Education, Family Life, Me Time

Back to School at the Library

Going back to school after a long summer is both exciting and scary, no matter how old you are. Here are some book recommendations from the New Orleans Public Library to ease those back-to-school jitters and get students of all ages back-to-school ready.

For your youngest students feeling nervous about the beginning of the year, try Back to School, Backpack! by Simon Rich & Tom Toro. Kids follow the journey of one anxious backpack through its first day of school as it’s unceremoniously dragged up the stairs and stuffed into a locker, feeling out of place and sad–until making a special new friend.

To acquaint kids with school for the first time, We Share This School: A Community Book by Dan Saks and Brooke Smart is a great choice. With a handful of specific yet universal school scenarios, kids will learn to be part of a school community and how to share with, and care for, one another.

Starting middle school is a huge deal. Kid Confident #4: How to Navigate Middle School by Anna Pozzatti, PhD, Bonnie Massimino, MeD and DeAndra Hodge is a great tool for every student, from the shyest to the most outgoing kid in class. Readers will learn how to handle the increasing academic demands of middle school, including organizational skills, time management, and how to be self-determined and have grit, all while developing a sense of agency.

In Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas, audiences follow Bree as she excitedly enters her first day at her middle school. Until she’s stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule–Swim 101. Queasy at the thought of swimming, Bree seeks help from an elderly neighbor, finding the help she needs to face one of her greatest fears.

Help older students manage anxiety with Stress Less: A Teen’s Guide to a Calm Chill Life by Michael A. Tompkins, PhD. Organized into common “stress domains” like family, friends, dating, school, and media, this book is a great resource for teens feeling overwhelmed as they grow up and face more responsibility.

For the manga-loving teen in your life, check out Wandance by Coffee. The series follows Kaboku Kotani as he starts high school with the plans to go along with his friends, keep quiet, and blend into the background like usual. But, after meeting another first-year, Hikari Wanda, dancing like nobody’s watching, Kaboku is determined to break out of his shell, eventually doing something he never imagined: joining the dance club.

First-Year Orientation edited by Lauren Gibaldi and Eric Smith is a fantastic option for any freshman college students or rising seniors feeling a little intimidated by their early days of higher education. Spanning genres and moods, from humorous to heartfelt to ghostly, this collection of 16 linked short stories about the first days of college tackles what it feels like to take those first shaky steps into adulthood.

The Library has tons of resources to help with homework, studying, test prep, and more. To explore them all, visit

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