The New Year is upon us, bringing a mix of wonder, hope, and new beginnings. New Year’s Eve is all about the big celebration, while New Year’s Day typically brings feelings of reflection. It is the designated time to make resolutions to improve our lives. However, it is important to remember we can make positive changes any day of the year, not just on January 1. Personally, I set reasonable goals all year long, whenever I feel the need. It’s never too late to improve your life! Check out these books celebrating New Year’s (and the time around it) to build excitement about all the great things in store for the second half of the school year and beyond. Cheers and Happy New Year!
Picture Books About New Year’s
1. Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller
The new year has arrived, and squirrel is having a hard time coming up with her own resolutions. As she visits her fellow forest friends, she unintentionally helps them work on their New Year’s resolutions. In the end, she discovers the perfect resolution for her was right under her nose!
Buy it: Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution on Amazon
2. The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing
Books about New Year’s Eve help set the stage for the festive night. Fans of Wing’s Night Before books will love this fun, rhyming story full of holiday cheer.
Buy it: The Night Before New Year’s on Amazon
3. It’s New Year’s! by Kylie Wyman
This newly published book about New Year’s Eve is full of different activity ideas to celebrate at school and home. Find a new tradition to adapt as you read along!
Buy it: It’s New Year’s! on Amazon
4. Just in Time for New Year’s! A Harry & Emily Adventure by Karen Gray Ruelle
Two kittens, Harry and Emily, finally have permission to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. See how they come up with creative ways to stay awake so late.
Buy it: Just in Time for New Year’s! A Harry & Emily Adventure on Amazon
5. The Lucky Grapes: A New Year’s Eve Story by Tracey Kyle
Rafa and his family are in Spain celebrating in this book about New Year’s Eve. He is introduced to the tradition of eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight for good luck, along with wearing yellow underwear for the same reason.
Buy it: The Lucky Grapes: A New Year’s Eve Story on Amazon
6. Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriella! by Alexandra Alessandri
Ava Gabriella and her parents are in Colombia visiting extended family for their New Year’s Eve festivities. She is so shy around everyone that she cannot speak up and be her usual self. But as the clock strikes midnight, she finds her voice at last!
Buy it: Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriella! on Amazon
7. The Stars Will Still Shine by Cynthia Rylant
Ryland reminds readers that even when things change or times get tough, the feeling won’t last forever. Great things are always waiting around the corner, so hang in there, in good times and bad.
Buy it: The Stars Will Still Shine on Amazon
8. Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernes-Davenport
Shante’s Southern grandmother is busy preparing their traditional New Year’s meal but forgot the black-eyed peas needed for good luck. While trying to find some to borrow from different neighbors, she simultaneously receives a lesson in other cultures’ New Year’s festivities.
Buy it: Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas on Amazon
9. Freedom Soup by Tami Charles
This book about New Year’s Eve focuses on Haitian culture, including the traditional Freedom Soup eaten on January 1. Belle and her grandmother spend a special day together making the soup and discussing family history. Don’t forget to check out the special recipe at the end.
Buy it: Freedom Soup on Amazon
Chapter Books About New Year’s Eve
10. The New Year’s Eve Sleepover From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
In this book about New Year’s Eve, Hubie is invited to his first sleepover at his friend Eric’s to celebrate. Hubie’s worries about the big event snowball as his imagination runs wild. Will he survive a night away from home in a strange place?
Buy it: The New Year’s Eve Sleepover From the Black Lagoon on Amazon
11. New Year’s Eve Thieves by Ron Roy
Join Lucy, Bradley, Brian, and Nate in this mysterious series finale set on New Year’s Eve. Follow the clues throughout the book to help solve the problem.
Buy it: Calendar Mysteries Number 13: New Year’s Eve Thieves on Amazon
12. Who Stole New Year’s Eve? by Martha Freeman
Someone has stolen the ice sculptures from the annual Ice Carnival that takes place at the end of December. Twelve-year-old detective duo Alex and Yasmeen should be on the case like usual, but their friendship is falling apart because of the new girl in town. See if they can patch things up in time to solve the mystery.
Buy it: Who Stole New Years Eve? on Amazon
13. Happy New Year, Mallory! by Laurie Friedman
Mallory McDonald is counting the days until her camp friends arrive in town to celebrate in this book about New Year’s Eve. At the last minute, Mallory ends up in the hospital with appendicitis. She thinks this is the start of the worst year ever, until she learns a valuable lesson in the end.
Buy it: Happy New Year, Mallory! on Amazon
New Year’s Books Based on Alternate Calendars
14. Every Month Is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World by Marilyn Singer
If you are looking for books about New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world, this one’s for you. Take your students on a virtual field trip to different countries, right from your classroom.
Buy it: Every Month Is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World on Amazon
15. Is It Rosh Hashanah Yet? by Chris Barash
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated sometime in September, depending on where it falls on the Hebrew calendar. Learn about the blowing of the shofar, dipping apples in honey for a sweet new year, and other timeless traditions.
Buy it: Is it Rosh Hashanah Yet? on Amazon
16. Bringing In the New Year by Grace Lin
This charming story gives readers a snapshot of the customs and traditions associated with the Chinese New Year. Gong hei fat choy!
Buy it: Bringing In the New Year on Amazon
17. Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar
Diwali takes place sometime in October or November, depending on where it falls on the Hindu calendar. Find out about the Hindu New Year, also known as the Festival of Lights, through the eyes of young Binny.
Buy it: Binny’s Diwali on Amazon
Inspirational Books for Goal Setting and Making Resolutions
18. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
This beautifully written and illustrated story reminds us that our differences make the world a more exciting place. When we are brave and proud of who we are, great things are bound to happen!
Buy it: The Day You Begin on Amazon
19. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
In this classic story, Peter only has one wish: to learn how to whistle for his beloved dog, Willie. Practice and hard work indeed pays off in the end.
Buy it: Whistle for Willie on Amazon
20. How To Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
A young boy wishes for a star of his very own. His actions remind us to follow our dreams and never give up.
Buy it: How To Catch a Star on Amazon
21. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
For years this book has been one of the top gifts to give high school and college graduates, and for good reason. Dr. Seuss’ classic is the perfect springboard for goal-setting activities. His whimsical rhymes and illustrations still ring true today, sending a powerful message.
Buy it: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! on Amazon
22. What if … by Samantha Berger
Sometimes it takes imagination and creativity to come up with a great New Year’s resolution. The girl in this story will inspire students to make them.
Buy it: What if … on Amazon