Back To School Books

Do you have any students that get nervous about starting school?

Check out these back to school titles:



A Tiger Tail by Mike Boldt

This book reminds me of A Bad Case Of Stripes.  How would you feel if you woke up with a tiger tail on your first day of school?

Topics: back to school, diversity, acceptance, friendship, kindness, respect, first day jitters

Activity: have students create their own animal tail or ears!


The Pigeon Has To Go To School by Mo Willems

The Pigeon is back and he does not want to go to school! He worries about being bored, learning to much, not like anything, liking to much. A must have for younger grades.

Topics: first day jitters, anxiety, separation anxiety, stress, back to school

Activity: Partner with my separation anxiety small group curriculum. 


First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

After reading this book check out all the “jitter juice” recipes on Pinterest.

Topics: first day jitters, starting school, separation anxiety

Activity: make jitter juice and partner with my feel good plan 


Dog- Gone School by Amy Schmidt

This is a collection of poems about school and is a great way to introduce a “day in the life of.”

Topics: back to school, academics, school rules, what is your favorite part of school, poetry

Activity: have kids make their own acrostic poem about school 

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We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

Our main character is shocked to discover that his classmates are HUMAN! Can he find the self control not to eat them?

Topics: behavior, self control, behavior expectations, starting school, empathy, friendship, peer relationships

Activity: partner with my beginning of the year lesson.


Ming Goes To School by Deirdre Sullivan

What does Ming learn on her first day? How to greet, how to create, and how to make friends!

Topics: back to school, friendship, respect, friendship, curiosity, diversity


Remarkably You by Pat Miller

In our class we are each special and this year we are going to discover what makes you remarkable.

Topics: self esteem, community, diversity, friendship, character education, respect, teamwork

Activity: Play a game with my roll and respond freebie. 


Be A Maker by Katey Howes

This book poses the questions: “What will be make this year?” “What can we create?” “How can we make the most out of each day?”

Topics: growth mindset, teamwork, character education

Activity: Partner with my activity set to discuss mindset and promote team work.


The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

Leaving someone we love is hard. This books tackles a very sensitive topic in a gentle way.

Topics: back to school jitters, anxiety, stress, back to school, separation anxiety

Activity: Partner with my separation anxiety small group curriculum. 


The Rabbit Listened by Corri Doerrfeld

When something unexpected happens sometimes we don’t know what to do. The animals in this book give lots of advice, but our rabbit just listens. Perfect to introduce the role of the school counselor.

Topics: feelings, caring, role of school counselor, help, empathy

Activity: Partner with the Music City School Counselor’s Meet the Counselor lesson and pick up my activity packet to use this book throughout the year to address listening, coping and grief.

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Schools First Day Of School by Adam Rex

A first day of school, but told from another point of view. What is it like for a school building to start school? Adam Rex will tell you.

Topics: back to school, point of view, respect, respect of supplies/materials, first day jitters

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Cookies: Bite Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This is a great way to introduce vocabulary that students will hear and use all year. You could even break it up and review a page a week or month.

Topics: character education, respect, responsibility, kindness, school rules/expectations, life skills, social skills


David Goes To School by David Shannon

“Oh David!” David is such a love-able character for younger students. Join David on his school adventure.

Topics: starting school, behavior, school expectations

download (2)Unstoppable Me! by Wayne Dyer

Want to be unstoppable this year? Follow along as you can learn skills for success. Another great book to break into units.

Topics: character education, perseverance, life skills, growth mindset, risk taking, stress

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How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? by Jane Yolen

This series is so much fun for younger students (K-1). Learn how dinosaurs and humans should behave at school.

Topics: behavior, school expectations, back to school, starting school, routines

Activity: Partner with my separation anxiety small group curriculum. 

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Steve’s Sunday Blues by Neal Layton

Adults aren’t the only one with a case of the Mondays. This books is great for students who start to dread Monday on Sunday.

Topics: stress, back to school jitters, separation anxiety, routines

Activity: Partner with my separation anxiety small group curriculum. 


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Chester the Raccoon is scared to leave mom, but when she teaches him the kissing hand trick his separation anxiety melts away.

Topics: separation anxiety, back to school jitters, starting school, stress, sadness, routines

Activity: Partner with my separation anxiety small group curriculum. 


All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

In our school everyone is welcome. Celebrate diversity and acceptance with this picture book that makes everyone feel welcome.

Topics: diversity, acceptance, character education, starting school, kindness, friendship, respect

Activity: Partner with my cooperative learning set.


The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Help students find their inner strength and courage when they start school.

Topics: diversity, back to school, courage, fear, separation anxiety, stress

Activity: Check out the great resources from Harper Collins.


The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

We are all different and special, including the uniqueness of our names.

Topics: diversity, self esteem, tolerance, community, acceptance, class culture, kindness, respect

Activity: Play a name game. My favorite is asking students to think of an animal that starts with the first letter of their first name. Then we go around and share.

Totally Tardy Marty: Perl, Erica S., Krosoczka, Jarrett J.: 9781419716614: Books

Totally Tardy Marty by Erica Perl

Late for school? So is Marty! This hilarious book will get students thinking about staying focused and getting ready for school.

Topics: attendance, responsibility

Activity: Partner with Savvy School Counselors attendance file folder activity.

Set the stage for friendship and inclusion with this beautiful book.

Topics: inclusion and friendship

Activities: have students make a friend Venn diagram.

All the animals have a case of first-day jitters, but they can soon learn so does their teacher.

Topics: anxiety, starting school, coping skills, overcoming fear

Activities: have students draw how they felt about starting school and what has helped them overcome their “jitters.”

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