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Get Back-to-School Ready With These 6 Books

As summer comes to a close, we begin thinking about the start of a new school year and all that comes with it — like making new friends, practicing kindness, building confidence and trying new things.

With this list of six inspiring children’s books selected by our team here at the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), you can help your kid get ready to pack their backpack, tie their shoes and put their best foot forward as they strut into an awesome year!


The Magical Yet” by Angela DiTerlizzi

This rhyming and inspiring book is beautifully illustrated and engaging for young readers. The story encourages children to practice persistence as they learn new skills alongside their new best friend – the Yet! We all experience failures or difficulties, but this book reminds us that anything is possible, we just haven’t learned everything yet.


The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi

How do you find the courage to be yourself? In this story, Unhei is concerned about fitting in at her new school when classmates struggle to pronounce her name correctly, so she contemplates choosing a different name from a jar of class suggestions. However, a new friend helps her to be proud of her name and the significance that it holds within her Korean culture. This book is a great reminder to embrace diversity and expand your friendships.


The School of Failure: A Story about Success” by Rosie J. Pova

In this charming book, three not-so-familiar characters attend the School of Failure after being rejected from their classic fairytales. Through patience and perseverance, they learn that mistakes are what help us grow! With bright illustrations and a sweet message, this story reminds kids that happy endings are often found at the end of bumpy, messy roads.


The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be” by Joanna Gaines

This New York Times bestseller celebrates the beauty of creativity, acceptance and uniqueness. As children build their own hot-air balloons, we discover how different ways of working and varying tastes come together to create something wonderful, teaching kids to value diversity by embracing the things that make us each different. The world benefits from each of us being true to who we were meant to be.


Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller

What does kindness mean to you? Explore this important question when you share this New York Times bestseller with your child. The story suggests many situations in which a child can choose to be a good friend, to be helpful or to make a classmate feel included. Throughout the book, we learn that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life!


The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson

Stepping into a new classroom when you feel like an outsider can be nerve-wracking. However, reaching out to others may show us that we are all more alike than we realize at a glance – and that our differences are what make each of us special. This heartwarming story of building connections between classmates shows us that new friendships can be made with just a little bit of courage!


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