Back-to-School Bookstore Treasures

One of the great things about where I live is the abundance of independent bookstores. Although I do almost all of my personal reading on a Kindle, I absolutely love to peruse bookstores in search of new classroom treasures. Going through the books on those shelves is such an escape, a way to travel to other places and meet new characters. Not to mention, I will end up buying and using many of these books in my classroom numerous times throughout the year. They will become beloved read-alouds, inspiration for reading lessons, and books for independent reading time. Picture books have so many benefits for children of all ages, and they have a special place in my heart.

As the end of my summer approaches (actually it’s here--teachers go back tomorrow!), I made my final trip to the bookstore yesterday, and found a few treasures that I couldn’t resist adding to my shopping cart the stack of books sitting on the floor next to me.
Here are some of my favorites so far:

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Told entirely through dialogue, this is Bear’s story of looking ing his lost hat. After asking many forest creatures if they’ve seen it, he finally discovers what actually happened to it....

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This adorable narrative tells the fish’s story about the hat he just stole. He thinks he’ll get away with it, and while the author narrates from the fish’s point of view, the reader sees what’s REALLY going on around the fish. I will definitely be using this book to teach point of view this year!

Journey by Aaron Becker
A beautiful story told entirely through pictures. A lonely girl draws a door on her bedroom wall, and we are taken into her new world, traveling by boat, balloon, and a flying carpet. Beautifully illustrated.

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
One of my favorite book finds so far, this book has a loveable, ingenious young girl whose talent lies in making gadgets and gizmos. Although she dreams of becoming an engineer, she fails at her first big attempt. This message has a wonderful message about the importance of never giving up, and I especially love the message it sends to girls not needing to conform to “girly” things, but instead encouraging them to cultivate their creativity.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
I have to admit, this book is not new to me. I introduced it to my 4th graders last year and it was an immediate hit! I actually had to start a signup list because so many students wanted to read it during independent reading time. This book is GREAT for teaching voice since each crayon is on strike due to his/her own set of grievances.

My Teacher is a Monster (No, I Am Not) by Peter Brown
Another great book for teaching point of view, this one tells the story about Bobby and his horrible teacher... Until one day he begins to see things from a different perspective. This would be a great book to read during the week back to school.

I hope I've inspired you to share some of your own book store treasures! I would love to hear what you've found! Happy back to school reading!


  1. Erica-I love the book choices. I was with my daughter in Myrtle Beach a few weeks ago, and I happened to catch a book store closing. I got several Eve Bunting books, Dreams and Roberto Walks Home by Ezra Jack Keats, and quite a few others...$1.00 each!!!

  2. Hi Carla! Wow, there are few things more exciting than finding books on sale! I haven't had much luck this summer, but I did make a few purchases on eBay for about $3/book. I love to begin the year with books I know students will love and remember for a long time.