Monday, September 1, 2014

School Stories

There are so many books that I'm excited about I'm just going to launch into them:

1. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan (paperback)
If you've been waiting for the second in this amazing trilogy to come out in paperback your wait is over! And if you haven't read them yet what are you waiting for? Read them now! Especially since she's been added to the lineup of our awesome October 22nd event with Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, and M.T. Anderson.

2. Jackaby by William Ritter
Guys. Think Sherlock meets Doctor Who. Seriously.

3. Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (paperback)
The vampire book that's edgy and wonderful and like no other vampire book. If you thought you were done with vampires give them one last go.

4. Little Elliot Big City by Mike Curato
I raved about this one a few posts back. So cute! So wonderful! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! He just wants a cupcake and a friend!

Look how cute he is!

5. Quest by Aaron Becker
The sequel to the wonderful, wordless Journey. It's still beautiful. And who doesn't want a bandolier of chalk?

6. Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
Could there really a companion book better suited for this series than Percy retelling some of the myths? No. It's brilliant and Rocco's illustrations are beautiful.

School is starting back up this week. We have lots of books about it. Going back and starting for the first time. They're all made to soothe the anxieties or heighten the excitement of returning. I love that there's a market for that. That kids want books about going to school, where they will then read more books. Yes.

Though I'm not returning to school I was thinking about my favorite school books. Some are about going back and some are about starting and some are just great school stories. There's a little bit of everything.

Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex
Because one book about a cute, goggle-wearing panda wasn't enough. Now he's worried about his first day of school.

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
A wonderful graphic novel about Maggie, whose starting high school after being home-schooled. Through it's ensemble of secondary characters this book faces all of the major high school fears and conquers all of them.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet gets herself into all sorts of shenanigans but the base of this wonderful sleuth story is a school story.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Would any school story list be complete without this modern classic about being accepted at school for who you are? The wide-appeal of this book is really remarkable. If you haven't gotten to it yet you need to.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
I have always loved these books. They're just so ridiculous. So completely and utterly ridiculous but they still manage to show that weird sort of kinship kids in the same class have.

Oliver and His Alligator by Paul Schmid
I think I'm trying to set a record with how many lists I can put this book on... But really, THIS BOOK!

Looking For Alaska by John Green
This book really doesn't need any more endorsement, it's doing just fine on it's own. But behind the wonderful and tragic event on which it centers this is a great book about finding that group in which you belong and the sort of shenanigans you can get into when you do.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
School. Theatre. The drama around being into drama. This one should be a little bit niche-y but Telgemeier makes theatre seem appealing to almost everyone.

The Humphrey series by Betty Birney
I can't really pick one in this series. They're all just so quintessentially school.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
(See the John Green entry about not needing the handselling push). Cath is starting her first year of college and she feels completely unprepared. It's a relatable feeling for starting any new kind of school and Rowell does a brilliant job showing her readers that it's not not-scary but it's totally manageable.

Honorable Mentions:
Harry Potter -J.K. Rowling
Anything by Andrew Clements
The Weird School series by Dan Gutman

School stories come in all forms and usually have so much more going on in them than just school.
And to anyone going back this week (or next week, or last week), don't worry about it. If you love it you're excited anyway. If you don't, it doesn't last forever and it could always be so much worse. Grab one of these books. Some of them are just great stories anyway.


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