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Back to School: Great books to help get kids ready for school

Sending your kid back to school? Staffers in Quail Ridge Books & Music's children's section recommend books for preschoolers to middle schoolers.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
The children's department from Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh offers up these book recommendations for students heading back to school and teachers needing a school-themed book to read to class.

Here's what they recommend:

  • Even imaginative kitties want to go to school. But his mama knows school is for drooly doggies. But when you're a kitty who thinks he's a Chihuahua... Holy guacamole, check out "Skippyjon Jones Class Action," ($17.99, Dutton) by Judy Schachner. There's even a CD of Judy reading the book! For ages 4 and up.
  • Laura Ljungkvist's "Follow the Line to School," ($16.99, Viking), and Eric Litwin's "Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes," ($16.99, Harper Collins), have very different looks, but the same goal – to get younger kids acquainted with their school day, and what they can expect. Pete even comes with a downloadable song. For ages 3 and up.
  • Need to approach school with a bit of humor? Louis Sachar's Wayside School stories are classics. Give "Sideways Stories from Wayside School," ($5.99, Harper), a try for true wackiness. Others with humor: "The Best School Year Ever," ($5.99, Harper), by Barbara Robinson and Betty Birney's "School Days According to Humphrey," ($14.99, GP Putnam). For ages 9 and up.
  • "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life," ($15.99, Hachette) by James Patterson; "Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf," ($7.99, Simon & Schuster), by Jennifer Holm, a three-time Newbery Honor winner; "How to Survive Middle School," ($7.99, Random House), by Donna Gephart – hmmm, we sense a theme there. Don't worry, it's not as bad as that! There's also Amy Ignatow's "The Popularity Papers," ($8.95, Amulet) and "Book 2: The Long Distance Dispatch," ($15.95, Abrams), as 5th graders Lydia and Julie plan ahead for middle school, and then dive into 6th grade. For ages 10 and up.
Quail Ridge Books & Music is at 3522 Wade Ave. in Raleigh.

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