Grab your lunchbox, your pencil case and your spanking new shoes, it’s Back to School time again! Here at The Children’s Literacy Charity, we can’t wait for the new school term to get started! So to celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 books about our school life to get you all in the mood for the new term ahead. Whether it’s their first time at big school or they’re moving up a year, there is something here for everyone!
Chu’s First Day of School, Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex:
What’s it about?: First introduced in the previous book, “Chu’s Day”, Chu the panda is a loveable ball of fluff with a great big sneeze…and a lot of nerves. Why? Because it’s his first day of school! What will happen when he gets there? Will all of the other boys and girls find him? Will he fit in? As awkward as he is adorable, this is a great first introduction to the world of school for children just about to go into reception and sensitively touches on fears and anxieties that come as part of the package. Beautifully illustrated by Adam Rex and from the author of Coraline, it’s a definite one for parents and children to share together!
Age range: 3-6
Starting School, Allan and Janet Ahlberg:
What’s it about?: Starting school is never easy. Where do you hang your coat? Where should you sit? This and all other questions are answered in this charmingly old-fashioned picture book. Written and illustrated by Allan and the late Janet Ahlberg, the authors of Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman, this fantastic book focuses on children’s first experience of school and sets out to both educate and reassure them about the challenges that lie ahead.
The Magic School Bus Series, Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen:
What’s it about?: Bet you’ve never been on a school trip quite like any of these! Whether they’re exploring the inside of the human body, becoming bees in the hive or brushing a dinosaur’s teeth, Ms Frizzle’s adventures are always out of this world. Travelling to strange, magical and often crazy places in the yellow school bus, The Magic School Bus series is a top pick for any children with a love of science or history, but children of all ages will be delighted by these wonderful books.
Age range: 6-11
The Malory Towers Series, Enid Blyton
What’s it about?: A wonderful series of six books by Famous Five author Enid Blyton. The series follows the plucky but tempestuous Darrell Rivers as she navigates her way through term-time at Malory Towers, a castle-like, cliff-top boarding school. And there’s plenty to write home about from midnight feasts to meddling classmates, from pranks and pilfered purses to rivalries and recklessness, this book is bound to make you wish you were there. And if you still want more from Malory Towers, then you’re in luck! In 2009, six more books were added to the series by author Pamela Cox, all about Felicity, Darrell’s younger sister! Happy reading!
Age range: 8-11
Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, J.K Rowling:
What’s it about?: We couldn’t very well make a list about ‘Back to School’ books without mentioning our favourite wizarding school, Hogwarts! Although all of the Harry Potter books take place in and around Hogwarts, it’s the first instalment of the series that really got us hooked on the boy wizard’s trials, triumphs and tribulations. Expect owls, letters, half-giants and spells galore! And if you’re still waiting for your Hogwarts acceptance letter, trust us, you aren’t the only one!