101 Great Back-to-School Books for Teachers and Students

As teachers prepare for the start of the school year, they’ll be searching for back-to-school books to use during those first few weeks of school.

If you’re one of those teachers, keep reading.

Here you will find a collection of books for back-to-school that inspire, empower, and instill confidence.

No matter the age or subject, you’ll find a book here to suit your needs because this list includes a variety of finds categorized based on the theme you would like to share with students.

Back-to-School Books


Following are some books for back-to-school suitable for students across different grade levels:

  • First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg – A delightful story about overcoming first-day-of-school nerves.
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn – A heartwarming tale about separation anxiety and the power of love.
  • The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi – A story about embracing one’s identity and cultural heritage in a new school.
  • Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes – A sweet story about dealing with worries and anxieties in school.
  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss – An inspirational book about life’s journey and possibilities.
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – A classic tale of friendship, loyalty, and acceptance.
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl – An entertaining story about a brilliant girl who loves to read and overcomes challenges.
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio – A touching novel about a boy with facial differences navigating school and kindness.
  • The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) by Rick Riordan – An exciting fantasy adventure with Greek mythology.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney – A hilarious and relatable series in the form of a diary.
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner – An action-packed novel for older readers.


  • Back to School Rules (Laurie B. Friedman)
  • Being Frank (Donna Earnhardt, Andrea Castellan)
  • Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice (Julia Cook, Anita DuFalla)
  • Manners at School (Carrie Finn, Chris Lensch)
  • Mr. Peabody’s Apples (Madonna)
  • My Mouth is a Volcano (Julia Cook)
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria (Peggy Rathmann)
  • Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the Cafeteria (John Grandits, Michael Allen Austin)
  • Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus (John Grandits, Michael Allen Austin)
  • The Thingumajig Book of Manners (Irene Keller)
  • What If Everybody Did That? (Ellen Javernick)

A Good Laugh/Breaking the Ice

  • Arthur’s Teacher Trouble (Marc Brown)
  • Dear Teacher (Amy Husband)
  • The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily Ordinary First Day of School (Albert Lorenz)
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Mark Teague)
  • How to Get Your Teacher Ready (Jean Reagan)
  • I Need a New Butt! (Dawn McMillan)
  • It’s Back to School We Go! First Day Stories From Around the World (Ellen Jackson, Jan Davey Ellis)
  • The New Bear at School (Carrie Weston)
  • Principal Tate Is Running Late! (Henry Cole)
  • School’s First Day of School (Adam Rex)
  • Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! (Rob Scotton)
  • Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia! (Peggy Parish)
  • This School Year Will Be the Best (Kay Winters)
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates (Ryan Higgins)

Growth Mindset

  • A Little SPOT of Optimism (Diane Alber)
  • A Place for Zero: A Math Adventure (Angeline Sparagna LoPresti)
  • After the Fall (Dan Santat)
  • All the Ways to Be Smart (Davina Bell)
  • The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes (Mark Pett)
  • How to Read a Book (Kwame Alexander, Melissa Sweet)
  • I Got the School Spirit (Connie Schofield-Morrison)
  • The Magical Yet (Angela DiTerlizzi)
  • Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind (Judy Fincher)
  • My Wild First Day of School (Dennis Mathew)
  • Whatever You Are, Be a Good One: 100 Inspirational Quotations Hand-Lettered (Lisa Congdon)
  • Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It (JoAnn Deak Ph.D, Sarah Ackerley)
best back to school books
books for back-to-school

Beginning-of-Year Anxieties

  • A Letter From Your Teacher on the First Day of School (Shannon Olsen)
  • A Tiger Tail (Mike Boldt)
  • Amelia’s Notebook (Marissa Moss) 
  • Butterflies on the First Day of School (Annie Silvestro)
  • The Class (Boni Ashburn)
  • Danbi Leads the School Parade (Anna Kim)
  • First Day Jitters (Julie Danneberg, Judy Love)
  • Justin Case: School, Drool, & Other Daily Disasters (Rachel Vail, Matthew Cordell)
  • The Pigeon HAS to Go to School (Mo Willems)
  • School Is Cool (Sabrina Moyle)
  • School’s First Day of School (Adam Rex)
  • Spider School (Francesca Simon)

Celebrating Uniqueness

  • A Bad Case of Stripes (David Shannon)
  • The Best Part of Me (Genia Connell)
  • Different is Good (Rebecca J. Jackson, Phelan Good)
  • I Like Myself (Karen Beaumont, David Catrow)
  • I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything (Kyle Schwartz)
  • It’s OK to Be Different (Sharon Purtill)
  • Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration (Samara Cole Doyon, Kaylani Juanita)
  • Marvelous Me: Inside and Out (Lisa Maria Bullard, Brandon Reibeling)
  • The Name Jar (Yangsook Choi)
  • Rot, the Cutest in the World! (Ben Clanton)
  • Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are (Maria Dismondy, Kathy Hiatt)

Building Community/Virtual Learning

  • A Little SPOT Learns Online: A Story About Virtual Classroom Expectations (Diane Alber)
  • All Are Welcome (Alexandra Penfold)
  • The Big Umbrella (Amy June Bates)
  • The Circles All Around Us (Brad Montague)
  • Hello World! (Kelly Corrigan)
  • Our Class is a Family (Shannon Olsen)


  • Be Kind (Pat Zietlow, Jen Hill)
  • The Cool Bean (Jory John, Pete Oswald)
  • Do Unto Otters (Laurie Keller)
  • Enemy Pie (Derek Munson)
  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids (Carol McCloud)
  • The Invisible Boy (Trudy Truwig)
  • The Juice Box Bully (Bob Sornson, Maria Dismondy)
  • Kindness Gets a Thumbs Up (Brenda Li)
  • Milk Goes to School (Terry Border)
  • The Recess Queen (Alexis O’Neill)
  • Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind (Jessica Hische)
  • The Twig (Aura Parker)
  • The Weird Series (Erin Frankel)


  • The Gigantic Turnip (Aleskei Tolstoy, Niamh Sharkey)
  • The Great Fuzz Frenzy (Janet Stevens)
  • Narwhal Series (Ben Clanton)
  • Swimmy (Leo Lionni)

Chapter Books

  • Cam Jansen: The First Day of School Mystery (David Adler)
  • EllRay Jakes Series (Sally Warner, Jamie Harper)
  • Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet (Megan Frazer Blakemore)
  • Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel (Nikki Grimes)
  • Wonder (R.J. Palacio)
  • The World According to Humphrey (Betty G. Birney)

Final Thoughts On Books for Back-to-School

As you prepare for the upcoming school year, you’ll find this assortment of back-to-school books helpful.

By sharing these books, your students will feel inspired, ready to learn, and eager to get the school year started.

These books for back-to-school will undoubtedly serve as guiding lights on the path to a successful and enriching academic year.