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A new school year is just around the corner and whether you’re looking forward to seeing your friends again, starting a new school for the first time or getting back to learning, we’ve got some brilliant books that will help delve you back into the school spirit and into another world! Find these books on our bookshop.org store.

Beginning readers:

The Proudest BlueThe Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad & S. K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Aly, published by Andersen Press

It’s Faizah’s first day of school, and her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab – made of a beautiful blue fabric. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful. In the face of hurtful, confusing words, will Faizah find new ways to be strong? This is an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond shared by siblings and of being proud of who you are, from Olympic medallist Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Big Words for Little People: Learning by Helen Mortimer, illustrated by Cristina Trapanese, published by Oxford University Press

Big Words for Little People: LearningThis series is ideal for exploring big topics with young children in a way that feels good. Through these books children can discover and understand new words to help them to talk about the ups and downs of first experiences and new emotions with confidence. This little hardback book creates a moment to focus on Learning. It introduces words to talk about trying new things, asking questions, and exploring in a way that feels good and develops confidence.

The engaging art style, characters and picture book feel make it perfect to share and it is packed with educational goodness to help children grow.

Let’s Get Ready for School by Jane Porter, illustrated by Carolina Rabei, published by Walker Books

Let's Get Ready for SchoolWhat will school be like? What will we do there? What if I miss Mummy? Do I have to go?

Jane Porter answers all of these questions and more in this warm, witty and reassuring book for young children that explores everything they’ll need to know before starting school. Marley, Maya, Theo, Akiko, Ella and Zakir are all getting ready to start school. Why not come along with them and see what it’s like? Illustrated with charming characters by Carolina Rabei, this is the perfect introduction to joining a new class.

Beginning and early readers:

Oh, the places you'll go!Oh, the Places You’ll Go! written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

For more than thirty years, this Dr. Seuss classic has carried us through life’s ups and downs – from fun times and triumphs, to lurches and slumps!

Take an entertaining look at the adventures life has in store for all of us in this very special paperback edition of the beloved classic.

Jessica’s Box written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas, published by New Frontier Publishing

Jessica's BoxJessica‘s Box is a fabulous first book by new author Peter Carnavas.

Peter has portrayed with depth the trauma of a child’s first day at school and written a witty and warm book about finding new friends.
This book will capture the heart of every child and parent.
Will Jessica find a friend on her first day of school?
Watch closely as Jessica reveals the contents of her Box.
Could this be the answer to her dreams of friendship.

What's in my lunchbox?What’s In My Lunchbox by Peter Carnavas, illustrated by Kat Chadwick, published by New Frontier Publishing

Today in my lunchbox I happened to find…

What could be inside the lunchbox? An apple? A bear? A dinosaur?


Fluent readers:

Beano Dennis and Gnasher Battle for Bash Street SchoolDennis & Gnasher: Battle for Bash Street School written by I.P Daley, illustrated by Beano Studios, published by Farshore

Can ten-year old kids really outwit the most cunning teachers in the universe and, after millions of years, finally make school cool?!

When mysterious new teachers arrive to lay down the law at notoriously naughty Bash Street School, Dennis, Gnasher and friends finally face a test they simple can’t afford to fail.

This is the ultimate story, told with funny pictures!

Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Peanut Jones and the Illustrated CitySome legends are born, some are drawn . . .

Drawing feels like magic to Peanut Jones. But art can’t fix her problems. Her dad has gone missing, and she’s stuck in a boring new school. Until the day she finds a unique pencil turbo-charged with special powers. Suddenly she’s pulled into a world packed with more colour, creativity, excitement and danger than she could ever have imagined. And maybe, just maybe, she might find out what happened to her dad.

The Midnight Thief by Sylvia Bishop, published by Scholastic

The Midnight ThiefTransplanted from her exciting life as an explorer’s daughter, Freya finds herself miserable at a posh boarding school. Freya hates all the boring rules, the other girls are mean to her, and the headmistress is frosty good manners personified. When a bat removal expert is called in to deal with an infestation, Freya meets his irrepressible children – and finds herself making friends at last. Together they explore the city, with particular interest in the grand exhibition showing priceless artefacts for the first time. When the objects are stolen in a dramatic heist, Freya is sure her new friends are responsible – but the true culprit might be closer to home…

Warm, witty and packed full of gorgeous characters, this is a boarding school mystery with a twist from Sylvia Bishop.

Independent readers:

Everything All at Once by Steven Camden, published by Macmillan Children’s BooksEverything All at Once

An achingly beautiful collection of poems about one week in a secondary school where everything happens all at once. Zooming in across our cast of characters, we share moments that span everything from hoping to make it to the end of the week, facing it, fitting in, finding friends and falling out, to loving lessons, losing it, and worrying, wearing it well and worshipping from afar.

In Everything All At Once, Steven Camden’s poems speak to the kaleidoscope of teen experience and life at secondary school.

Destination Anywhere by Sara Barnard, published by Macmillan Children’s Books 

After five years at secondary school spent without any friends, Peyton King starts sixth form college determined that things will be different. Whatever happens, she will make friends at any cost.

When she finds the friends she’s always dreamed of, including an actual boyfriend, she’s happier than she’s ever been.
But when they let her down in the worst way, Peyton is left no better off than when she started.
Now Peyton knows the only chance she has of finding happiness is to look for it somewhere else. Her life may feel small, but it doesn’t have to be. With nothing but her sketchpad and a backpack, she buys a one-way ticket and gets on a plane. . .

In Destination Anywhere, Sara Barnard explores love, life and friendship in this exquisite tale of the lengths one girl will go to to change her story.

Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth, published by Andersen Press

Not My ProblemWhen Aideen agrees to help ambitious class swot Maebh Kowalska deal with her crazy workload, she doesn’t expect to end up reluctantly pushing Maebh down the stairs. With this, Aideen becomes the school ‘fixer’: any problem a student has, Aideen will sort it out, from stealing confiscated mobiles to breaking into parties. All she asks for is a favour in return. But Aideen’s own life is a mess – her mam’s drinking again, her BFF Holly is avoiding her and she’s skipping school. Spending more time with the uptight (but annoyingly cute) Maebh and chatterbox Kavi, Aideen starts to wonder: can every problem be solved?

Let's Get Ready for School
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