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  • Mariah Wilson

4 Books to Read this September


As classes resume for the fall, our reading recommendations this month focus on situations students might be experiencing as they head back to school. Unlike other years — where students might feel stressed about making friends, achieving high grades, or making a school sports team — this year has an additional stress of returning to in-person classes. Unfortunately, we don't have a book that covers this new situation, but there are resources that can help students with certain COVID-19 situations that arise. Make sure to check out these tips released by the Child Mind Institute if your children are feeling overwhelmed due to lingering worries over COVID-19.

 

Bunny Braves the Day: A First-Day-of-School Story (2020)

Written and illustrated by Suzanne Bloom


"What’s a bunny to do on day one of school when he frets that no one will like him, he can’t tie his shoes, and he can’t read? He can listen to his authoritative but empathic older sister, who (after handing him a pair of Velcro-fastened shoes) responds, “You’ll find a friend. Not all shoes have laces. And teachers love to teach reading.” She patiently assuages Bunny’s fears with reminiscences of her own first-day nerves, which she overcame by, for example, wearing slip-on glitter shoes (“It’s hard to feel jittery when you’re glittery”). Conceding that he’s ready for school, he takes one last stab at postponing the inevitable— “Mom will miss me”—an excuse for which Bloom finds an upbeat, satisfying solution at the close of this heartening sibling tale accompanied by warm mixed-media pictures." —Publisher's Weekly

 

Nana Akua Goes to School (2020)

Written by Tricia Elam Walker and illustrated by April Harrison


"It is Grandparents Day at Zura’s elementary school, and the students are excited to introduce their grandparents and share what makes them special. Aleja’s grandfather is a fisherman. Bisou’s grandmother is a dentist. But Zura’s Nana, who is her favorite person in the world, looks a little different from other grandmas. Nana Akua was raised in Ghana, and, following an old West African tradition, has tribal markings on her face. Worried that her classmates will be scared of Nana–or worse, make fun of her–Zura is hesitant to bring her to school. Nana Akua knows what to do, though. With a quilt of traditional African symbols and a bit of face paint, Nana Akua is able to explain what makes her special, and to make all of Zura’s classmates feel special, too." — Penguin Random House

 

Class Clown (2007)

Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko


"Leonardo has been funny since he was born: he was a funny baby, he was a funny toddler, he was a funny first-grader. But now, his teacher Mrs. Gomez asks him to stop being funny so that the class can learn. He tries his best, but he just has to make a funny face, then tell a funny joke, and then show a funny drawing - with predictable results. And when he finally seriously promises faithfully never to be funny again, he makes the teacher laugh so hard she falls down on the floor laughing!" —Scholastic Canada

 

All Are Welcome (2018)

Written by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman


"Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.


Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other''s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be." —Chapters Indigo


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