Do you hear that? It’s the sound children dread–the approach of the new school year. Soon school buses will be rolling along their routes and students will be opening fresh notebooks and sharpening new pencils. Maybe it’s the teacher in me coming out, but I just love the school supplies and the excitement of meeting new teachers and new friends. So in honor of the start of a new school year, I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite books that get me in the mood for school. Which is actually very timely, considering that I’m also going back to school this year!
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: This book is set in the fall and the protagonist, Meg Murry, deals with unkind teachers and principals who don’t realize how special she really is. I love the school scenes in this book and the way it doesn’t dumb down big problems and issues for young readers.
- Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery: If you want to read a “feel good” book, pick up any of the “Anne” books by L.M. Montgomery. This is the second installment; it follows Anne Shirley as she becomes a schoolteacher.
- How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster: This is a great book for anyone who is looking to read and understand the classics. It’s funny and accessible and great for those who haven’t been in a classroom for a while.
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart: This book is clever and full of fun puzzles. It also has to do with exceptional children and teaches about the importance of teamwork and critical thinking.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This book isn’t set in a high school or even in the fall, but for some reason I identify this book as the classic “required reading.” The up side is that this book is actually one you’ll want to finish and read again and again.
- The Elements of Style by Strunk and White: Maybe it’s just the English teacher in me, but I feel like everyone who communicates in writing should read this book.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: “The world was hers for the reading.” As soon as I read that line I was hooked. This book tells the story of a poor family in Brooklyn–they work hard for every cent and they value education and learning. It’s one of my all time favorites, and reading is a central idea in the whole book.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling: Because who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts? This first installment of the Harry Potter series has great teachers, friendships, and, of course, a magical school of witchcraft and wizardry. If only my acceptance letter hadn’t gotten lost in the mail…
I’d love to know what books put you in the mood for school! Let me know which others I should add to my list.