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Hi there! I’m Christina, a mom of two littles, a licensed mental health therapist, and a soon-to-be children’s book author! Thanks for checking out my site. Look around! I’m sure there’s something here for you! This article is all about back-to-school books that you will want to have for your kiddos!

15 back to school books

Back to School Books

It’s that time of year again: back to school!

Getting our children prepared with all the necessary items — school supplies, new clothes, filled backpacks, and cool lunch boxes — is the easy part. Helping make sure that our children are emotionally ready for the transition and adjustment is a little harder.

Heading back to school can mean children feel anxious about separating from you, learning, and making friends. Good news is that books can help you and your child feel supported. This collection of back to school books is just what you’re looking for to help ensure the smoothest transition possible!

Here you’ll find books on going to school, inclusion, diversity, overcoming shyness, uniqueness, and friendships.

15 Back to School Books You Need Now!


The not so friendly friend front cover; great back to school books

The Not-So-Friendly Friend by Christina Furnival

Due to the pandemic, children (or all of us!) may feel a bit rusty when it comes to friendships. Being in person again means there is more opportunity for friendships to form, but also that there is a high chance that our children will make friends with someone who does not always treat them well. The Not-So-Friendly Friend is perfect to help your chid navigate a prickly friendship with confidence.

When an endearing girl new to school encounters her first on-again, off-again, not-so-friendly friend, she is left feeling defeated. What is she to do? Empowered by her own self-respect and empathy for others, she caringly sets boundaries and expectations, opening the door for a healthy and mutually beneficial friendship to form.

Christina Furnival is a mom of two, a licensed psychotherapist, a blogger & writer, and children’s book author. She, her husband Tom, and kids resident in her hometown of San Diego where they enjoy days at the beach, trail walking, and wild dance parties in the living room.

Visit her therapeutic motherhood account on Instagram and Facebook, and her Capable Kiddos book series on Instagram


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The Pout-Pout Fish Goest to School by Deborah Diesen

The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School is a great book if your child is feeling unsure and nervous!

Turn little pouts into big smiles! Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he frets about not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes, and how to do math―until he’s reassured that school is the perfect place to learn how to master all of these new skills.

Deborah Diesen is the author of many children’s picture books, including the NYT-bestselling The Pout-Pout Fish. She loves playing with words and rhymes and rhythms.

Visit Deborah on Instagram and Facebook


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Ninja School Rules by Kim Ann

Ninja School Rules is a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book that helps instill respect, focus, confidence, and kindness in youngsters. If you or your child like fun activities, learning to feel strong inside, and believing in what’s possible, then you’ll love Kim Ann’s board-breaking tale of success.

Lucas can’t wait to start martial arts classes. And he longs to be a skillful ninja, just like his dad. But the moment he steps through the door on his first day, all his excitement turns to doubt! Struggling to follow the teacher’s instructions, he starts to worry all the other kids will succeed while he fails. But with cool friendships about to be made, Lucas learns the four rules that could help him break through his nerves… Can the determined young boy find his mojo in the dojo?

Kim Ann is the award-winning and bestselling author of 15 books and three popular book series. She lives in Huntington Beach, CA.

Visit Kim Ann on Instagram and Facebook


Schneider the Spider and his Unusual Friends; back to school books

Schneider the Spider and His Unusual Friends by Czarina Tran

If you’re wanting a story of inclusion and uniqueness, you’ll enjoy Schneider the Spider and his Unusual Friends.


Schneider the spider is the biggest and brownest daddy longlegs in the woods. His big stature and spiky hind legs scare other spiders away. Sad and alone, Schneider finds an unusual friendship in a butterfly. Together, the duo flies around the lake meeting other unique and kind friends. They meet Benji who has a taste for dung. A sudden reaction left them realizing that Benji is a unique beetle. Will they become friends with Benji? Read to find out.

Czarina Tran-Bernett lives in Southern California with her loving husband and two beautiful girls. She attended CSULA, where she earned her Teaching Credential, M.Ed in Elementary Math Education/Early Child Development. Czarina was inspired to blend her passions for education and storytelling in her books. She hopes this book and its messages will encourage children to believe, accept, and be kind.

Visit Czarina on Instagram and Facebook


An alien joined my class book cover; back to school books

An Alien Joined my Class by Rachelle Jones Smith

An Alien Joined My Class is the first in a series called “Word Play” that introduces a few multisyllabic or otherwise advanced words to young readers. Told with rhyme, the story follows a little girl who is surprised by the opportunity to make a friend when a unique new child is added to her class. It’s a gentle introduction to diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Neal’s class was ordinary. So were Tuesdays. When a new student arrives, it gets very interesting. The students are wowed by their classmate’s unique appearance, impressive vocabulary, and his special talents.

Rachelle Jones Smith is an award winning children’s book author. She is the principal author at Keepin’ Up Wit Press. Find her online at

Visit Rachelle on Instagram


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Mummy, I Can’t Find my Loud Voice by Glaiza De Leon

If your child is dealing with anxiety and is quiet in class, Mummy, I Can’t Find my Loud Voice will be just the ticket. This is a heartwarming story about a little girl who struggles to find her loud voice at school. It inspires young children who are shy and quiet, to bravely express their thoughts, one word at a time.

Abigail wondered why it was only her voice that had disappeared. Her friends spoke loudly and clearly all the time. “Let’s build a sandcastle,” said Ben. Abigail wanted to say, let’s make a ginormous one! Her mouth was moving, but there was no sound coming out. Her loud voice was still lost. Join Abigail on an adventure as she tries to find her loud, brave voice at school. Will she ever find it?

Glaiza was born in the Philippines, and moved to Australia when she was one. She grew up in Western Sydney where she completed her schooling years. Throughout school she enjoyed creative projects, in particular when it came to story writing. YA (Young Adult) is her go-to genre to read, but will pick up any book that catches her eye… Including children’s picture books. A favorite pastime is sharing a bedtime story with her three young children who are mini bookworms. Reading together is always the highlight of their day.

‘Mummy, I Can’t Find My Loud Voice’ is Glaiza’s debut children’s picture book. It was written after a conversation she had with her eldest daughter (that pulled on her heartstrings)- who is the main character in the story. Glaiza hopes this story will help children who struggle to speak loudly at school, find a sense of comfort and bravery.

Visit Glaiza on Instagram


One heart cover tara drouin

One Heart by Tara Drouin

One Heart is all about unity and kindness. Even though we may look different on the outside and even like different things, we are all connected as one human race. One Heart is also a song! So make sure you download it at http://www so you can sing along!

Tara Drouin is a teacher, a mom, a musician and a children’s book author. She plays in two bands, Iridesense and The Gum Drops. One Heart is her first book Red Rock Road was released in December, and another one is the way called Starlight. Stay up to date at

Visit her on Instagram


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Jumping into Kindergarten by Julia Cook

This one of the back to school books speaks to our back to school skills! Follow Roo as he figures out how to use and apply his amazing QI Skills: ME, WE, WHY, WILL, WIGGLE, WOBBLE and WHAT IF! With a backpack full of “super cool” skills and a head full of questions, Roo is excited to jump into kindergarten, and your children will be too!

With millions of books in print, Julia Cook is a former school counselor and teacher who never dreamed she could evolve into a national award-winning children’s author, parenting expert, and inspirational speaker. She now travels the world encouraging students and educators to become lifelong problem solvers.


cartwheels book for back to school books post

Cartwheels: Finding Your Special Kind of Smart by Tracy Stein Peterson

Lively Sloane loves to make up dances, put on shows, and do art. But as she heads into first grade, nothing frustrates her more than reading. In math, the numbers go together right in her brain, but no matter how hard she looks at letters, and no matter how many times her teacher and parents say “focus,” she would much rather do cartwheels. She feels sad that she isn’t keeping up with with her class and isn’t reading the “right way.” Then, she finds out that she has dyslexia. Join Sloane on her journey to learn to read, gain confidence, and find her own special kind of smart.

Tracy Peterson is a veteran teacher who has touched hundreds of lives in her 35-year teaching career. She calls herself a jack of all trades, having taught in four states (California, Kansas, Nebraska, and Arkansas), in special education, preschool, high school, college, fifth grade, second grade, and first grade. She is in her 9th year of teaching first grade in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was named “Teacher of the Year” for the Little Rock School District in 2005. Cartwheels is her first book, but she has been telling kid’s stories for years. She is an enthusiastic motivator who finds the good in all, with her class rules being “be kind” and “do your best.” Tracy hopes Cartwheels will be a springboard for positive conversations about dyslexia and for everyone finding and recognizing their own special kind of smart in themselves and in others. She is working on more books in her “From Their Eyes” series, which will feature challenges children face in their own words.

Visit Tracy on her Cartwheels Instagram, Teacher Tracy Instagram, and Facebook


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Wyatt and the What Ifs Go to School by Melanie Hawkins

It’s the first day of school and Wyatt has a case of the “what if’s”! Can he learn to change his mindset? Or will the what if’s take over? Find out in this hilarious new book that is perfect for those children with back to school worries!

Melanie Hawkins an author and illustrator of twelve books. She lives in Utah with her husband and seven children. She loves kayaking, dark chocolate, movie nights with her family, and creating children’s books. She’s an elementary art teacher, and an eternal eternal optimist. She wants to help children see the world as she does with all of its beauty, hope and goodness.

Visit Melanie on Instagram and Facebook


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Should I Say Hi? by Rose Collins

“Hi” — A tiny word can take big courage. This one of our back to school books reads forward & backward exploring two perspectives, providing children a fun way to explore the nerves and excitement that comes when making new friends and facing new environments.

It’s the first day of school but when nerves take over, can Bailey find the courage to say that little two-letter word…hi?

Rose Collins is an award-winning children’s book author living in Portland, Oregon. As a little girl, art, writing, and imagination filled her days. Whether she was dressing up with her little brother for an imaginary dance company or writing stories and plays for school, Rose has always found joy in the world of creativity. Though Rose graduated with a degree in journalism and has spent her career as an art director, Rose’s passion lies in writing. Now grown up, she writes stories to spark imagination and empower dreamers. With each new story, Rose aims to add a bit of courage and creativity into every child’s toolbox.


Our Class is a Family book for back to school books post

Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen

For kids who are feeling nervous about separating from their parents and wanting to know they will fit in at school, Our Class is a Family is a great fit.

Kids learn that their classroom is a place where it’s safe to be themselves, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s important to be a friend to others. When hearing this story being read aloud by their teacher, students are sure to feel like they are part of a special family.

Shannon Olsen was born and raised in Southern California, and obtained a B.A. in English and M.A. in Teaching from University of California, Irvine. She has worked in education for 15 years, primarily as a second grade teacher. Shannon also creates resources for elementary teachers and shares teaching ideas through her online store and blog, Life Between Summers. Her non-work related passions include traveling to new places, and being a wife and a mother of two girls.


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Focused Ninja by Mary Nhin

No matter the task, Focused Ninja had a remarkable way of staying focused until it was complete. But Focused Ninja didn’t always have this wonderful capacity to concentrate. Once upon a time, Focused Ninja could lose focus quite easily. Find out what happens in this comedic book about improving one’s focus and attention.

Mary Nhin loves being the guinea pig for all her husband’s kitchen creations. She is a mom of 3 boys, mindset coach, and author. For 20 years, she has been serving families through her companies, Nhinja Sushi and Grow Grit. She has been awarded the Forty under 40 and Inc 5000. 


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The First Day of School Jitters by Alicia M. Adamson

School can bring on a lot of questions and a lot of different feelings, especially if it’s your first time in a big school. Morgan was a bit nervous of the idea and came down with the First Day of School Jitters. So, how did she handle the jitters; was she able to get rid of them with a little help from her family and a little friend? Let’s read on to find out!

Alicia Adamson is a devoted mother of 3 beautiful children and a loving wife. She’s was born and raised in a small town north of Atlanta. The very land she grew up on is the same land she raises her children on today. Alicia has a graduated degree in professional counseling and has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years, specializing with children and adolescents. Alicia enjoys family time and exploring new opportunities with her husband and children. She loves making vlogs for their Youtube channel and her new journey of being and author with her daughter as co-author. She is a Sunday School teacher, PTA member and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

Visit Alicia and her family on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook


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IMAGINE: An Inspirational Story of Calming Strategies for Children by Elisa Holton Odegard

IMAGINE is a compassionate story about an empathetic and theatrical boy who helps his diverse group of friends cope with their anxieties in their uncertain world. He encourages them to deal with their stresses from their school day by using eight simple calming strategies, including deep breaths and special stretches, as they use the powers of their imaginations too. Just one kind act can make a big difference in someone’s day! Parents, teachers, and kids will find this inspirational story fun, helpful, and heartwarming. When you can IMAGINE, you can do anything!

Elisa Holton Odegard has been teaching elementary school for nearly 30 years, primarily in kindergarten and first grade. Her passion is to inspire children to love reading for learning and enjoyment, as well as supporting their social and emotional needs. This is her first published book, a lifelong dream come true. A proud Minnesotan all her life, she lives there with her devoted husband and two endearing children. She is grateful for God’s many blessings in her life, including her special students. For more information about this author and nonprofit founder to support children’s mental health, go to

Visit her on Instagram and Facebook

I hope this collection of back to school books are just what you need to help you and your children feel ready and equipped for a fabulous year!

Christina Furnival

Christina is a mom to two wild and wonderful kiddos, a licensed psychotherapist (LPCC), the founder of her website and therapeutic motherhood blog Real Life Mama, and a children's book author of a social/emotional wellbeing series, Capable Kiddos! She and her Scottish husband are raising their family in San Diego, where they love to hike, play soccer, cook, walk around the lake, and go to the beach.

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