Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: School

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and other Scary Things - (ISBN: 0375839143)

by Lenore Look

Alvin drolly describes his great fears, including speaking up in school. At the same time, he entertains readers with his widely divergent interests and humorous observational abilities. Despite the fact that Alvin finds his Chinese American family members quite peculiar and quirky, he makes friends and begins to feel more comfortable at school.

Fourth Grade Rats - (ISBN: 978-0590442442)

by Jerry Spinelli

Suds struggles to appease his friend Joey and tame his crush on Judy who does not share his feelings. Fourth grade turns out to be a lot more than he feels comfortable with. Finally, his mother helps him to “refind” his old self. Who do you talk to when too many new things make school seem overwhelming?

Freckle Juice - (ISBN: 978-0027116908)

by Judy Blume

Andrew would dearly love to have freckles like his friend Nicky, but when Sharon offers to sell him the recipe for some magic “freckle juice,” he hesitates. However unlikely you feel it would be for him to actually get freckles on his face, you will be pleasantly surprised and entertained by reading what changes his looks!

Out of My Mind - (ISBN: 978-1416971702)

by Sharon Draper

Melody cannot speak or feed herself because of severe cerebral palsy. When she gets a computer that helps her talk and write, her classmates begin to have more respect for her brain and stop thinking she is a “retard.” She even qualifies for national quiz competition with the other students who do the best in the local and state contests. Although she feels more relaxed around her classmates, she realizes she will always be different when they do not call to tell her their flight to Washington and the final competition has been changed. How does she handle being different from the others in her school?

Surviving the Applewhites - (ISBN: 978-0064410441 )

by Stephanie Tolan

After Jake gets expelled from yet another school, the Applewhites, an artistic family living in a rural area, take him in so he can attend their loosely run Creative Academy. Since the adults there are busy with their own artistic pursuits, Jake has free reign over his time. His activities, including participation in a family musical production, will bring a smile to everyone’s face! If you are homeschooling your children, compare some of your productions to those in this book.

The Janitor’s Boy - (ISBN: 978-0689835858)

by Andrew Clements

Jack cannot handle the humiliation when his entire class finds out his father is the school janitor who must clean up when Lenny vomits in the cafeteria. Jack’s plan to make up for his embarrassment backfires when he must clean up all the sticky, gooey gum he smears on the music room furniture. Jack loves his father, though, and one day comes to realize that his father’s job does not define who his father is. Think about a time when something your parents did embarrassed you. What was a good way to handle it?

Big Nate in a Class by Himself - (ISBN: 978-0061944345)

by Lincoln Peirce

Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade - (ISBN: 978-0448436197)

by Henry Winkler

Ramona the Brave - (ISBN: B000NPOJ18)

by Beverly Cleary

Third Grade Pet - (ISBN: 978-0440416289)

by Judy Cox

Activities for this Theme

Try this reader’s theater play about how to deal with school bullying and its follow-up activities with your family.


Try an online logic puzzle


Read about different types of bullying and how to address it