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Back to School Reads

New books on back-to-school, schooling, academia, and/or books featuring school busses on their covers. Welcome to a new school year! 

Book CoverT Move It, Miss Macintosh

New books on back-to-school, schooling, academia, and/or books featuring school busses on their covers. Welcome to a new school year! 


Move It, Miss Macintosh, by Peggy Robbins Janousky and Meghan Lands

About the book: Kids aren't the only ones who get nervous on the first day of school!

It's the first day of school and Miss Macintosh is certain about one thing: she isn't going! As she snuggles back under the covers, the doorbell rings. In comes Mr. Bellweather, the school principal who assures her that all kindergarten teachers have first day jitters.

Soon, other teachers arrive to help get her out the door. Mrs. Burger, the lunch lady, makes sure she has a good breakfast; Mrs. Sketcher, the art teacher, helps her pick out clothes. Still, Miss Macintosh is anxious. What if she can't find her class? What if no one likes her?

When she finally stands at the front of her class, she can tell that the children are nervous too. That's when she comes up with an idea to put everyone at ease—including herself.

A perfect read-aloud to children who may be anxious about school, this book will get them laughing and reassure them as they get ready for the big day.


Book Cover Over Scheduled Andrew

Over-Scheduled Andrew, by Ashley Spires

About the book: Debate. French film club. Bagpipes. Can Andrew do it all? From the award-winning creator of The  Most Magnificent Thing comes a book about an charming chickadee who learns—with the help of a “deer” friend—that busy isn’t always better.

Andrew loves putting on plays so he decides to join the drama club at school. Determined to make his performance the best it can be, he joins the debate club to practice his public speaking. He signs up for dance and karate to help with his coordination. Then he's asked to play for the tennis team and edit the school newspaper. Before long he's learning to play the bagpipes, attending Spanish classes and joining the French film club. Suddenly Andrew doesn't have time for anything or anyone else, not even his best friend Edie. And he definitely doesn't have time to sleep. Will Andrew figure out how to balance all his favorite activities and his best friend at the same time? A hilarious look at over-scheduling, a common issue many kids today face.


Book Cover Siku and Kamik

Siku and Kamik Go to School (Inuktitut), by Neil Christopher and Andrew Trabbold

Also available in English.

About the book: Siku and Kamik are good dogs. They want to go to school just like you! With this fun book, children will be encouraged to follow a simple story with the help of supportive illustrations.


Book Cover A Tiger Tail

A Tiger Tail (or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School), by Mike Boldt

About the book: From the creative mind of rising star Mike Boldt comes a hilarious and original tale about overcoming back-to-school jitters, making new friends, and taking things in stride.

Anya wakes up to discover that she has grown a tiger tail. Yes, a striped tiger tail. It also happens to be the first day of school. What will the other kids think? Are girls with tiger tails even allowed to go to school?!
Anya is about to find out.


Book Cover Leggings Revolt

Leggings Revolt, by Monique Polak

About the book: Eric and his buddies have left behind their all boys school to attend high school with girls. Eager to find his place in this exciting new world, Eric joins the student life committee, unaware that he is expected to enforce the school’s strict dress code. The dress code is particularly harsh on the girls he is keen to get to know. Eric finds this awkward, but it’s nothing compared to the position he finds himself in when the whole school revolts.


Book Cover From Bombs to Books

From Bombs to Books: The remarkable stories of refugee children and their families at two exceptional Canadian schools, by David Starr

About the book: As Canada welcomes tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, as well as many others finding their way in Canada, communities across the country are dealing with the challenges of welcoming and integrating them. This is a book about how schools can play a powerful and positive role in the day-to-day lives of refugee families.

David Starr has served as the principal at two schools in BC where a majority of the student population comes from refugee families. While the students at Edmonds Community and Byrne Creek Community schools in Burnaby, BC, come from all over the world, many are recent arrivals from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.

In this book, David Starr shares the deeply moving stories of his students, their parents and the staff at Edmonds. He describes the upheavals that many of these families have undergone. He writes about how teachers and other support workers have embraced their students and gone about making a difference in their lives. And he tells the stories of students and their views of their experiences in their countries of origin, as well as at their new schools and in their new communities.


Book Cover Fight to Learn

Fight to Learn: The Struggle to Go to School, by Laura Scandiffio

About the book: In many countries around the world, universal access to education is a seemingly unattainable dream; however, determined individuals with vision and drive have made this dream come true for many. This book highlights people such as Okello, a former child soldier in Uganda, who founded a school for children like himself whose education was derailed by war; Julia Bolton Holloway who realized that the only effective way to educate Roma children was to teach literacy to their parents at the same time; Shannen Koostachin, a passionate 13-year-old whose fight for the right of First Nations children to have proper schools endured even after her untimely death. These uplifting stories of people who were undeterred in their fight to bring education to children will leave young readers with excellent models of how to mobilize support when fighting for social justice.


Book Cover One Child Reading

One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography, by Margaret Mackey

About the book: Margaret Mackey draws together memory, textual criticism, social analysis, and reading theory in an extraordinary act of self-study. In One Child Reading, she makes a singular contribution to our understanding of reading and literacy development. Seeking a deeper sense of what happens when we read, Mackey revisited the texts she read, viewed, listened to, and wrote as she became literate in the 1950s and 1960s in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This tremendous sweep of reading included school texts, knitting patterns, musical scores, and games, as well as hundreds of books. The result is not a memoir, but rather a deftly theorized exploration of how a reader is constructed. One Child Reading is an essential book for librarians, classroom teachers, those involved in literacy development in both scholarly and practical ways, and all serious readers.


Book Cover Bold School

Bold School, by Tina Jagdeo and Lara Jensen

About the book: Bold School shares Tina Jagdeo and Lara Jensen's experiences on how teaching and learning can transform classrooms. What is a bold school? Bold schools embrace education that is student-centred, concept-based, and incorporate new learning to make an impact on our world. These schools haven’t completely done away with “old school” subjects and teaching practices that work. Some of the underlying principles that unite bold schools are their use of inquiry-based learning and teaching to give students multiple opportunities to think critically, creatively, and compassionately about real issues, as well as design change projects to make a difference.


Book Cover Precious Cargo

Precious Cargo: My Year of Driving the Kids on School Bus 3077,  by Craig Davidson

About the book: With his last novel, Cataract City, Craig Davidson established himself as one of our most talented novelists. But before writing that novel and before his previous work, Rust and Bone, was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film, Davidson experienced a period of poverty, apparent failure and despair. In this new work of riveting and timely non-fiction, Davidson tells the unvarnished story of one transformative year in his life and of his unlikely relationships with a handful of unique and vibrant children who were, to his initial astonishment and bewilderment, and eventual delight, placed in his care for a couple of hours each day—the kids on school bus 3077.

One morning in 2008, desperate and impoverished while trying unsuccessfully to write, Davidson plucked a flyer out of his mailbox that read, "Bus Drivers Wanted." That was the first step towards an unlikely new career: driving a school bus full of special-needs kids for a year. Armed only with a sense of humour akin to that of his charges, a creative approach to the challenge of driving a large, awkward vehicle while corralling a rowdy gang of kids, and unexpected reserves of empathy, Davidson takes us along for the ride. He shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the "precious cargo" in his care. This is the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society. 

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