Guest Post: Back to School Book Picks

Recently, we featured audiobook reviews from guest blogger Jana Warnell, an elementary school librarian in Montana. You can read her reviews of Clementine, The Thief, and The Ranger’s Apprentice: Ruins of Gorlan. She also shared with us how to hook reluctant readers with audio, audiobooks and comprehension, and on audiobooks and fluency. Check out more reviews and librarian insights from Jana at her blog,

Jana put together a list of fun back to school titles for us. Let us know what you think and make some suggestions of your own!


Life here in has been a whirlwind with school starting for me and my sons. I started as a librarian at a new school this year (middle school!) and it has been hectic getting my footing. But, I am really enjoying myself and am looking forward to a great year at school. I hope you all have had a good start to your year as well. If you are looking for some audio books to get your students or children into the swing of things this fall here are some great ones:

wimpy kidDo you have a student starting middle school? Try Diary of a Wimpy Kid [NOTE: Have you entered our contest yet to WIN a a life-size wimpy kid for your classroom? Have you submitted a question for Zombiekins author Kevin Bolger?]. This is the story of Greg (a wimpy kid who just doesn’t realize that he is a wimpy kid) and it is hysterical.

frannyksteinFranny K. Stein (Lunch Walks Among Us) by Jim Benton is about a young girl who fancies herself a mad scientist. When she finds herself the new kid in school she approaches making friends with the analytical mind of a scientist. She has to save the day, though, when a monster snatches her teacher!

judy moodyJudy Moody by Megan McDonald is about a girl starting third grade who is afraid she will not fit in with her new classmates. When her teacher assigns a “me” collage art project, she learns that not only she has things in common with them, but she also is able to contribute ideas that interest her new group of friends.

When Annabelle is forced to move with her mom to a new part of town and attend a coed school for the first time in her life she discovers that Boys are Dogs (by Leslie Margolis). When she gets a new puppy she puts the training manual for the dog to use when dealing with boys—with some very positive and funny results. (I must admit that as a mother of boys I didn’t like how boys were portrayed in this book—there were no real likeable ones, but, it made for some fun reading!).

froggy goes to schoolIntroduce younger readers to Froggy with Froggy Goes to School by Johnathan London. It’s always good for little ones to see that everyone gets nervous their first day of school—even frogs.

schooledCan you imagine going from living on a commune being homeschooled to going to middle school? Makes you shudder doesn’t it? That’s the plot of Schooled by Gordon Korman. Capricorn Anderson has to attend public school for the first time in his life when his grandmother lands in the hospital after an accident. How will his “weird” ways mesh with his classmates?

best school yearOne of my favorite books growing up was The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I loved the Herdmans. So, I was delighted to find a “sequel” to that book called The Best School Year Ever. I have seen some wild kids in my time, but I think the Herdmans take the cake!

How does attending school to become a spy sound to you? For Cammie Morgan it is the only life she has ever known (or has ever wanted to know). All is well until she meets a “normal” guy. Can she juggle school with dating him without her mother (the headmistress) finding out? I Could Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter has adventure, strong girls and romance, a perfect formula for middle school girls!

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