Back to School With School Stories!

With back-to-school in full effect, it's a fun time of the year for kids to read a novel from one of the most popular sub-genres of realistic fiction: school stories. Since children spend so much of their time in school, they tend to gravitate toward and readily identify with these types of stories, which typically involve a school setting and the activities of students and teachers as a main element of the plot.

The similarities end there however, as school stories can be funny or deal with serious issues, feature mysteries, fantasy, animal stories, diary formats, and are written for early readers through middle schoolers.

For the youngest readers of chapter books, we have the very funny and silly Horrible Harry series, as well as the According to Humphrey series, which is told from the perspective of a class pet hamster.

3rd-5th graders will like the short stories with Aesop-like morals in The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary, as well as the silly and wacky Wayside School series, and the upbeat and fast-paced Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls series.

Kids in 4th-6th grades are often ready to address more serious issues, such as the cross cultural exchange between an Afghani and an American student portrayed in Extra Credit, or the suspenseful portrayal of Depression-era rural Colorado in The Secret School. For books on the lighter side for this age group, try Matilda, Roald Dahl's classic tale of one girl's triumph over evil grown-ups, or the weird and hilarious Origami Yoda series.

Middle schoolers looking for laughs will love James Patterson's I Funny: A Middle School Story, which features humor and pathos in equal measure. Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf tells the tale of a girl's 7th-grade year through diary entries and artifacts from her life, while The Janitors series features fantastical wizard-janitors fighting evil forces threatening to take over middle schools and the world.

With so much variety, there's definitely a school story for every reader, so check out one of these great titles today to help welcome your returning student back into the swing of the school year!

Written by Gigi on August 18, 2014


Josh J on August 20, 2014


Great books Gigi, I intend to check out The secret school soon. Avi is a great writer.

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