The start of the school year is always an adventure. Kendall Munch, youth collection development librarian for the Omaha Public Library, suggests these titles to help ease the way.
For kids in preschool through second grade:
1. "Back to School: A Global Journey” by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko. Whether they take a school bus, a boat or a rickshaw to get there, kids around the globe are going to school. Beautiful, joy-filled photographs of children studying, learning, exploring and having fun from nation to nation.
2. "The King of Kindergarten” by Derrick Barnes. Starting kindergarten is a big milestone − and the hero of this story is ready to go. Barnes’ tale gives kindergartners a reassuring confidence boost. Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s illustrations exude joy.
3. "All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
4. "School’s First Day of School” by Adam Rex. It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary, and everyone is a little nervous. The school itself gets off to a rough start. But as the day goes on, the school recovers when it sees that it’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.
For kids in third through sixth grade:
1. "The Friendship War” by Andrew Clements. Grace and Ellie have been best friends for years. Ellie is always right in the center of everything − and Grace is usually happy to be Ellie’s sidekick. But what happens when everything changes? This time it’s Grace who has everyone’s attention when she accidentally starts a new fad at school.
2. "Mr. Bambuckle: Rule the School” by Tim Harris. There has never been a teacher like Mr. Bambuckle. Who else rides a unicycle while flipping bacon in a pan and wearing a dazzling blue suit? He gets to know each and every one of his new students, and makes learning exciting and fun. But Principal Sternblast is not impressed.
For kids in fourth through seventh grade:
1. "Solving for M” by Jennifer Swender. Separated from old friends and starting new classes, Mika is far from her comfort zone. Math class is the most confusing of all, especially when her teacher assigns math journals. Maybe, with some help from friends, family and one unique teacher, a math journal can help her work out her problems.
2. "The Unteachables” by Gordon Korman. The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits. But they never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did. During the year, Room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction — and maybe even a shot at redemption.
This article originally appeared in the September issue of the Momaha Magazine.