Other teachers always have the best book recommendations! We wondered which books our readers love and purchase most often, and this is what we found. Below, the 20 most popular classroom books, according to WeAreTeachers readers.
Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!
Most Popular Picture Books
Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen and Sandie Sonke
Kids learn that their classroom is a place where it’s safe to be themselves, it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s important to be a friend to others. When hearing this story being read aloud by their teacher, students are sure to feel like they are part of a special family.
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López
This book reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates, but it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and Judy Love
Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it.
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan and Lorraine Rocha
When Grandma gives you a lemon tree, definitely don’t make a face! Care for the tree, and you might be surprised at how new things, and new ideas, bloom.
The Cool Bean by Jory John and Pete Oswald
Everyone knows the cool beans. They’re sooooo cool. And then there’s the uncool has-bean … always on the sidelines. One bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd—until one day the cool beans show him how it’s done.
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton
This gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
A tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief, this contemporary classic features a mother who tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string made of love.
Giraffe Problems (Animal Problems) by Jory John and Lane Smith
Edward the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. He tries disguising it until a turtle swoops in and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.
Life by Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel
There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle. Through the eyes of the world’s animals—including elephants, monkeys, whales, and more—follow this moving meditation on finding beauty around us every day and finding strength in adversity.
What Should Danny Do by Adir Levy, Ganit Levy, and Mat Sadler
Written in a “Choose Your Own Story” style, the book follows Danny through his day as he encounters choices that kids face on a daily basis. Navigating through the different storylines helps kids realize that their choices for Danny shaped his day into what it became.
If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen
In this exuberant companion to If I Built a Car, a boy fantasizes about his dream school—from classroom to cafeteria to library to playground.
Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl’s mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city.
Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he is going to have to wait for it. And Wait. And wait some more …
Most Popular Chapter Books
George by Alex Gino
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy, she’s a girl. She thinks she’ll keep it a secret, that is until she decides to try out for a female part in the school play.
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. All three kids will face unimaginable dangers—from drownings to bombings to betrayals—to go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson and Donna Diamond
Jesse’s colorless rural world expands when he becomes fast friends with Leslie, the new girl in school. But when Leslie drowns trying to reach their special hideaway, Terabithia, Jesse struggles to accept the loss of his friend.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she’d always live a privileged life on her family’s ranch in Mexico, but a sudden tragedy forces her and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances because their lives depend on it.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.
Plus, check out 23 Books to Teach Kids About the Importance of Names.
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