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Back to school

5 Great Grade School Books About Kids Who Learn Differently

By The Understood Team

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Going back to school can be exciting, but it can also be scary. Kids with learning and attention issues may have added concerns and issues with self-esteem. These five back-to-school book picks from founding partner Reading Rockets can show them they’re not alone!

208Found this helpful
Stacey Coolidge’s Fancy Smancy Handwriting
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“Stacey Coolidge’s Fancy-Smancy Cursive Handwriting”

By: Barbara Esham

Illustrated by: Mike and Carl Gordon

Age Level: 6–9

Reading Level: Independent Reader

Try as she might, second grader Carolyn struggles with cursive. A wise teacher, however, helps Carolyn recognize that her imagination and creative way of writing are her strengths, just like they are for famous writers. Problems and frustrations are presented with a light touch in this engaging book, which is part of The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses series.

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Widgets
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“Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets”

By: Barbara Esham

Illustrated by: Mike and Carl Gordon

Age Level: 6–9

Reading Level: Independent Reader

David’s teacher asks for a parent conference when David’s behavior distracts the rest of the class. David, however, comes up with a “cure” for his “wiggle fidgets.” At the meeting, he shares the cure—a creative and practical solution that just may help others with their wiggle fidgets. This book is also part of The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses series.

Last to Finish-A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class
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“Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class”

By: Barbara Esham

Illustrated by: Mike and Carl Gordon

Age Level: 6–9

Reading Level: Independent Reader

Max freezes up every time he takes a timed math-fact test, and other kids tease him for it. His hopes of becoming an engineer seem out of reach to him. That changes, though, when we find out that Max understands how math works—he just has trouble with memorization. This book is part of The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses series, too.

If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi?
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“If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi?”

By: Barbara Esham

Illustrated by: Mike and Carl Gordon

Age Level: 6–9

Reading Level: Independent Reader

Katie is keen observer and a curious third grader. So when her dad explains why spelling is hard for him, Katie wants to investigate. She learns that her very intelligent dad, who’s a lawyer, has dyslexia—probably like a couple of Katie’s classmates. This is another book in The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses series.

Clementine
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“Clementine”

By: Sara Pennypacker

Illustrated by: Marla Frazee

Age Level: 6–9

Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clementine, a high-energy third grader, finds it hard to concentrate. This often gets her into trouble at school. Clementine narrates in a way that shows off her originality and spirit. And the book’s lively black-and-white line drawings echo her personality.

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5 Great Back-to-School Books for Kids in Grades 1–4

It’s not just kindergartners who worry about the start of school. Older grade-schoolers may also have concerns about how things will go this year. These five back-to-school books picked by founding partner Reading Rockets can help kids feel ready.

6 Parent Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

The start of school brings a lot of changes—new teachers, new schedules and new school demands. Planning is key to a successful transition. Here are six parent-tested tips for back-to-school.

About the Author

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The Understood Team is composed of writers, editors and community moderators, many of whom have children with learning and attention issues.

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