Children's back to school books

Whether your child is feeling nervous about starting school, or they're less than enthusiastic about returning to the classroom, these books will prepare them for the year ahead.

From stories about friendship and bullying, to books that will help your child learn, here are our favourite children's back to school books.

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs

Book cover for Ten Terrible Dinosaurs

Perfect for children aged 2 - 5 years

Ten terrible dinosaurs standing in a line, soon began to mess about until there were... nine!

This lively counting book, with funny rhyming text, will help children learn their numbers as they count down from 10 to 1, ending with a wonderful loud ROAR!

I Am Perfectly Designed

Book cover for I Am Perfectly Designed

Perfect for children aged 3 - 5 years

I Am Perfectly Designed is an empowering story about loving who you are, exactly as you are - and a celebration of the love between parent and child. From Karamo Brown, star of the hit Netflix series Queer Eye.

Written by Karamo and his son Jason, this touching, funny story follows a boy and his father, as they spend the day together. Walking through the city, they chat about all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.

There Is a Tribe of Kids

by Lane Smith

Perfect for children 3 -5 years

Follow a child as he weaves through the jungle, dives under the ocean and soars into the sky. Along the way he makes friends and causes mischief with a dazzling array of creatures, but can he find a tribe of his own?

A wonderful exploration of the natural world and a great way to teach children collective nouns.

Mouse's Big Day

by Lydia Monks

Perfect for children aged 3 - 5 years

It's Mouse's first day at Twit Twoo School and she's feeling a little nervous. But with a little help from her new friends, Mouse soon finds out how brilliant school can be.

This warm-hearted story is ideal for children who are about to start school or nursery.

WOW! Said the Owl

by Tim Hopgood

Perfect for children aged 3 - 5 years

When it's time for us to go to bed, owls are just waking up. But one curious little owl decides to stay awake all day and discovers a world bursting with colour! Yet when the night-time comes around again, the stars above her head are still the most beautiful of all.

Tim Hopgood's bold, engaging, beautiful picture book will help children learn about colours.

Old Hat

Book cover for Old Hat

Perfect for children  aged 3 - 6 years

Harbet likes his comfy knitted hat, but the others keep jeering at him - OLD HAT! OLD HAT! It seems that Harbet will never fit in. But when one day he decides to go his own way, Harbet discovers just how much more fun it is to stop following others and think for yourself.

A very funny, charming story teaching children the importance of being yourself instead of following the crowd.

The Detective Dog

by Julia Donaldson

Perfect for children aged 3 - 7 years

Detective Dog Nell has an amazing sense of smell and a passion for books. Every Monday she goes to school to listen to the children read, but one morning she arrives to find all the books have disappeared! There's only one dog for the job... and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the culprit.

The Detective Dog is a stunningly illustrated celebration of books, reading and the delights of libraries.

Little Red

by Bethan Woollvin

Perfect for children aged 3 - 7 years

Little Red Riding Hood meets a wolf on her way through the woods to visit her sick grandmother. The wolf is hungry, and Red Riding Hood looks tasty, so he hatches a dastardly plan, gobbles up Grandma and lies in wait. But this Little Red Riding Hood is not easily fooled, and this big bad wolf better watch his back...

A humorous feminist interpretation of the Little Red Riding Hood story taught in schools.

Counting on Catherine

by Helaine Becker

Perfect for children aged 5-9

Inspire little ones with the incredible true story of Katherine Johnson, an African American woman who played a major role in the success of the first-ever moon landing. From a very young age, Katherine had a passion and immense talent for numbers. Despite the discrimination and racism she faced every day, she dedicated her life to honing her skills – skills that would one day save the lives of NASA astronauts. 

Attack of the Heebie Jeebies

Book cover for Attack of the Heebie Jeebies

perfect for children aged 5 - 9

Erika's had a bad day. But going to sleep upset means bad dreams, and she finds herself stranded in the Dreamscape along with a mob of hungry Heebie Jeebies - and to make matters worse, she's being hunted by a terrifying Angermare! Enter the Dream Team! Can they help Erika overcome her worries and get home, or will she be trapped forever? Attack of the Heebie Jeebies is the first in a fun and engaging colour illustrated series from Tom Percival, exploring anxiety in in children through action and adventure.


by Judy Blume

Perfect for children aged 9 - 11 years

When Linda innocently reads out her class project, everyone finds it funny. Linda can't help it if she's fat, but what starts as a joke leads to a sustained and cruel ritual of humiliation. Jill knows she should defend Linda, but at first she's too scared. When she eventually stands up to the bullies, she becomes their next victim - and what's worse, Linda is now on their side...

In Blubber, Judy Blume sensitively explores bullying and true friendship.

School for Skylarks

by Sam Angus

For children aged 9 - 12

Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her great-aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there's no time to think about her old life. Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.

With a vibrant cast of quirky characters, School for Skylarks portrays the common ups and downs of school life, including trying to make friends and growing up.

928 Miles from Home

Book cover for 928 Miles from Home

Perfect for young adults

Calum Brooks has big dreams. One day he'll escape this boring life and write movies, with massive budgets and A-list stars. For now, he's stuck at home alone while his dad works away, writing scripts in his head and trying to stay 'in' with his gang of mates at school, who don't like new kids. Especially foreign ones.

But when his father new Polish girlfriend and her son, Sergi, to move in, Calum's life is turned upside down. He's actually sharing a room with 'the enemy'! How's he going to explain that to his mates? 

A powerful story about acceptance, diversity, and learning to accept others.

Kick the Moon

by Muhammad Khan

Perfect for young adults

Fifteen-year-old Ilyas feels as though he is under pressure from everyone: his dad wants him to join the family business, GCSEs are looming, and nobody seems to care that he just wants to draw comic books. Nobody, that is, except his new best friend Kelly, the school good girl who’s tired of being pigeonholed. Their friendship blows the social strata of high school wide open, and to Ilyas, it seems she's the first person to actually understand him. But when local bad boy Imran decides to seduce Kelly for a bet, Ilyas has to choose between a confrontation that could endanger his family and losing the person who’s most important to him.