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10 books to help your kid settle into a new school

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Starting a new school is one of the most daunting challenges children will face in the early stages of life. 

While there are so many starting new school tips out there, we thought we'd give new school advice the way we best know how: book recommendations. We've picked the top reviewed book across Toppsta's community to help children with the starting a new school transition. These will also make perfect new school gifts if you know a kid who is moving!

From award-winning, heart string-tugging books like Wonder, to graphic novels like New Kid and Making Friends, we've got book recommendations covered for all reading needs, making changing schools a fun and exciting experience for kids. Who said the new school year has to be scary?

What books would you recommend for children starting new schools?



Toppsta
2022-11-16
10 books to help your kid settle into a new school
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New Kid: A Graphic Novel

Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature!

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds-and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

This middle grade graphic novel is an excellent choice for tween readers, including for summer reading.

New Kid is a selection of the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List.

Plus don't miss Jerry Craft's Class Act !

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Making Friends

A World Book Day 2020 Author

WINNER OF THE BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD 2019
WINNER OF THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN'S BOOK PRIZE 2019
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE 2019

Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.

There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.

He's nine years old (just like me), but he's very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn't like sweets - not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!

But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn't very strange at all. He's a refugee who's run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.

That's where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we've come up with a plan. . .

With beautiful illustrations by Pippa Curnick

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Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet: Book 1

Welcome, readers, to the imaginative brain of Omar! You might not know me yet, but once you open the pages of this book you'll laugh so hard that snot will come out of your nose (plus you might meet a dragon and a zombie - what more could you want?).

My parents decided it would be a good idea to move house AND move me to a new school at the same time. As if I didn't have a hard enough time staying out of trouble at home, now I've also got to try and make new friends. What's worse, the class bully seems to think I'm the perfect target.

At least Eid's around the corner which means a feast (YAY) and presents (DOUBLE YAY). Well, as long as I can stay in Mum and Dad's good books long enough...

The combination of Zanib Mian's hilarious text and Nasaya Mafaridik's fantastic cartoon-style illustrations make the PLANET OMAR series perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid.

*Zanib Mian is a World Book Day author for 2021 with her Planet Omar title, Operation Kind .*

Chosen as the CBBC Book of the Month for June 2019.

Previously published as 'THE MUSLIMS', this was the winner of the Little Rebels Award in June 2018. The text has been revised, expanded with new scenes and re-illustrated.

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In the Key of Code

'Has the power to move hearts and change minds' Guardian

'Tremendously uplifting and a novel of all-too-rare power' Sunday Express

'An amazing book . . . I absolutely loved it. I cried my eyes out' Tom Fletcher

Read the award-winning, multi-million copy bestselling phenomenon that is WONDER in this new tenth anniversary edition.

'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren't stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

A funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut - and a true global phenomenon - to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

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Mooncat and Me

With colourful pages thronging with modern city life, Mooncat and Me tells the story of Pearl as she overcomes the anxiety of moving house and starting a new school, with the help of a giant white cat.

We can all empathise with Pearl's fear that 'I won't know anyone, and no one will know me' but as we watch her grow in confidence, we will learn that with a bit of imagination and determination, there's nothing we can't do.

The gorgeous, brightly coloured illustrations are full of busy people filling pavements and buses and cars, or seen through the windows of their homes, leading their different lives. Mooncat's own calm and reassuring presence encourages Pearl to explore the vibrant city with her mother, and to face school, where she soon finds there are friends to be made.

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When I See Blue

New town, new school, but the bully is in Ben's head ...

There are 4 things you should know about Ben:
1. He's 12 years old
2. He's the new kid at school
3. His special number is 4
4. He has a bully in his brain

Sometimes Ben's brain makes him count to 4 to prevent bad things happening. Sometimes it makes him tap or blink in 4s. Mostly it makes the smallest things feel impossible. And with a new school, a moody big brother, an absent dad and a mum battling her own demons, Ben feels more out of control than ever. But then he meets April, and with his new friend, Ben might finally figure out how to stand up to the bully in his brain, once and for all.

An authentic and affecting #ownvoices story about living life with OCD, from the inspiring author and mental health activist, Lily Bailey. Perfect for readers of A Kind of Spark and The Goldfish Boy.

'With characters you will take to your heart and never want to leave, this is a heart-warming and joyous read about the importance of empathy and understanding.' The Scotsman

'This book deserves to sit alongside Wonder as a modern classic.' Read and Reviewed blog


'What Wonder (R.J. Palacio) does for people with physical deformity - When I see Blue will, without doubt, do for those with OCD ... this is a story of hope.' Sue Chambers, Waterstones bookseller

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Jummy at the River School

A glorious boarding school adventure set in Nigeria - a story of friendship, empathy and fighting for what you believe in. 'What a joyful, vibrant story! A book for the heart' EFUA TRAORE, author of Children of the Quicksands Jummy has won a place at the River School, the finest girls' boarding school in Nigeria. Nothing can dampen her spirits, not even when she learns that her best friend Caro won't be joining her. By the Shine-Shine River, school is everything Jummy dreamt of, with friendly new girls, midnight feasts and sporting prizes - but when Caro suddenly arrives at the school to work, not to learn, Jummy must bring all her friends together to help. From a fantastic new talent in middle-grade contemporary fiction, Sabine Adeyinka, based on her own experience of attending boarding school in Nigeria A joyful, glorious collision of classic boarding-school story with vibrant 1990s Nigeria Irrepressible Jummy investigates an intriguing mystery as her best friend from home turns up at the school

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Can You See Me?

With diary entries written by eleven-year-old Libby Scott, based on her own experiences of autism, this pioneering book, written in collaboration with esteemed author Rebecca Westcott, has been widely praised for its realistic portrayal of autism. Tally is eleven years old and she's just like her friends. Well, sometimes she is. If she tries really hard to be. Because there's something that makes Tally not the same as her friends. Something she can't cover up, no matter how hard she tries: Tally is autistic. Tally's autism means there are things that bother her even though she wishes they didn't. It means that some people misunderstand, her and feel frustrated by her. People think that because Tally's autistic, she doesn't realise what they're thinking, but Tally sees and hears - and notices - all of it. And, honestly? That's not the easiest thing to live with. The first book written in collaboration with Libby Scott When Libby's mum shared a short piece of Libby's writing online it soon went viral, with tens of thousands of people saying that Libby's writing helped them understand autism for the first time This fictionalised portrayal of a young autistic girl is written by Rebecca Westcott, in close collaboration with Libby Scott, making it a truly original and inspirational book that will give readers of all ages a deeper understanding of what it's like to be autistic Perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy, Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time BOOKS BY LIBBY SCOTT AND REBECCA WESTCOTT Can You See Me? (2019) Do You Know Me? (2020) Ways To Be Me (2021)

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The Gifted, the Talented and Me

SUNDAY TIMES CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 Laugh-out-loud funny and instantly recognisable - not since The Inbetweeners has a coming of age story been so irreverent and relatable. Fifteen-year-old Sam is not a famous vlogger, he's never gone viral, and he doesn't want to be the Next Big Thing. In fact he's ordinary and proud of it. None of which was a problem until Dad got rich and Mum made the whole family move to London. Now Sam's off to the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented, where everyone's busy planning Hollywood domination or starting alt-metal psychedelica crossover bands. Sam knows he'll never belong, even if he wanted to. And that's before he ends up on stage wearing nothing but a fur onesie ... A brilliantly funny look at fitting in, falling out and staying true to your own averageness. 'Dangerously funny ... To the parent, every line rings true - this is a writer with real live teenagers and he is especially good on the ups and downs of sibling relations and young love. Sutcliffe is gifted and talented. I hope the prizes flood in. I'll be giving this to every teenager I know' - Alex O'Connell, The Times 'The Gifted, the Talented and Me made me cry with laughter. A comic novel like this is a gift to the nation' - Amanda Craig

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Wonder

'Has the power to move hearts and change minds' Guardian

'Tremendously uplifting and a novel of all-too-rare power' Sunday Express

'An amazing book . . . I absolutely loved it. I cried my eyes out' Tom Fletcher

Read the award-winning, multi-million copy bestselling phenomenon that is WONDER in this new tenth anniversary edition.

'My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside. But ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren't stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

A funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut - and a true global phenomenon - to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

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15th November 2022

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Featured Book
The Twelve Dinosaurs of Christmas
The Twelve Dinosaurs of Christmas

Children will love this dinosaur twist on the classic, "Twelve Days of Christmas" carol by Evie Day and Liam Darcy.

View book
Featured Books