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School’s back in session: Picture books about new challenges and situations

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Rachel Edmondson

There are lots of wonderful books about first-day school jitters. But reading to our kids about school doesn’t need to end once school is in full swing.

There are all sorts of challenges that kids face while at school. Fortunately, there are also a wealth of books that cover situations such as bullying and feeling left out. If your child is facing challenges at school, reading a book is a great way to begin a conversation.

This list of picture books covers a variety of topics, but not all possibilities. If your child is struggling with something that isn’t included in this list, please ask library staff for help. We’d love to find a book for you and your child to read together.

And now to the list:

Felix Stands Tall
By Rosemary Wells

After Felix and his new friend perform a dance in the school talent show, the other boys start teasing him, but his friend helps him learn how to stand up for himself.

Fiona’s Little Accident
By Rosemary Wells

Fiona waits too long to use the bathroom, and has an accident in front of her whole class.

First Grade Dropout
By Audrey Vernick

When a boy accidentally calls his teacher Mommy, he’s so embarrassed he decides to drop out of school.

I Want a Friend!
By Tony Ross

Little Princess wants a friend, but nobody will play with her. Eventually all of the kids that nobody wants to play with start spending time together and they realize they have friends after all.

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard
By Jennifer K. Mann

Rose wants to get a star by her name, but she doesn’t know all the answers, she can’t read loudly, and her desk is a mess. Will she ever get a star?

Janine
By Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Janine is one-of-a-kind, and she likes it that way. When a girl announces that Janine is not invited to her party because she’s too strange, Janine decides to throw her own party and invite everybody. Janine’s kindness pays off when all of her schoolmates want to come.

The Name Jar
By Yangsook Choi

Unhei is the new kid in class after moving from Korea. When kids can’t pronounce her name, she decides to choose an American name. But does she really want to give up her Korean name?

Red
By Jan De Kinder

When everybody is teasing Tommy, things get worse fast when Paul takes the teasing too far. Everybody is scared of Paul. Will anybody be brave enough to tell the teacher what happened?

Someone New
by Anne Sibley O’Brien

When new kids who seem a little different arrive at school, the students are hesitant to befriend them. But with some courage and creativity, three students cross language barriers and discover new friends.

We’re All Wonders
By R. J. Palacio

A boy’s feelings are hurt when people say mean things behind his back because of the way he looks. But he imagines what it would be like if we could all accept each other’s differences.

When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt
By Molly Bang

Sophie’s class assignment is to draw a picture of a favorite tree. When Sophie’s picture looks different from theirs, her classmates laugh. But the teacher helps the class learn that art can take many forms.

Rachel Edmondson

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