Back to School Read Alouds to Use During Library Time

In just a few short weeks, most of us will be gearing up to head back to school. We all know how crucial it is to teach library rules and expectations during those first few weeks. One way I love to do this is with back to school read-alouds. I try to choose stories that naturally spark conversations about school and library behavior (including how to care for books). So, today, I’m sharing a list of my favorite back to school read-alouds with you, featuring some tried and true favorites as well as a few newer titles.

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20 Back to School Read Alouds

A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech

Read a Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech to focus on your school principal.

This back to school read aloud is about a super enthusiastic principal named Mr. Keene, who loves his school so much that he decides to have classes every single day. Even on weekends and holidays!

At first, everyone is excited, but soon, the students and teachers start to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. The story follows a bright young girl named Tillie, who bravely speaks up and helps Mr. Keene realize that there’s more to learning than just being in school all the time. This book is a reminder that balance is key, and it’s perfect for sparking conversations about the joys and challenges of school life.

Amelia Bedelia’s First Library Card by Herman Parish

Your students will love the incredibly silly antics of Amelia Bedelia when you include this book in your back to school read alouds.

This book is all about our favorite literal-minded heroine, Amelia Bedelia, and her exciting adventure of getting her very first library card. Amelia Bedelia is thrilled to finally explore the library, but of course, her usual hilarious misunderstandings take place.

From thinking she needs a ladder to reach the top shelf to trying to check out the librarian, her antics are as funny as ever. Along the way, she learns all about how the library works and the importance of taking care of books. This book is perfect for kids and will bring lots of laughs and smiles.

Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books by Diane de Groat

Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books by Diane de Groat is the perfect addition to your back to school read alouds list for the library.

One of my favorite back to school read alouds features our favorite opossum, Gilbert. As the first day of school approaches, Gilbert is excited but also a bit nervous about all the new things like new pencils, new books, and even a new teacher. With his friends by his side, Gilbert navigates the ups and downs of starting a new school year.

There are plenty of funny moments and a reminder that everyone feels a little jittery about new beginnings. This book captures the mix of excitement and anxiety that comes with heading back to school.

Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll

Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll is great to include in your list of back to school read alouds and will be relatable to students in any grade level.

Next up on my list of back to school read alouds is a story about Duncan, an adorable little dragon who loves stories. There’s just one tiny problem. Every time he gets excited while reading, he accidentally sets the book on fire! Poor Duncan struggles to finish a single story because his fiery enthusiasm keeps getting in the way.

Determined to find out how the stories end, Duncan goes on a quest to find a friend who can help him read without burning the book. This tale is full of humor and a great message about the power of friendship and perseverance.

Frankie Stein Starts School by Lola Schaefer

Back to school read alouds like Frankie Stein Starts School by Lola Schaefer tells the story of a young monster who looks different and can be very relatable for your students.

Frankie Stein is a young monster who looks a bit different from his spooky classmates. Unlike the other kids at Miss Wart’s Academy for Ghouls and Goblins, Frankie is cute and sweet, not scary at all! As he starts school, Frankie tries to fit in by acting more like the other monsters, but it doesn’t quite work out.

Through his journey, Frankie learns to embrace his unique self, and his classmates realize that being different is pretty awesome. This back to school read aloud is perfect for kids who might feel a bit nervous about fitting in at school.

The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray

This fun twist on the story of the gingerbread man will be a great addition to your library collection of back to school read alouds.

This story follows a freshly baked Gingerbread Man who gets left behind in the school kitchen. Determined to find his class, he goes on a hilarious adventure through the school. Along the way, he dashes through the gym, the library, and even the principal’s office, meeting various teachers and students who try to help him.

It’s a wild chase filled with rhymes and laughs, and the Gingerbread Man’s determination and spunk are simply irresistible. This book is perfect for getting kids excited about school and the fun adventures waiting for them.

If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don’t! by Elise Parsley

If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't! by Elise Parsley is an incredibly entertaining book to add to your list of back to school read alouds list.

This story is about a little girl named Magnolia, who has a wild idea to bring a circus to the library. Chaos quickly ensues as she tries to set up tightropes, juggle bananas, and even bring in an elephant! Magnolia learns that the library is a place for quiet reading and studying, not circus antics.

With colorful illustrations, this book perfectly captures the adventures and the important lesson Magnolia learns about respecting spaces. It’s a fantastic read for kids, blending humor with a gentle reminder about library etiquette.

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! by Elise Parsley

Your collection of back to school read alouds wouldn't be complete without this hilarious book, If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!

We meet Magnolia again in our next back to school read aloud, who decides it would be a fantastic idea to bring her pet alligator to school for show and tell. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see an alligator in class, right? Well, let’s just say things don’t exactly go as planned. From chewing on everything in sight to causing chaos in the classroom, the alligator turns the school day into a wild adventure.

Through Magnolia’s misadventures, kids learn an important lesson about why certain things are better left at home. With illustrations and a hilarious storyline, this book is an absolute riot! It’s perfect for sparking conversations about responsibility and making wise choices.

Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland

Miss Sith's Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland is a fun and engaging story book to add to your back to school read alouds section in your library.

Up next on my list of back to school read alouds is a story all about a class with the coolest teacher ever, Miss Smith, who brings a magical storybook to school. This isn’t just any storybook because it’s alive! As Miss Smith reads from it, the characters leap out of the pages, and the classroom transforms into the settings of the stories.

From flying on a magic carpet to sailing with pirates, the kids go on thrilling adventures right from their desks. As the day goes on, the stories start to spin out of control, and chaos starts happening.

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten by Hyewon Yum

Back to school read alouds like Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten by Hyewon Yum not only have a wonderful story but have fun and exciting illustrations as well.

This picture book is all about this super exciting but nerve-wracking day, which happens to be the first day of kindergarten! The story follows a little girl who’s feeling a whirlwind of emotions as she gets ready to step into the big world of school. From excitement to nervousness and everything in between, she experiences it all. Her mom is right there by her side, helping her through it all.

With illustrations and a relatable storyline, this book perfectly captures all the jitters and joys of starting kindergarten. This book is a must-read to read with your kindergartners come the first day of school!

My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown

Help your students overcome some of their first week jitters with this back to school read alouds addition My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown.

In this story, Bobby thinks his teacher, Mrs. Kirby, is an actual monster. She’s strict, she roars like a lion, and she even stomps around like Godzilla! When Bobby runs into Mrs. Kirby at the park one day, he realizes she’s not so scary after all. In fact, she’s quite nice when she’s not in the classroom!

Through their unexpected encounter, Bobby learns that sometimes people aren’t what they seem, and teachers are humans too. It’s a reminder that there’s more to people than meets the eye and that even the scariest teachers can turn out to be pretty awesome.

Nugget and Fang Go to School by Tammi Sauer

Nugget and Fang Go to School by Tammi Sauer is a fun back to school read aloud all about the power of friendship.

Nugget, a minnow, and Fang, a shark, are best buddies who do everything together. When it’s time for Nugget to start school, Fang worries about losing his friend to others. Determined to stick together, Fang decides to join Nugget at school. As you can imagine, a shark in a minnow’s school causes quite a splash!

Through mishaps and learning moments, Nugget and Fang learn important lessons about acceptance and embracing each other’s differences. This book is perfect for reassuring students about friendship and the adventures that come with it.

Peanut Butter and Cupcake by Terry Border

Peanut Butter and Cupcake by Terry Border is a fun back to school read aloud about making friends.

This book is about Peanut Butter, who just moved to town, and his quest to find a new pal to play with. All the other food in town already has its own friends! From Cupcake to Hamburger, everyone seems to be paired up. But Peanut Butter doesn’t give up! He sets out on a fun-filled journey to find the perfect friend, encountering quirky characters and tasty treats along the way.

With illustrations that bring food to life (literally!), this book will have your students laughing and craving a snack at the same time. It’s a reminder that friendship can be found in the most unexpected places.

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

School's First Day of School by Adam Rex is a great addition to your back to school read alouds and is a great book to use to introduce your youngest students to the busy days of being in school.

The story is told from the perspective of the school building itself, named Frederick Douglass Elementary. It’s his very first day of school too! As the students arrive and the day unfolds, Frederick experiences all the excitement and nerves right along with them. From the busyness of the playground to the buzz of the classrooms, Frederick learns what it means to be a school.

Reading this book is a great way to ease any back-to-school jitters and celebrate the start of a new school year.

Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School! by Christina Geist

Sorry, Grown-ups, You Can't Go to School by Christina Geist is a back to school read aloud full of silliness and heartwarming moments.

In this back to school read aloud, readers enter into the world of a little girl named Lulu who has one important rule: No grown-ups allowed at school! When her mom decides she wants to go to school too, Lulu puts her foot down. Her mom has a surprise up her sleeve and convinces Lulu to let her come along.

What follows is a day filled with unexpected twists, silly antics, and heartwarming moments as Lulu learns that having her mom at school can be pretty awesome after all. This book is a delightful reminder that sometimes the best adventures happen when we break the rules (just a little)!

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willems

This back to school read aloud features a crowd favorite, pigeon, and is sure to become an instant classic in your library.

Do you know that hilarious pigeon from Mo Willems’ other books? Well, this time he’s facing a big, scary challenge: school! The pigeon is convinced that school is not for him. He has all kinds of wild excuses like worrying he won’t like the cafeteria food or that he might not fit in with the other birds. As he learns more about what happens at school, he starts to realize that maybe it’s not as scary as he thought.

With Mo Willems’ signature humor and illustrations, this book is an absolute riot! It’s perfect for any student who’s nervous about starting something new.

What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

What if Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick is a wonderful back to school read aloud all about the importance of doing the right thing every day and the consequences if you don't.

In this fun and thought-provoking back to school read aloud readers see the impact of their actions, big and small. The book follows a young boy who starts doing things that seem harmless at first such as feeding a snack to a stray cat or riding his bike through a “keep off the grass” sign. As the consequences pile up, he realizes that if everybody did what he did, chaos would erupt!

This book encourages kids (and maybe even some adults) to think about the ripple effect of their actions. It’s a great conversation starter about responsibility and making good choices.

When Pencil Met Eraser by Karen Kilpatrick

When Pencil Met Eraser is a wonderful back to school read aloud about friendship and how the importance of collaboration.

This is a super cute story about the unlikely friendship between a pencil and an eraser! When Pencil and Eraser first meet, they’re not quite sure what to make of each other. I mean, they seem like total opposites, right? As they start working together, they realize they’re a perfect team!

From doodling to writing stories, they embark on all sorts of creative adventures. This book celebrates the power of teamwork and friendship.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson is a beautifully written and illustrated back to school read aloud.

This picture book follows a diverse group of kids who feel a bit nervous and out of place as they start a new school year. As they share their stories and experiences, they begin to realize that everyone has moments of feeling like they don’t belong.

This book celebrates the courage it takes to be yourself and reach out to others. It’s a great reminder for students that even when they feel alone, they’re never truly alone. There’s always someone out there who understands and accepts us just as we are.

Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen

Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen is a great back to school read aloud all about the importance of community in a classroom.

The last back to school read aloud on the list is a story that starts when Mrs. Olsen’s new students walk in on the first day of school. They quickly realize that this isn’t just any ordinary class but it’s a family!

From sharing laughs and supporting each other to learning and growing together, Mrs. Olsen’s class is a tight-knit group that cares for one another like family. This book is perfect for inspiring kindness and empathy in kids of all ages.

Start the Year on a Positive Note with Back to School Read Alouds

As we gear up for another exciting school year, let’s remember the power of back to school read alouds. They spark imagination, foster community, and instill valuable lessons in our students. Whether it’s adventuring with the Gingerbread Man in the library or embarking on wild journeys with Miss Smith’s storybook, these stories remind us of expectations and the joys that await us in school. Dive into the pages of these books, embrace the new school year with enthusiasm, and create lasting memories with our students.

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