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School days 2017

Allman, Toney  Food in Schools
Gr. 4–6, middle school   64 pp.     Norwood

Matters of Opinion series. This book examines three school lunch–related issues: what should be served, how much government control there should be, and what the schools’ involvement in nutrition should be. In addition to the pros and cons of each and a final writing assignment, three debate techniques — fact vs. opinion, propaganda, and examining evidence — are also analyzed. Sidebars and captioned photos support the somewhat choppy text. Reading list, timeline, websites. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Cookery and Nutrition; Law; Schools; Food

Derby, Sally  A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices
Gr. K–3     48 pp.     Charlesbridge

Illustrated by Mika Song. Six children in kindergarten through fifth grade share their fears and hopes the night before the first day of school, during that day, and after school. Derby’s free-verse poems subtly convey a range of emotions, family situations, and first-day experiences. Uncluttered watercolor and ink illustrations depict the diverse cast of students, parents, and teachers. This upbeat poetry volume should both reassure and entertain young readers.
Subjects: Poetry; Schools—Elementary schools

McCarney, Rosemary  The Way to School
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Second Story

With Plan International. Accompanied by a simple text, large, dramatic color photographs depict children from many countries as they travel to school by wading across rivers, zip-lining, climbing ladders over cliffs, using a dog sled, and more. Countries — including Indonesia, Uganda, Canada, Brazil, and Haiti — are identified in tiny print sometimes obscured in the photos. Still, the message is clear: education is “always worth the journey!”
Subjects: Government, Economics, and Education; Schools; Multicultural books

Ruurs, Margriet  School Days Around the World
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Kids Can

Illustrated by Alice Feagan. Fourteen real schoolchildren around the world each give a snapshot of a typical school day: Marta speaks Amharic with the seventy other students in her Ethiopian classroom; Johannes attends a boarding school in Germany and learns to sail; Shanika attends a Cree First Nations school in Canada. Both the narrative and collage illustrations are welcoming; informative endnotes encourage readers’ curiosity. Glos.
Subjects: Government, Economics, and Education; Schools; Multicultural books

Walker, Paul Robert  Remember Little Rock: The Time, the People, the Stories
Middle school, high school     62 pp.     National Geographic

Remember series. Reissue, 2009. This book focuses on the bravery of the first nine African American students to attend Little Rock’s Central High School and on the people who supported them. A history of segregation provides background. The firsthand accounts and recollections in addition to many archival photographs enhance the main text, bringing immediacy to the students’ stories. Timeline. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Government, Economics, and Education; Schools; African Americans; Civil rights; Race relations; Prejudices; Arkansas

From the November 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book. All reviews are from The Horn Book Guide Online. See also the August 2016 issue of What Makes a Good…?: “What Makes a Good School Story?” For more recommended school stories, see “From the Guide: First-Day-of-School Picture Books” from the September/October 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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