Reads for Students Worried About Fitting In

Everyone faces some level of anxiety about being liked, fitting in, or finding their own place in the world. For children and teens that have just started getting into the swing of school for the year, this is especially true.

fitinThese are some books about children struggling with fitting in and finding their own worth in the face of new situations and bullies. More often than not, our main characters discover that everyone has the same worries and that standing out is not such a bad thing. As a bonus for readers that are not facing some of these fears, reading books about others struggling can help them empathize with siblings or classmates. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinellifitin2
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell
The Detention Club by David Yoo
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yangfitin4
The Loser List by H. N. Kowitt
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
School Spirit by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart
Warp Speed by Lisa Yee
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Callie’s Rules by Naomi Zuckerfitin6
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Hound Dog True by Linda Urban
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Massfitin7
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow

There are so many wonderful books about fitting in and standing out that I only touched the surface here. Do you have a favorite from your childhood, or that you have recently discovered, that you would like to recommend? If so leave the title in the comments so the rest of us can check it out too.

Books about the First Day of School

The first day of school can be scary for all grades, but especially for those in Preschool, school1Kindergarten, and the other lower grades. New teachers, new schools, and new classmates can spark anxiety and excitement for every child. Whether they are worried about being away from home, making friends, or what to expect it can be a stressful time for children, and their parents.  Here are some great picturebooks to read with children (or parents) that are a little worried about going back to school that can help them get excited, confident, and ready for the big day.

school21.Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

2.My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvitsschool3

3.Chu’s First Day of School (Chu, #2)  by Neil Gaiman

4.First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

school45.Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

6.Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

7.The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wingschool5

8.Miss Nelson Is Missing! (Miss Nelson, #1)  by Harry Allard

school69.Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

10.Back to School Tortoise by Lucy M. Georgeschool7

And because you might have read all of these, and because I just cannot stop myself, here are some additional titles you might want to check out: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon, David Goes To School by David Shannon, Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! by Rob Scotton, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, The Name Jar  by Yangsook Choi, I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont, First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman, Louise the Big Cheese and the Back-to-School Smarty-Pants by Elise Primavera, Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London, Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish, If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Joffe Numeroff, and The Teacher from the Black Lagoon (Black Lagoon, #1) by Mike Thaler.