Back to School for Your 3rd and 4th Graders

Your 3rd and 4th graders will enjoy these back to school favorites!

Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus John Grandits.  Clarion, 2011.
Kyle is nervous about riding the school bus for the first time, so his older brother gives him ten rules he must follow.  Kyle breaks all the rules and comes up with his own “Rule 11: ignore your brother’s rules.”  Everyone who has ever ridden a school bus will loves this book, and maybe even those who haven’t.  Fabulous illustrations enhance the humor.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-4th grade




Almost Late to School: And More School Poems. Carol Diggory.  Puffin, 2003.
A collection of 22 fun poems about the typical ups and downs of school.  A great variety of poetic forms and plenty to laugh about.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-5th grade

Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year.  Patrick J. Lewis.  Little, Brown, 2009.
A mostly light-hearted collection of 180 poems that follow the school year.  A great way to start or end each day.
Read-aloud 4th-6th grade

Extra Credit. Andrew Clements. Atheneum, 2009.
Abby needs to improve her grades, so she does an extra credit assignment writing letters to a student in Afghanistan.  Sadeed is chosen to be Abby’s pen-pal, but has to use his sister’s name to be culturally appropriate.  So much is learned by children in both cultures.  Very timely.  Chapter Book.
Read-aloud 4th-6th grade

Homework. Arthur Yorinks.  Walker and Comapny, 2009.
Instead of doing his homework, tony reads comic books in bed until he falls asleep.  His pencil, eraser and ballpoint pen come to life and write his story for him.  The writing process made very enjoyable!
Read-aloud 1st-5th grade

It’s Back to School We Go!  First Day Stories from Around the World.  Ellen B. Jackson.  Millbrook Press, 2003.
Describes what a typical first day of school is like around the world: Kenya, Peru, Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Japan, china, Germany, India, Russia, United states.
Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-4th grade

Justin Case:  School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters.  Rachel Vail.  Fewel and Friends, 2010.
Third grader, Justin Case, (that’s his nickname) is a professional worrier.  He reveals his worries and observations in an illustrated diary.  Many relatable and laugh-out-loud moments.
Read-aloud 2nd-4th grade

Miss Little’s Gift.  Douglas Wood.  Candlewick Press, 2009.
An autobiographical picture book depicting the author’s many struggles in 2nd grade, the biggest being his struggle with reading and ADHD.  Miss Little did not give up on him.  Today he is a very successful author of children’s books.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-5th grade

Mr. President Goes to School. Rick Walton.  Peachtree, 2010.
When the President becomes overwhelmed from the many pressures of his job, he dawns a disguise and goes to kindergarten.  He takes back the lessons he learns about friendship and compromise to the White House and applies them to his job.  Maybe the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd grade and up

My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil : And Other Funny Classroom Portraits. Hanoch Piven.  Schwartz & Wade Books, 2010.
When a girl’s grandmother comes to visit full of questions, the girl responds with portraits of the the important people in her life made from everyday objects.  Loaded with delightful similes.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-6th grade

My School in the Rainforest: How Children Attend School Around the World. Magriet Ruurs.  Boyds Mills Press, 2009.
An introduction to 13 school settings around the world.  This fascinating global look at importance of education around the world, from home schools to boarding schools to schools with no books or teaching materials.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 3rd-5th grade

One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond. Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  Harper, 2010.
Another great title in the “Cookies” series for explaining life skills in a very kid friendly way: prompt, organized, unorganized, compromise, contribute, arrogant, humble, integrity etc.
Read-aloud 1st-4th grade

Rain School. James Rumford.  Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
It’s the first day of school for Thomas.  He walks with older siblings to a small village in Chad to find a teacher, but no school.  The teacher leads the children in building the school by making mud bricks, mud walls and desks, and a grass roof.  Nine months of learning pass quickly, then the rains come and the school returns to mud.  The author once lived in Chad as a Peace Corps volunteer.  Beautifully told and illustrated.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Skippyjon Jones, Class Action.  Judy Schachner.  Dutton, 2011.
Everyone’s favorite siamese cat who wants to be a chihuahua, is back.  This time, he is determined to go to dog obedience school where his amigos ask him to help with the school bully.  Fans won’t be disappointed.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School. Laura Purdie Salas.  Clarion, 2009.
These 18 humorous poems liken children’s behavior in school to that of animals.  Simile and metaphor are plentiful.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-5th grade

Substitute Creacher. Chris Gall.  Little, Brown, 2011.
The mis-behavors in Ms Jenkin’s class are thrilled at the prospect of having a substitute.  In walks Mr. Creacher, green, tentacled with a large eye in the center of his face and several in the back of his head.  He captures the class’ attention with stories of the befell previous misbehaving students during his career as a sub.  In a surprise twist, his own story is revealed.  Move over, Viola Swamp!  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

Thank You, Miss Doover. Robin Pulver.  Holiday House, 2010.
Miss Doover’s Class is learning about writing thank-you letters and the art of revising.  Full of humor for kids and adults, this is a great writing lesson.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-6th grade

There’s No Place Like School : Classroom Poems. Selected by Jack Prelutsky.  Greenwillow Books, 2010.
A collection of 18 light-hearted poems by 13 poets.  A companion to What a Day it Was at School.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade



This School Year Will Be the Best!Kay Winters.  Dutton, 2010.
“What do you hope will happen this year?” asks the teacher.  Humorous responses range from silly to thoughtful.  Good beginning of the year discussions could start here.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

What a Day it Was at School!Poems.  Jack Prelutsky.  Greenwillow, 2009.
A collection of 17 amusing poems about various aspects of school.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Zombies!  Evacuate the School.  Sara Holbrook.  Wordsong, 2010.
41 humorous poems about common school experiences (though only one zombie poem).  Simple design and many prompts throughout encourage readers to write their own poems.
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade

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