Books for Kids Who Say They Hate School

Consider these smart reads for kids who are miserable during the school year.

By Amy Mascott



Books for Kids Who Say They Hate School

Does the new school year mean your kids have already purchased school supplies, picked out their new backpack, and have laid out the first day of school outfit?

Or does it mean that your kids are sulking, anxious, cranky, and miserable?

School brings on such different emotions for every child because it is a time of change, which means a new schedule, new classmates, and a new teacher.  It makes sense. All these changes can be difficult.

So what do you do if your child feels back-to-school stress? Frustration and angst? Feelings of utter distain toward school?

You can go a couple of different routes:

1. Find books where characters feel the same way as your child.
Sometimes all kids need is to know that they are not alone in their feelings. Consider finding books where the characters also aren’t big fans of school either:

Wemberly Worried
 by Kevin Henkes

Arthur’s Teacher Trouble by Marc Brown

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Tallahassee Higgins by Mary Downing Hahn

Gloria Rising by Ann Cameron

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney

The Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan

2.  Find books about children who do great things.
Maybe your child needs a little inspiration. Maybe he or she needs to read about kids who have gone above and beyond to make the world a better place.

Maybe reading about kids who have made great change will help your child realize that focusing on life outside school can help make the hours in school more bearable. Check out:

The Giving Book
 by Ellen Sabin

Girls Who Rocked the World by Amelie Weldon

Boys Who Rocked the World: Heroes from King Tut to Bruce Lee by Michelle McCann and David Hahn

Catch the Spirit by Susan K. Perry

3.  Find books about kids with really difficult lives.
Sometimes it helps to read about tough lives—lives that no person wants to lead—so that we realize that things might not be quite as bad as they seem.

Reading about difficult life in early America, in different parts of the world, or even in our own backyard can open up eyes and make us appreciate what we have.  Consider reading:

Dear America
series by various authors

You Wouldn’t Want to. . . series by various authors

I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis

4.  Find books about really cool careers.
Perhaps your kids need to see why school matters and why an education will take them wherever they want to go.  Check out:

All About Things People Do
 by Melanie Rice and Chris Rice

Cool Careers for Girls with Animals by Ceel Pasternak and Linda Thornburg

Cool Careers in Video Games by Scholastic

A Day in the Life / Kid’s Career Library by various authors

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

Or maybe your children just need to read about how their favorite celebrities and stars felt about school when they went. Check out books like this one:

Cool in School: Surviving School Celebrity Style
 by Michael-Anne Johns

What other books or resources can help those kids who hate school? What should we add to this list? We’d love to know! Share your ideas, tips, and tricks on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on Twitter @teachmama, and let’s continue the conversation!

Read all posts by Amy Mascott.

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