A couple of weeks ago, What to Read Wednesday featured 9 back-to-school books. I admitted at the time that I started out wanting to make 5 recommendations and ended up making 9. Problem was, I wanted to do 15, but the tech gods would not cooperate. I’ve been lamenting not recommending those other books ever since.
You might be looking for chapter books for back-to-school. Well, I have them. And I’m determined to let you know about them. Because I’m stubborn. Sue me.
Chapter books for back-to-school
Ramona Quimby is one of my all-time favorite book characters, and Ramona the Pest is one of my favorite books about her. This is the one in which she starts kindergarten, gets in trouble for pulling those boingy curls of a classmate, and has her first crush and rather humiliating heartbreak. I love Ramona, because I was soooo that kid when I was little. Even when she has the best of intentions, trouble seems to find Ramona. Maybe your littles can relate.
For hilarity and just plain adorable-ness, you can’t beat Junie B Jones by Barbara Park. Junie is misunderstood, and most kids can relate to her antics. Even when she’s trying her level best to be good, Junie seems to end up in trouble, and her reactions are priceless and timeless. If you have a little one who feels the world is unjust, give him or her Junie to commiserate with.
What’s neat about The One and Only Stuey Lewis–Stories from the Second Grade by Jane Schoenberg is that it’s a bunch of related short stories about Stuey surviving the second grade. So your littles can read one story at a time. It’s a brilliant and funny introduction to chapter books for littles who are just moving up from picture books. And it makes second grade seem survivable. Your littles will love it.
The book that introduced Fudge. I mean, Come On. Of course, the 4th Grade Nothing is Peter Warren Hatcher, Fudge’s older brother, who is So Over his little brother. It’s hard to be the good son when an adorable ball of terror is following you about, messing everything up. For kids with younger sibs, this book will either make them grateful they don’t have a Fudge in their lives or feel like someone finally understands. Either way, it will make them laugh.
1.) Peck, and you know how I feel about him. 2.) “If your teacher has to die, August isn’t a bad time of year for it,” is how it starts. And for some reason, that line is hilarious. 3.) It’s set in Indiana. And if you don’t know how much I love Indiana, you haven’t been paying attention. Plus, how would you feel if your teacher died and you thought you’d get out of school for a year only to have Your Sister take over and keep the school going?! This book is set in 1904, when such things were entirely possible. A funny and feel-good story (as ever from Peck), The Teacher’s Funeral will have your littles riveted.
I know what you’re thinking. 9 + 5 Does Not = 15. But for the life of me, I can’t remember what that 6th book was. So you’ll have to settle for a total of 14 back-to-school books. I mean, you can’t read them all at the beginning of this school year anyway.