Going back to school can elicit a multitude of emotions from students- both returning and new. Most find common ground in the bleak feeling of dread as the first day of classes approaches. Though it’s common for students to despise the beginning of the academic year after a summer of sun, fun, and relaxation, it’s a good idea to help them transition to starting back up with the help of a few good books.
For students at a new school, it can be a tremendous challenge to start in a new place with unfamiliar faces and schedules. Harry Potter (by J. K. Rowling) experienced similar feelings of trepidation and worry when it came time for him to find Platform 9 ¾ and leave truly leave the Muggle world for the first time. Though he was famous throughout the wizarding world, Harry knew little to no one in this newfound place, save for Hagrid. Thankfully, he quickly made friends with Ron and soon began enjoying his classes and time at Hogwarts. Though the background is one based in fantasy, Harry’s challenges in coming to a new school for the first time are as real as many other’s. Through new friends and bravery, Harry overcomes those challenges and finds a home in his new school.
For those children who are starting school up for the first time, The Berenstain Bears (by Stan and Jan Berenstain), “First Day of School” book would be a perfect read. It starts off with Sister Bear worrying over going to kindergarten. It would be such an enormous change from sitting at home with the comfort of Mama and Papa Bear close by. There would be so many different things to get used to. To quell Sister’s worries, Mama took her to meet her new teacher and to see her classroom.
Though it helped for Sister to see her classroom and to see that her new teacher was so nice, she was still nervous when the bus pulled up to the tree house the next morning. Upon arriving at her classroom, Sister found all the cubs who were to be her new classmates, all playing with toys around the room. At the end of the day, she came home with an art project to show Mama and Papa and an enthusiastic report of her first day. The next morning, it was she dragging Brother to the bus stop.
Lastly, there’s Junie B. Jones (written by Barbara Parks and illustrated by Denise Brunkus). When she enters the first grade in her book “Junie B. Jones, First Grader (at last!)”, she doesn’t get to learn much before she discovers that the fuzzy writing on the chalkboard means that she has to get glasses. Though they are a vibrant purple, Junie B. is hesitant to wear them during lessons because of May- a new girl in her class who has shown her distaste in Junie B.’s zany antics several times. Thankfully, because of her new friends like Herb and Jose, she is able to overcome her fears and show off her fantastic spectacles. And guess what? Everybody thought they were fantastic too.
Though new schools and new academic years come with stress and worries and challenges for every student, books like these can help them become more aware that they too can overcome any fears and qualms they may have and thrive through another year.