10 Awesome Books for Children Who Are Nervous About the First Day of School

10 Awesome Books for Children Who Are Nervous About the First Day of School

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First Day of School Jitters

No matter what grade they are going into the first day of school experience can be scary for many kids. Will their friends still be there? Is their new teacher going to be nice? So many possibilities exist in the minds of our little ones that worrying about the first days of school can be overwhelming.

One of the best ways of combatting the nervousness that surrounds going to a new school for the first time is through books. A first day of school book can help children understand what to expect as they read the experiences of others in their peer group. I have always found that books are a great resource for conveying a message of strength and understanding through the experiences of others. Through reading, children are able to learn how other children or characters dealt with nervousness about school or any other topic. 

I want to share a few books for different age levels that I think are helpful in getting kids excited for the first day of school, and confident that they will succeed this year. Whether starting for the first time or returning to a whole new environment than they were used to, building confidence is one of the best things we can do to ensure a happy and productive year. 

There are a ton of amazing school anxiety books and first day of school books out there to help get kids ready for an awesome year no matter what grade they are going into. Ultimately, a book with your child’s favorite characters or a favorite theme such as dinosaurs or princesses may prove to be the best choice as it combines the familiar and comfortable with the new and uncomfortable to make things less stressful. However, the books included in this list encompass a wide variety of ages, interests, and themes to give you a good starting point when choosing a book to prepare for the first day of school. 

Related: Ten Things I Want to Learn Worksheet: Exploring Your Child’s Interests 

Pinkalicious: School Rules! (I Can Read Level 1)

When Pinkalicious brings her imaginary unicorn, Goldie, to class one day, she learns that with her companion by her side, school rules!

School Spirit (Suddenly Supernatural)

All Kat Roberts wants is to be normal, or at least to look that way to students at her new school. But her mother is a medium, and not the kind that fits in between small and large; Kat’s mom is the kind of medium who sees spirits and communicates with them. And, even worse, Kat has just discovered that she can see spirits too.

In this first adventure in the popular Suddenly Supernatural series, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel brings humor and heart to the trials and tribulations of finding out who you are and who you want to be-all while surviving the seventh grade.


School Buses (Blastoff! Readers: Mighty Machines)
Most children ride these to school every day. Now they have an opportunity to learn how they work! Beginning text and vivid photos aid in learning.

Flight School by Lita Judge 

A persevering penguin is determined to fly in this adorably inspiring picture book from the creator of Red Hat and Red Sled.

Although little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, his body wasn’t built to soar. But Penguin has an irrepressible spirit, and he adamantly follows his dreams to flip, flap, fly Even if he needs a little help with the technical parts, this penguin is ready to live on the wind.

Noodles: I Love School! Level 1
Beginning readers will love these gentle stories about the adventures of Noodles the puppy as he goes to school for the first time, learns to share his favorite toy, and comes to accept the addition of a new kitten to his family.

Superhero School

Every student at Superhero School is good at something, but Henry–though popular with the kids for his humor and pranks–wonders if he’s really superhero material.

School Bugs: An Elementary Pop-up Book by David A. Carter (David Carter’s Bugs)

We’re ready for school.
We’re on our way.
We can’t wait to see what we’ll learn today

Who’s heading to school? The Bugs, of course From the Spelling Bees and the Counting Bugs to the Sandwich Bug with a big bug surprise in the lunch box, David Carter’s wacky, giggly world of bugs pop and pull throughout this funny, buggy tribute to school days

Paper-over-board book has cardstock pages with pop-ups on each spread.

 Scary School by Derek the Ghost 

Join Charles “New Kid” Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends–including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf–and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky

Prairie School by Avi and Bill Farnsworth

It’s the 1880s, Noah works hard on the family farm and roams free on the Colorado prairie. One day his Aunt Dora arrives to give him some schooling. Noah doesn’t think he needs it. What use is reading on the prairie? But what Noah discovers will change his life forever.

Rain School by James Rumford

It is the first day of school in Chad, Africa. Children are filling the road.

“Will they give us a notebook?” Thomas asks.
“Will they give us a pencil?”
“Will I learn to read?”

But when he and the other children arrive at the schoolyard, they find no classroom, no desks. Just a teacher. “We will build our school,” she says. “This is our first lesson.”

James Rumford, who lived in Chad as a Peace Corps volunteer, fills these pages with vibrant ink-and-pastel colors of Africa and the spare words of a poet to show how important learning is in a country where only a few children are able to go to school.

Related: 10 Awesome Books to Help Teach Your Children About DIversity 

first day of school book

Reading Levels and Grade Levels

I have not included the reading levels or grade levels of each of the books because I feel that reading levels vary greatly on a child by child basis. You can find more information on each book including suggested reading level, price, and publishing date by clicking the book’s title.

I have tried to include books that involve many situations that children may face in school. As well, I have added books appropriate for those just starting out and those who have been going for a while but may face new challenges as they grow and mature.

For more back to school related material be sure to visit the Nerdy Mamas Homeschool Board on Pinterest! While we are a homeschool community I strongly believe that both homeschool and public/private school children still face some of the same challenges regardless of the environment. Growing up can be hard work sometimes!

What are some of your favorite back to school books for kids? Did any of them make the list? I’m always looking for new books to share with my nerdlets so be sure to add your favorite titles in the comments below! Be sure to check out our list of awesome books to help teach kids about diversity too!

If you found this post helpful, or know someone who might please take a minute to share or pin for later!

Whether at home or away I hope all of your children have a wonderful school experience this year! 

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Do you have a little one who is nervous about the first day of school? Our top 10 list of books for kids has something for every child who is dealing with school anxiety #backtoschool #booksforkids #childrensbooks #schoolanxiety
A list of 10 awesome books for children of all ages who are nervous about starting or returning to school



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