Our Back-to-School Bookshelf

Do you know the must-have book of this back-to-school season?


A hilarious twist on the classic first-day-of-school story, this book, which has starred reviews from PW, Kirkus, and Horn Book, finds author/illustrator Ryan Higgins (Mother Bruce) in top form. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates is a perfect read aloud for students with first-day-of-school jitters, kids who struggle to understand personal space, and anyone who just plain loves a silly story (Who doesn’t?!). Kids will both relate to Penelope, an adorable dinosaur who just wants to fit in, and find her misadventures laugh-out-loud funny.

We Don't Eat Our Classmates

About the book: In this hilarious new book from Ryan T. Higgins, Penelope Rex is nervous about her first day of school. She just wants to make friends, which can be tough when your classmates are children. Because, as everyone knows, children are delicious. But when Penelope tries to make friends with the class goldfish, she learns that it’s no fun to be anyone’s snack.


Picture Books

Dear Substitute

Dear Substitute cover

When a substitute teacher comes for a day, bringing new activities and a shake up to the normal routine, a hesitant student must adjust. Told in a series of poems, covering everything from mispronounced names and uncollected homework to discovering a new favorite activity, Dear Substitute is the perfect book to show anxious students that even when the teacher is out, or the routine changes, everything will be okay.

The Teacher’s Pet

When a teacher gets too attached to the class pet, it’s up to his students to show him that this enormous animal may not be the best fit for their classroom in this silly story. The Teacher’s Pet, which received a starred review from PW, is sure to get lots of giggles, and relieve students of some of those back to school jitters. Unless the class pet happens to look suspiciously like a hippopotamus…

Super Saurus Saves Kindergarten

Arnold is nervous about starting kindergarten, so he turns to his superhero alter ego, Super Saurus, to save the day. With his cape, his mask, and his imagination, Super Saurus is ready to take on all of the challenges the first day of school presents, like defeating his nemesis Zorgo the Evil Genius and his pet T-rex. Perfect for kids with active imaginations, this book embraces creative thinking, while reassuring readers that school is not as scary as it might seem.

Chapter Books

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker: Incognito

Beatrice Zinker’s mission continues in Incognito, the second book in this illustrated chapter book series about the misadventures of an unconventional but well-intentioned third grader. In this installment, we see Operation Upside in full swing, but new rules from her strict teacher make it difficult for Beatrice to complete her mission. When a misunderstanding puts the mission, and Beatrice’s friendship with her best friend Lenny, in jeopardy, she has to use some upside down thinking to make it right.

Quinny & Hopper: Smart Cookies

Smart Cookies cover

In book three of this sweet, hilarious chapter book series, bold Quinny petitions to overturn a new school-wide ban on sweets (the horror!), mild-mannered Hopper reinvents the ‘Friendship Bench’ at recess, and both learn to embrace the qualities that make them who they are.

Middle Grade

Captain Superlative!

Janey has spent most of her school life staying out of the spotlight, until she meets Captain Superlative, a fellow student who protects the school while dressed as a superhero. Who could it be? The question leads Janey to an unexpected friendship with a superhero like no other. But superheroes hold secrets and Captain Superlative is no exception. When Janey unearths what’s truly at stake, she’s forced to face her own dark secrets and discover what it truly means to be a hero . . . and a friend.


Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. Click’d pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right. Can Allie fix her app and repair her friendships—all before she steps on stage to present Click’d at the youth coding competition?