Going back to school is exciting and scary for children and their parents alike. Each year brings something new, even when the school building and the routines of the school day are familiar.
Writers have always loved telling stories about school. Here are 10 classics from the HMH catalog for educators and parents to share with K-12 students as they head toward the school year and all the new encounters it will bring.
For Younger Children:
Curious George’s First Day of School by Margret and H.A. Rey
Do you have a child who is going to school for the first time? A familiar character from a favorite series may help ease the transition! Curious George spends a day in Mr. Apple’s classroom as a special helper. Of course, George gets into mischief—specifically when it’s time to paint some pictures. In the process, he shows how to mix red, yellow, and blue to make other colors.
Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: School Days by Erica Silverman
We commonly hear stories about a human being who is nervous about leaving an animal behind. In this book, Cocoa the horse is afraid Kate won’t be interested in hanging out with him once she makes friends in school. Kate does make new friends, but she still has time to be with Cocoa and needs Cocoa’s help when she writes a report for school on horses.
Mr. Putter & Tabby Ring the Bell by Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard
Even though you may think Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby would seem too old to go to go to school, they find a way to do so when they, along with neighbors Mrs. Teaberry and her dog Zeke, take part in show-and-tell.
Second Grade Holdout by Audrey Vernick
Going to school can be scary even if you have already been there before. It isn’t school that the unnamed narrator is apprehensive about; he just doesn’t want to move on to a new grade. He’s familiar with the routines of first grade, and his best friend’s older sisters have been telling them horrible stories about what happens in second grade—so he’s going to refuse to move on. The girls eventually end up getting him excited about the new things he’ll be doing as a second grader.
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus and Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the Cafeteria by John Grandits
If older children are scaring the younger ones with tall tales about what happens in school, you may want them to read these two funny companion books. Kyle’s older brother is firm that if Kyle doesn’t follow these rules exactly, he will be disgraced. After some initial worry, Kyle quickly learns the valuable lesson that not every experience is the same for everyone—as well as the equally valuable lesson that your older siblings don’t know everything.
Rain School by James Rumford
Children go to school everywhere in the world, though their experiences are often quite different from one another. Thomas is going to school for the first time in his village in Chad. When he and the other children arrive, they find that first they and the teacher must build the school with mud bricks and a straw roof before they can start learning. After the school is constructed, they learn many new things, including that education is more important—and more lasting—than the school building itself.