Here are four books, recommended by FamilyFun magazine, your young student may find engaging because the plotlines involve something they know a bit about: school.
A wise and funny hamster shares his view of the classroom from his cage in Betty G. Birney’s “The World According to Humphrey.” Humphrey squeaks his way into the hearts of the students in Room 26 (whom he amusingly calls by such names as Raise-Your-Hand- Heidi and Lower-Your-Voice-A.J.) and their rodent-averse teacher.
Ages 8 to 12 $5.99, penguin.com
In “The Dunderheads,” by author Paul Fleischman and illustrator David Roberts, a ragtag class sets out to recover a treasure from the fortress-like home of their teacher, the tyrannical Miss Breakbone. Yet to pull off this Ocean’s Eleven-style caper, the kids must pool their outrageously unique talents, from scaling walls to making paper clip chains.
Ages 9 to 12 $6.99, amazon.com
The rubber-gloved heroine from Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s “Lunch Lady” novels doesn’t just slap together sloppy joes – she fights crime! Packed with action, food jokes, and often a combination of the two (fish stick nunchakus, anyone?), this 10-book series is as inventive and satisfying as Lunch Lady’s pepperoni pancakes.
Ages 8 to 12 $6.99 each, indiebound.org
A sensitive boy faces the everyday dramas of second grade in the Newbery Honor-winning “The Year of Billy Miller,” by Kevin Henkes. Whether fretting about a bump on the head or writing a poem about his mom, Billy is portrayed with affecting realism and gentle humor over one memorable and heartwarming school year.
Ages 7 and up $6.99, harpercollins.com
A drawing book
“I Didn’t Do My Homework Because … Doodle Book of Excuses,” gives kids prompts to sketch their excuses.
Ages 8 and up $14.99; chroniclebooks.com