14 Titles to Get Back to School Humming...

August 29, 2017By Neetha

14 Media Titles to Help Kids Go Back-to-School (for ages 2-12)


As summer fun comes to an end, parents and children look forward to the beginning of a new school year. There is much excitement (and anxiety too!) as children gear up to get back-to-school with the prospect of a new teacher, a new school in some cases, making new friends and developing essential life skills. Parents can help ease their children’s jitters by getting them back into good habits at least a week before school begins including establishing a night-time routine so kids get a full night’s rest, communicating about scheduling time for homework and extracurricular activities to stay organized, and re-engaging kids in learning, e.g. reading, writing, and math.

There are several notable Apps and Books which can be of tremendous help for parents in assisting their kids overcome their first-day-of-school nerves and reigniting the enjoyment of learning in children after a summer away.  These titles also reinforce the development of core abilities every child should have — curiosity, sociability, resilience, self-awareness, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, and empathy (The Compass Advantage).

Find below an extensive list of Books and Apps put together by the expert curators at SmartFeed ( to help children (and parents) survive and thrive during the back-to-school transition.

Notable Books

The Kissing Hand (Ages 2-6)

Chester Raccoon is upset about leaving his mom at home and going to school but his mom has a special trick to help alleviate his anxiety. A perfect read-aloud book for all kids who undergo separation anxiety at the beginning of the school year.

Wemberly Worried (Ages 4-8)

Wemberly Mouse is a worrywart, she worries during the day and at night, she worries about things big and small. And when it’s time for her to start school, she is worried all over again. On the first day of school, she meets another kindred soul which helps her to keep her worries in check. This book is a good conversation starter for kids who fret and worry a lot.

School’s First Day of School (Ages 4-8)

It’s a first-day-of-school story but with a clever twist in that it’s told from the perspective of the school itself. Children will relate well to the school’s anxiety and apprehension and will find comfort in knowing that all is well as the day goes on and school has a wonderful first day.

The Name Jar (Ages 5-8)

Unhei’s family has moved to America and she is quite perturbed about whether the kids in her new school will be able to pronounce her name. Unhei is relieved when ultimately her friends know her real name and understand it’s special meaning. This book strikes a chord with the children of immigrating families and their anxiety over trying to fit in, and it also highlights cultural diversity, acceptance and kindness.

Amelia’s Notebook (Ages 7-10)

Nine-year old Amelia and her family are moving to a new town in time for Amelia to start school. Amelia jots down her feelings about the move, leaving behind her best friends, starting at a new school and making new friends, in her journal. Nadia uses her creativity in drawing and writing stories in her journal to capture memories from her past as well as details of her new surroundings with cheer and hope.

I Funny: A Middle School Story (Ages 10+)

Jamie Grimm, a middle school, wheelchair-bound kid, is new in town living with his aunt and uncle and cousin Stevie who is also the school bully. As the title suggests, the book gives an insight into the fun and challenges of middle school life and follows the story of Jamie as he perseveres and persists to become the world’s greatest stand-up comedian.

Be a Better Writer: For School, For Fun, For Anyone (Ages 10-15)

This book offers the best techniques for you to improve your skills for writing essays and research reports for school, enhance your creative writing skills and become a writer of superior quality.

Notable Apps

News-O-Matic (Ages 7+)

Kids can get their daily round up of what’s happening around the world (politics, economy, sports etc.,) through this fun and interactive newspaper app.

Quizizz (Ages 8+)

This is a fun classroom learning tool. It is very easy to create quizzes covering different subjects for all grades and students will have lots of fun playing and practicing with this app.

Marble Math (Ages 9-12)

Learning math can be a lot of fun with this maze-style math app. Move a marble through the mazes by solving challenges using math skills – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, equations and more.

myHomework (Ages 10+)

Students will be able to keep track of classes, assignments, homework and get reminders about upcoming tests and projects. Never miss a deadline with this invaluable tool.

Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are (Ages 11+)

This storybook app set in a graphic novel format is the best resource for middle schoolers to learn about dealing with bullies, managing friendships, developing self-confidence and being empathetic and respectful towards others.

Duolingo (Ages 11+)

A fun, free language-learning app for students. Kids can choose from a vast selection of languages - Spanish, Portuguese, French, German etc., and stay motivated through a positive and encouraging learning approach.

Khan Academy (Ages 12+)

An excellent app that offers thousands of educational videos covering different subjects - math, science, economics, humanities - to name a few. Designed for self-paced learning, this app is a fantastic resource to supplement classroom instruction.