5 Book Picks for Children

Back-to-School Recommendations from Katie Jane Morris, Outreach Librarian at the Hoover Public Library


Summertime at the Hoover Public Library is anything but quiet––and everyone likes it that way. Staff members like Outreach Librarian Katie Jane Morris work hard to make sure the months between the end of one school year and the beginning of a new one are filled with fun educational programs that will keep young minds sharp during the summer break. As schools welcome kids back for a new academic year, Morris shares several of her top picks for books that will build on that excitement and set them up for a productive year of learning.

I’m Smart! by Kate & Jim McMullan
This wife-husband team have given us many excellent read-alouds about modes of transportation – from garbage trucks to Zamboni machines. Their latest collaboration is perfect for back-to-school. What is smarter than a rocket scientist, more powerful than a monster truck, and able to halt traffic with the flick of a switch? The school bus, that’s who!

What the Dinosaurs Did at School by Refe & Susan Tuma  
Another husband-wife team has made the list! The Tuma family first caught our attention when they captured the antics of their kids’ plastic dinosaurs in What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night. Now, those mischievous dinosaurs have stowed away in backpacks to school! Will they take this learning opportunity seriously? Or will they get up to serious mischief?!

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Jessica Lanan
Anna Comstock was a naturalist and artist in a time when women were thought to be incapable of pursuing either passion. She also pioneered the movement for schools to conduct science and nature classes outdoors.

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13 by Honest Lee & Matthew J. Gilbert
Thirteen is considered an unlucky number. But then Ms. LaCrosse, the teacher for Classroom 13, wins the lottery! And shares her winnings with her students!  The class’s luck has clearly turned. Or has it? With great money comes awful allergies, terrible taxes, violent volcanoes, and other pesky problems.   This is the first book in a brand new series for kids who like The Adventures of Captain Underpants and Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank
School is starting, but none of Charlie’s friends will be returning to his school. They are all transferring to avoid attending classes with black students. Armstrong is one of the students who has earned a spot in Opportunity Busing. What will the school year have in store for these two boys from different worlds? Set in Los Angeles in the 1970s, this novel is inspired by the author’s own educational experiences.