It’s time to go back to school! Get your kids excited about reading with First Book’s five favorite books for the new school year.
If you work with kids in need, you can find these titles on the First Book Marketplace by clicking on the pictures next to the description of each book. Also be sure to visit our Back to School section for more great reads.
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse
by Kevin Henkes
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can’t wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly’s fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends.
Mr. George Baker
by Amy Hest, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
George Baker (a hundred-year-old musician with the crookedy fingers) and Harry (a young schoolboy whose shoelaces always need tying) don’t seem the likeliest of friends. Yet, sitting side by side on George’s porch, waiting for the school bus to come, the two have plenty in common. They’re both learning to read, which is hard – but what’s easy is the warm friendship they share. In an inspired pairing, a best-selling author and illustrator pay tribute to the power of language and intergenerational bonds.
Alvin Ho: Allergic To Girls, School, And Other Scary Things
by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Alvin Ho is a Chinese American second grader who is afraid of everything – elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad. From the author of the ALA Notable Ruby Lu series comes a funny and touching chapter book – perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers – that introduces a truly unforgettable character.
Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading
by Tommy Greenwald, illustrated by J. P. Coovert
Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.
The Tequila Worm
by Viola Canales
Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter cascarones, celebrating el Dia de los Muertos, preparing for quinceañera, rejoicing in the Christmas nacimiento, and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm. When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to an elite boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It’s a different mundo, but one where Sofia’s traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.