20 Books to Read Aloud at the Beginning of the School Year

The beginning of the school year brings so much excitement!  One of my favorite things about the beginning of the year is getting to read so many wonderful books to my class.  I have a huge collection of books that I love to read during the first month of school.

These 20 books are some of my favorites to read aloud.  They are perfect for building community, teaching rules and procedures, and character education.

20 Books that are perfect to read at the beginning of the school year.

You can click on any of the books below for an Amazon affiliate link.  Should you make a purchase using any of the links, I do earn a small commission, which helps to support Fun in First.

 1. The First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

No back to school book list is complete without First Day Jitters.  The kids are always surprised at the end.

 2. The Invisible Boy by Tracy Ludwig

This book is great for any time of the school year, but it is definitely a MUST READ.  It’s easily one of my favorite picture books of all time!

3. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

I love using this book at the beginning of the year.  It’s the perfect lead-in to introduce everyone and get to know each other’s names.

4. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

This is another great book to read when you are discussing names and getting to know each other.

5.  Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Really, any book by Kevin Henkes is a good choice.

6. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

This is a cute book about being proud of who you are, which is always a great message for kids.

7. Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook

This is the perfect way to lead into a discussion about tattling vs. reporting.

8.  Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

I just love Wodney Wat 🙂 He can’t pronounce his R’s and always gets teased, but saves the day at the end.

9. The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray

I always read this book on the first day of school.  Then, we go on a scavenger hunt around the school.

10. Quiet Please, Owen McPhee by Tracy Ludwig

This is another great book by Trudy Ludwig.  You definitely have a couple Owen McPhee’s in your class each year.

11.  The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill

Mean Jean is a bully, which can be relatable to some students.  This is a wonderful way to talk about bullying.

12. The Pigeon HAS to go to School by Mo Willems

Kids LOVE the pigeon, so this is definitely a must-have!

13.  How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague

I love so many of Mark Teague’s books because the illustrations are wonderful.  This one is perfect for the beginning of the school year.

14. The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi

The message in this one is wonderful for all students and how they may have not accomplished certain things, YET.

15. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

This book comes from the perspective of the actual school building’s feelings about the first day of school.

 16.  We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

A dinosaur’s first day of school with human classmates make it challenging for her.

 17.  How to Get Your Teacher Ready by Jean Reagan

The students give tips for how to get the teacher ready for the first day of school.

18. Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller

Such a cute book about how to treat others.

19.  Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Spoon thinks that Fork, Knife, and Chopsticks have it much better than him, but he learns how special he is.  I also recommend Straw and Chopsticks by this same author.

20.  My Mouth is a Volcano by Julie Cook

This is a great book to talk about interrupting and how to control your thoughts until it is time to speak.

Which Back to School books would you add to the list?

20 books that are perfect to read aloud at the beginning of the school year.

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