to school. He writes letters to his teacher stating all the reasons he can’t come to class, and she writes back telling him all the fun things he is going to miss. He decides going to school may be more fun than he thought!
  • Our Class is a Family is a great book to read to help build a strong class community! It important for your students to feel safe and accepted in your classroom and building a class community is a great way to do that!
  • The Night Baafore the First Day of School is a cute story about a little boy that is nervous for school and tries counting sheep. The problem is that the sheep are being naughty and making him more anxious!
  • If You Take a Mouse to School is a fun book about a silly mouse. If you do one thing then he wants another and another. Students will love guessing what he wants next.
  • The Day You Begin is just the story you need if you have students that are nervous to be at school. This book talks about differences and being prepared that you aren’t just like your classmates, and that is okay!

5 Books for Talking about Classroom Expectations

  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! Are you expecting a group of students that is full of energy and a little wild? This book will make them laugh but also explain the importance of controlling our bodies at school.
  • What If Everybody Said That? is a good book to read for teaching kindness and thinking before we speak. The world is hard enough, let’s not use harsh words to hurt others.
  • That Rule Doesn’t Apply to Me! is a book that is perfect to read if you have a strong-willed student that thinks they are above the rules.
  • My Mouth Is A Volcano is a must-read to teach children the importance of not interrupting and keeping your words to yourself.
  • I Have Ants In My Pants is a funny story about learning to control the wiggles and body impulses. A great read for young children or for a student that struggles with this.
classroom expectations titles

5 More Back to School Books

  • The Worst Day of My Life Ever! is a book about choosing to listen and following the directions or not. There are consequences to our actions and students must understand that.
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books! is a silly rhyming story about an old lady that eats weird things. Students will love listening to this book and some will join in since it features a repetitive text for students to chant.
  • Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes is a great book you young children to learn about colors and staying chill when something bad happens.
  • The Recess Queen is a great tool to read to students about bullying. Mean Jean is the recess queen, and no one says otherwise until a new student comes to school.
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a story that will melt your students’ hearts and make them think about their actions towards others.
books for school time

John Jory Books for Encouraging Students

  • The Smart Cookie is a great story to talk about differences in the classroom and being true to yourself! This cookie has never felt smart since the bakery is full of clever cupcakes and brilliant rolls, but will a little creativity help this cookie feel important?
  • The Bad Seed is one of my favorites to use when I am talking about taking responsibility for your own actions. The seed is choosing to be bad after a terrible experience in his life, but he decides to change, and it feels good!
  • The Good Egg is a good tool to use when you are talking about self-love and worrying about yourself. The egg just wants everyone to follow the rules in his carton, but they are naughty! This causes him to crack under the pressure; he learns that he can only control his actions and it is okay to have a little fun too.
  • The Couch Potato is the book I read when I am encouraging kids to find balance in their lives. The potato loves to watch TV but then the power goes out! He has to go outside, and he realizes it is pretty fun and it makes his body feel good!
  • The Cool Bean is a powerful book about friendship, accepting others, and being kind. Your students will laugh and learn while you read this book about a group of cool beans and the has-bean.

Grab the whole set here!

Joh Jory titles to encourage students

Do you have any great books for back to school? Please drop a comment below with your favorite titles!

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