Kid books where school is fun?
September 16, 2018 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Seeking books (especially in a series) for my advanced reader first grader that portray school positively.

Pretty much the only books he will read are: Captain Underpants (and other Dav Pilkey books), Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and the My Weird School series. These books all have pluses and minuses, but they universally portray school as a horrible place.

I’m not going to keep any of these away from him, but I want him to also read books that are closer to a happy school experience.

Do such books exist? Or are kids just not that into books about school being fun?

Having written this, I just remembered the Wayside School books. He loved them. And they do portray school in a different way.
posted by Xalf to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Lunch Lady series
posted by bq at 12:27 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Jedi Academy series is less negative than those you listed - there are some evil teachers and bullies (a la Harry Potter) and the lunches are gross for humor, but in general the kids want to learn and be successful.
posted by xo at 12:31 PM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

Try the My Teacher is an Alien series!
posted by erst at 12:42 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Magic School Bus.
posted by Temeraria at 12:56 PM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ooh, I hate the My Weird School series for smart girls! Not strictly set in schools, but these series have balanced representations of school and are all-around enjoyable: Dory Fantasmagory, Ivy & Bean, Violet Mackerel, Princess Posey.
posted by kittydelsol at 1:10 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Wayside School series by Louis Sachar, especially the first, Sideways Stories from Wayside School. It is about a school where the plans were turned sideways by the builders, resulting in a 30-story building with one classroom per floor. Although not every teacher or class is wonderful, in general the school is portrayed positively. And it's very funny. Sachar knows how to make kids laugh.
posted by ubiquity at 1:41 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

I asked a similar question last October.
posted by jocelmeow at 2:51 PM on September 16, 2018

Thank jocelmeow. I even posted an answer, so I have no excuse for forgetting about it.
posted by Xalf at 3:04 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love that you asked this question! Our kids sound very similar, with a similar taste in books, and I'm annoyed that so many of them have school as a negative. (On the plus side, my kid seems to have internalised the idea that "school is bad" is a sign that it's fictional, so...)

Anyway, the Junie B Jones books seem pretty balanced about school. We're working our way through them and kid loves them. The narrator is a "naughty kid" which also tickles my incredibly-rule-following guy, so YMMV.
posted by forza at 3:39 PM on September 16, 2018

Oh and he might like the Magic Treehouse (note: these are not Magic Schoolbus). They don't have much school in them at all, but they have two very relateable kid protagonists who go on adventures back in time and my kid is super into them.
posted by forza at 3:41 PM on September 16, 2018

Beverly Cleary's Ramona books do a wonderful job of presenting an honest but generally positive view of school. In Ramona The Pest, for example, Ramona has some ups and downs at school but her teacher is lovely and the overall experience is positive.

Lisa Yee's DC Superhero Girls series is set at "Superhero High." The negative experiences tend to come from outside the school (like supervillains trying to blow it up) and the school itself is generally a positive and exciting place.
posted by yankeefog at 3:32 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another answer we discovered at the library: Two Dogs in a Trenchcoat Go To School.
posted by Xalf at 8:09 AM on October 7, 2018

« Older Help me stop a family embezzlement   |   I don't want to feel resentful towards my... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.