10 Books for Back to School

It’s that time of the year again! September is around the corner and the summer season is winding down. Help kick the year off to a great start with our Back-to-School suggestions from Lee & Low Books.

Curated by our in-house literacy specialists, these book lists have something for everyone and will make sure that all students feel at home in their new classrooms. Here are some diverse books to share with students as you get back into the classroom groove!

Grades PreK–2

Armando and the Blue Tarp School

By Edith Hope Fine, Judith Pinkerton Josephson, Illustrated by Hernán Sosa

The story of a young Mexican boy living in a colonia (trash dump community) who takes the first steps toward realizing his dream of getting an education.

Download the teacher’s guide and check out the Spanish edition.

First Day in Grapes

By L. King Perez, Illustrated by Robert Casilla

“[Chico’s] story will resonate with migrant students and those who have moved frequently. For others, it’s an insightful glimpse of another way of life and reminder that different kids have different talents.” — Booklist

View the teacher’s guide and check out the Spanish edition.

I Can Be. . . Me!

By Lesléa Newman, Illustrated by Maya Gonzalez

A joyful picture book centering nonbinary young people and celebrating children’s freedom to express themselves through play from beloved creators Lesléa Newman and Maya Gonzalez.

Download the teacher’s guide.

The Talent Show (Confetti Kids #11)

By Samantha Thornhill, Illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez

In this book in the popular Confetti Kids series, Henry is nervous about sharing his dance moves at the school talent show.

Download the teacher’s guide and check out the Spanish edition.

Grades 3–5

Tenacious: Fifteen Adventures Alongside Disabled Athletes

By Patty Cisneros Prevo, illustrated by Dion MBD

“This is precisely the book I dreamed of growing up as a young girl with a disability. It shows what is possible to achieve and acknowledges the very real hard points, while fostering and supporting healthy, positive disability identity development.” — By Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, Paralympic medalist and disability activist

Download the teacher’s guide.

Fight Back

By A. M. Dassu

Amina’s Voice meets A Good Kind of Trouble in this story about 13-year-old Aaliyah, who feels alone after putting on a hijab for the first time, but finds friends and allies through organizing a protest at her school.

Download the teacher’s guide.

Gettin’ Through Thursday

By Melrose Cooper, Illustrated by Nneka Bennett

A young African American boy experiences the love and support of his family as they try to make ends meet each week.

View the teacher’s guide.

Grades 6–8

The Moonlit Vine

By Elizabeth Santiago

⭐ “A beautiful ode to Puerto Rican history…Santiago’s writing sparkles, even as it draws upon hard realities that Puerto Ricans can face in their everyday lives and sense of cultural identity. Filled with arresting prose and historical stories, this novel brings Puerto Rican history into the present, mixing in realistic themes to which most readers will relate.” — Booklist, starred review

Check out the Spanish edition.

Summer of the Mariposas

By Guadalupe Garcia McCall

⭐ “Written in the style of magic realism, this is an enchanting look at Mexican mysticism, coupled with the realistic celebration of the true meaning of family.” — School Library Journal, starred review

Download the teacher’s guide and check out the Spanish edition.

When a Brown Girl Flees

By Aamna Qureshi

“Heartwarming and heartbreaking. . . a poignant story about how finding your community can help you heal and learn to love yourself.” — Adiba Jaigirdar, author of Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating and The Henna Wars

Discover more with these Lee & Low Books Back-To-School Reading Lists by grade:
Back To School Reading List for Grades PreK-2
Back To School Reading List for Grades 3-5
Back To School Reading List for Grades 6-8