New Schools, New Beginnings

New Schools, New Beginnings

September 2023

New Schools, New Beginnings

Fiction | Graphic Novels | Picture Books


Barakah Beats Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui

Ages 9-12

When she secretly joins a band at her new school, Nimra finds herself torn between the joy of making music and her family’s Islamic traditions.

Forget Me Not Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry

Ages 10-13

Every time her mother moves on from a relationship, Calli has had to change schools, and her Tourette’s syndrome only makes her feel more out of place. Her connection with popular Jinsong may offer some stability, if he is willing to risk his social status to be a true friend.

The Insiders The Insiders by Mark Oshiro

Ages 8-12

While running from homophobic bullies, Héctor opens a door in his school’s hallway to find a room that shouldn’t exist… and two people from far-flung parts of the country who need the safe space just as much as he does.

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tọlá Okogwu

Ages 8-12

British-Nigerian Onyeka discovers that her stubbornly curly hair is an instrument of her superhuman abilities, and travels to the Academy of the Sun in order to find others like herself.

Pilfer Academy Pilfer Academy by Lauren Magaziner

Ages 8-12

George’s troublemaking ways draw the attention of the Pilfer Academy of Filching Arts, which teaches students to be master criminals.

The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School
The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School by by Kristin Mahoney; illustrated by Hyesu Lee

Ages 8-12

Midway through a lonely and confusing sixth-grade year, Gus starts writing letters to her younger sister, Louisa, in an attempt to share the truth about the middle school experience.

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Graphic Novels

All's Faire in Middle School All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Ages 9-12

After years of homeschooling at the Renaissance Faire where her parents work – and where she hopes to someday join the cast as a knight – Imogene finds her chivalrous spirit tested by the confusing and sometimes merciless world of public school.

Astronaut Academy Astronaut Academy by Dave Roman

Ages 10-14

Hakata Soy has left behind a life of interstellar heroics to attend Astronaut Academy, where he and his new classmates deal with schoolwork, crushes, and rivalries, as well as time travel, a robot assassin, and a dangerous anti-gravity drill!

Living with Viola Living with Viola by Rosena Fung

Ages 9-12

As she struggles to fit in at her new middle school and to meet her parents’ expectations, Livy – who loves drawing and fantasy novels as much as her new friends care about academics or sports – is constantly harassed by Viola, an invisible but extremely talkative shadow who embodies her anxiety and self-doubt.

Parachute Kids Parachute Kids by by Betty C. Tang

Ages 8-12

Feng-Li and her older siblings think that they’ve traveled to California for a vacation, until they learn that they have to stay indefinitely, attend American schools, and manage a household together, while their parents return to Taiwan and wait for visas.

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Picture Books

The Day You Begin The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson; illustrated by Rafael López

Ages 5-8

A new school year has arrived, and each student has something to share, even when they think that their differences divide them. Woodson’s second-person narration and López’s gentle illustrations remind each young reader that if they can speak their truth, “the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you.”

The King of Kindergarten The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Ages 3-6

In this playful and encouraging story, a young boy navigates his first day of kindergarten with bravery, enthusiasm, and generosity toward his new classmates.

Mr. S Mr. S by Monica Arnaldo

Ages 4-8

The kindergarteners of Room 2B decide to be on their best behavior when they discover that a sandwich might be in charge of their classroom!

The Pigeon HAS to go to School! The Pigeon HAS to go to School! by Mo Willemso

Ages 3-5

In this hilarious installment of Willems’ Pigeon series, an increasingly anxious bird tries to convince readers that he is not ready for school.

Time for (Earth) School, Dewey Dew Time for (Earth) School, Dewey Dew by Leslie Staub; illustrated by Jeff Mack

Ages 4-8

Dewey Dew, who arrived at Earth school on a spaceship from Planet Eight Hundred Seventy-Two Point Nine, feels completely alone among humans until a friendly gesture from a classmate starts to turn his day around.

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