Back to School looks a little different this year. From full-time distance learning to hybrid schedules or in-class instruction with face masks, everyone’s adapting to a new normal. And while kids are amazingly (surprisingly!) resilient, we know there’s one thing they’re going to miss.
They’ll be longing for the friendships, the playground experiences and all the other in-person interactions that make school so much fun. And with so many changes in their day-to-day lives, they may be experiencing a wide range of emotions at a time when they also feel distant from teachers and friends.
Let’s bring back some of that much-needed personal connection, and come together this Back to School through the shared experience of reading. Here’s how.
Share a story, share an experience.
We’ve put together a list of books to help kids cope with change and connect with new teachers, classmates and busy parents. These stories focus on themes like overcoming fear, finding community in unexpected places and discovering your power in challenging situations. Choose one to read with your kiddo or classroom over the next six weeks. Because when we read together, we are together. We’re together in our love of a great character, in our journey through the story’s ups and downs and in all the powerful discussions we have along the way.
Life is extra busy right now, but sometimes just curling up together with a book is enough. The stories below offer a chance to take a break and connect with your kiddo in a meaningful way.
Whatever your classroom looks like this school year, you can start the year off on the same page. The stories below support social-emotional learning and help build a strong relationship with your students community in the classroom.
Empower kids to find their own voices.
Our nurturing team of child development and education experts also created a themed activity guide for each book to engage kids while supporting emotional challenges they may be experiencing in this moment. From crafts and songs to discussion starters and more, you’ll find lots of creative (and easy) ways to help kids express themselves.
We’ve got the perfect book! See what we picked for your class or kiddo.
There’s something to inspire every child in this carefully handpicked list of age-appropriate books. Choose a title (or two!), and then download the accompanying activity guide to start a powerful conversation. You can also check out the collection in the app.
PRE-K & KINDERGARTEN (Picture Book)
A Box of Butterflies
Author: Jo Rooks
Ruby describes emotions to her Robot. She teaches him what each feels like and when she feels them, to help the Robot feel them too.
KINDERGARTEN & 1ST GRADE (Picture Book)
Memoirs of a Goldfish
By Devin Scillian
Goldfish loves his solitary life—until one day, when assorted intruders invade his personal space and bowl.
2ND GRADE (Picture Book)
Madeline Finn & the Shelter Dog
By Lisa Papp
Madeline Finn asks her mother for a puppy every single day. Finally, Mom agrees, and Mrs. Dimple tells Madeline Finn about animal shelters.
3RD GRADE (Picture Book)
Hector’s Favorite Place
By Jo Rooks
Hector loves his home so much that he doesn’t often go out, and soon, it starts to affect his friendships. Can he find the courage to break out of his comfort zone?
4TH GRADE (Chapter Book)
Vera Vance: Comics Star
By Claudia Mills
Pictures by Grace Zong
Vera has signed up for the comics camp after-school program, but her mother would much rather she focus on anything but comics!
5TH GRADE (Chapter Book)
By Jessica Scott Kerrin
Arno wants nothing more than to be an astronomer, but his fear of tight spaces gets in the way of following his dream, until he finds a way to work with it.
5TH GRADE & UP (Chapter Book)
By Lesa Cline-Ransome
When eleven-year-old Langston’s father moves them from Alabama to Chicago, it feels like he’s giving up everything he loves. Then his search for what he left behind leads him to an unexpected place.
Join the conversation on social.
Want to share your little reader’s thoughts on the story you read together? Curious about how other kids or classrooms are responding? Join us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook from Sept. 14 to Oct. 24, where we’ll be sharing and discussing our experiences and connecting with one another through these heartwarming books. Be sure to follow us to chime in and don’t forget to use #ReadShareConnect
Get ready to be transported to someplace special with these relatable, inspiring and entertaining characters—all of whom have something important to say to your kids right now.
We look forward to reading with you!