Starting a new grade? New semester? Or maybe you or a child you know is starting school for the first time. Children’s literature abounds with stories of new adventures in the classroom or schoolyard. Here are a few:
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary: Ramona is starting not only a new grade, she is also attending a new school!
Bad Girls by Cynthia Voigt: Margola and Mikey maneuver through fifth grade together.
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Laura and Mary attend school and meet the infamous Nellie Olesen. Tales of the schoolhouse are also included in Wilder’s Farmer Boy.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery: Anne attends the local one-room schoolhouse in Avonlea. Her first teacher, Mr. Phillips, is replaced by Miss Stacy who inspires Anne to become a teacher herself.
Another one-room schoolhouse occupies the pages of Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink.
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett tackles a girls’ boarding school in England. The story opens with the heroine, Sara Crewe, entering Miss Minchin’s school for the first time. It ends when she leaves the school under very different circumstances.
In Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt, the heroine Izzy returns to high school after a traumatic accident. The story recounts her adjustments which include a new perspective towards her fellow students and her life.
Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowlings relates Harry’s introduction into his beloved Hogwarts.
Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones involves several new beginnings for Cat and his sister Gwendolyn. Not only do they move in to Chrestomanci Castle, they also acquire a new teacher whose instruction includes magic.
Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee suffers some disillusionment on her first day of school.
Rachel and Hilary in Noel Streatfeild’s Dancing Shoes both suffer and triumph when they attend a dancing school.
Attending school for the first time or the fiftieth time gives rise to all kinds of emotions: fear, excitement, curiosity, disappointment, elation, jealousy, and pleasure–as well as all kinds of experiences from exploring the inner self to making new friends to learning a new skill, even a magical one!
Prepare yourself for fall with a book about what’s to come!