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Back to school books to get ready for the new year

"CRUSH!" follows Jorge Ruiz as he crushes on

"CRUSH!" follows Jorge Ruiz as he crushes on Jazmine. Photo Credit: Yen Press

Going back to school can be exciting but a tad bittersweet for some kids and caretakers. Whether they are toddlers, tweens or teens, a good book can help them get into the mood for school.

‘The Pigeon HAS to go to School!’

By Mo Willems

Kids love Mo Willems characters, especially the Pigeon who really can’t understand why he has to go to school when he already knows everything. A fun and poignant look at first-day jitters. Hyperion Books for Children, ages 4 and up, $16.99


By Sandra Boynton

Generations of youngsters have grown up with Sandra Boynton’s curious critters, helping them learn about letters, colors, numbers and opposites. Several of her popular board books are now available in Spanish. Her latest book, out Sept. 3, features a group of friendly dinosaurs as they try to settle down for the night. Be warned, they might snore. Workman Publishing, all ages, $6.95

‘Ivy + Bean: What’s the Big Idea?’

By Annie Barrows

These two best friends decide to solve global warming in time for the Emerson School Science Fair. Shenanigans to follow. There’s never a dull moment when Ivy and Bean get together. This is book 7 in the popular series that will keep kids reading and laughing. Chronicle Books, ages 7 and up, $5.99

‘New Kid’

By Jerry Craft

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves to draw but instead of sending him to art school, his parents send him to a private school in Riverdale. As one of the few African-American students, Jordan learns to navigate life before, during and after school, starting with his daily commute from Washington Heights in this compelling graphic novel. Harper Collins Publishers, ages 8 and up, $21.99


By Svetlana Chmakova

Svetlana Chmakova has tackled thorny subjects such as fitting in and bullying in her previous Berrybrook Middle School series books “Awkward” and “Brave.” In those books, Jorge Ruiz was the strong, silent student who protected others from bullies. But now Jorge struggles to understand his feelings for classmate Jazmine while keeping his “Crush” from his friends. Even former tweens and teens will be able to relate. Yen Press, ages 10 and up, $11


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