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Article  •  25 January 2021


Read these books before your kids go back to school

Books for first timers, experienced students or parents at home.

Read these books before your kids go back to school


It’s almost back to school time! Whatever the emotions you and your kids are feeling in the lead-up, there are many books out there that’ll help you ease into it. Keep on reading to discover our ultimate back to school reading list for kids of all ages and their parents.


For the first timers 

Turn those starting school jitters into pure excitement by reading one of these gorgeous books to your little one.

Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill

Follow iconic children’s book character Spot as he embarks on his first day of school. This playful puppy is off to experience new things! This is the perfect book for tiny tots starting preschool, and features fun flaps to encourage fine motor skills and help them engage with the story.

I’m Ready for Preschool illustrated by Jedda Robaard

This gorgeous board book features a little animal friend who is excited but nervous for their first day at preschool. It’s another sweet aid to help calm nerves and get them ready and raring for a new chapter in their lives.

Starting School by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker

Beautifully illustrated by Anna Walker, this classic picture book authored by Jane Godwin is a must-have story for calming first day at school woes. From making friends to learning new things, it highlights all of the best parts about school and follows five children’s journeys on their first days.

Starting School by Janet Ahlberg and Allan Ahlberg

Not to be confused with the above, this Starting School is a funny take on the first day of school by classic children’s authors Janet and Allan Ahlberg. This book covers the things children will experience when they first walk in the classroom door, like finding friends, eating lunch and learning new things.


For the experienced students

Even if they’ve been in school for years, there are always new things to learn! Here are some of our favourite books to encourage good traits and help them to navigate school like an expert.

Alice-Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey

Our favourite schoolgirl heroine has heaps of adventures at the Winchester-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies, making this a super fun school-related series to read with your 8 to 12-year-old. Alice-Miranda is spunky, clever, but above all, kind.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

If your child hasn’t read Wonder, now’s the perfect time! Set in a school environment, this book – which has been adapted into a major motion picture – is an unforgettable story about resilience and embracing our differences that everyone should have the chance to read and connect with.

You Must Be Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

In social activist and media personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s debut book, Layla starts at a new school that’s completely different to her old one. This journey of identity, persistence and learning how to fit in – or stand out – is an essential read for students in Grades 6 and up. Book two in Layla’s adventures, Listen, Layla, is out in February.


For the parents at home

Just because you’re not actually attending school, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about bettering your child’s experience. Earn some brownie points with your kids by staying up to date on how they might be feeling about school and how you can help.  

Anxious Mums by Dr Jodi Richardson

Manage any anxiety you have around sending the kids back to school with this in-depth guide from Dr Jodi Richardson. It’s perfect for accepting and understanding the realities of parenting school-aged children and the worries that all mums (and dads!) face – with practical tips to help cope.

Surviving Year 12 by Michael Carr-Gregg and Elly Robinson

Help them manage stress, study smarter and still enjoy their high school experience with this guide from Michael Carr-Gregg, Australia’s leading adolescent psychologist. The pressure of Year 12 is no match for a family equipped with this relatable and realistic book.

FLY: Financially Literate Youth by Jai Hobbs and Marlies Hobbs

They learn calculus inside and out, but when do our kids really learn about money? This practical and engaging handbook for managing your personal finances is a non-negotiable for teens eager to discover more about money – from tax to super, goal setting to buying insurance, it has it all.

You, Your Child and School by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

Sir Ken Robinson, one of the world’s most influential voices in education, lays everything you need to know about supporting your child through school out on the table in this essential book. From selecting the right school to problem solving when it isn’t, You, Your Child and School is packed full of practical advice and actionable concepts to help your child get the most out of their education.

Raising Girls Who Like Themselves by Kasey Edwards and Christopher Scanlon

Although not explicitly about school, this book about parenting girls is definitely on our recommended reading list. It discusses how to raise strong, independent and self-confident girls, and discusses all of the challenges they may face growing up and how to tackle them. 


Head back to school calmly and confidently this year by adding these books to your reading list! What will you be reading to get your kids prepped for school? 


Featured Titles

Spot Goes to School
The world's best-loved lift-the-flap books! Spot's first day at school turns out to be an exciting adventure.
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I'm Ready for Preschool
The I’m Ready books celebrate the exciting milestones and events in your child's life.
Read more
Starting School
With its charming characters and engaging story, Starting School provides children with the comfort, confidence, and inspiration they need to take their first steps into the world of education.
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Starting School
Starting school is easy-peasy with the help of Janet and Allan Ahlberg's picture book classic.
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Alice-Miranda At School
Move over, Matilda, and step aside, Madeline, there's a new charming miniature heroine about to make her mark.
Read more
A special tenth anniversary edition of the unforgettable, life-affirming and internationally bestselling novel starring August Pullman - a boy who's desperate to blend in, but is destined to stand out.
Read more
You Must Be Layla
With her long skirt and headscarf Layla certainly stands out at her new high school. Everyone thinks they know her, just from a glance. But do they? And does Layla really know herself?
Read more
Anxious Mums
Anxious Mums cuts through the science, giving mums the support to make a positive difference not just to their own mental health but to that of their whole family.
Read more
Surviving Year 12
A fully revised and updated edition of the classic bestseller.
Read more
FLY: Financially Literate Youth
Your go-to reference guide for life's important financial decisions and milestones, from high school and beyond.
Read more
You, Your Child and School
An essential book for parents to help their children get the education they need to live happy, productive lives from the international bestselling author of The Element
Read more
Raising Girls Who Like Themselves

Discover the seven qualities that enable girls to thrive in a world that tells them they are flawed.

Read more

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