I’m Erin Dealey, and I write books for kids. I’m a teacher, presenter, rhymer, blogger, and proud Drama Mama.

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Thank a Teacher! 8 book ideas to add to classroom shelves.

June 7, 2023

Can you believe it’s June? Many schools are already out for summer. (CONGRATULATIONS to all!) while some have another week or so. Either way, if you are looking for ways to thank those amazing, hard-working teachers in our lives, here are some books to add to their shelves:

Books about School

1.THIS IS A SCHOOL by John Schu, Illus. Veronica Miller Jamison (Candlewick), is an anthem to the place where learning, inclusion, and community come together, and the people who make it happen. You may remember John’s recent #BookBirthday blog celebration of his companion book, THIS IS A STORY.

2. A SMART, SMART SCHOOL by Newbery winner Sharon Creech, illus. Anait Semirdzhyan (Harper Collins) releases next Tuesday –June 13th! (Look for a #BookBirthday blog celebration right here on June 27th.) A SMART, SMART SCHOOL both celebrates and advocates for creativity in the classroom, and we get to catch up with some of the beloved characters (Tillie, Beans, and Mr. Keene ) from Creech’s New York Times bestselling, A FINE FINE SCHOOL.  

3. ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL, by Alexandra Alessandri, illus. Courtney Dawson (Sleeping Bear): This blilingual story follows Isabel, whose first language is Spanish, on her first day of school where everyone speaks English. Alessandri shares her own experience, and how it inspired this wonderful book in an earlier blog post here.

4. LONG GOES TO DRAGON SCHOOL by Helen Wu, illus. Mae Besom (YeeHoo Press): Wu combines Chinese and Western dragon lore in this sweet story inspired by her own experiences as a first-generation immigrant. We just celebrated the #BookBirthday of LONG GOES TO DRAGON SCHOOL with a giveaway on the blog here.

5. 9 KILOMETERS written by Claudio Aguilera, illus. Gabriela Lyon, translated by Lawrence Schimel (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) is set in southern Chile. Starting in the dark of early morning, we see the incredible journey of one child –like so many around the world–who travels long distances in order to go to school. Gabriel shares her illustration process for 9 Kilmeters on the blog here.

For Upper grades

6. AMAL UNBOUND by Aisha Saeed (Turtleback), is a middle grade novel, that shows readers the importance of education. Twelve-year-old Amal’s dream of becoming a teacher is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village’s ruling family.

7. THE HILL WE CLIMB, An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman (Viking). I was inspired and captivated when Amanda Gorman read this poem at President Biden’s inauguration. It makes a wonderful Teacher gift, for so many reasons.

One more just for fun!

8. THE HALF BIRTHDAY BOOK by Erin Dealey–yes, that’s me–, illus. Germán Blanco (Genius Cat Books). This DIY party-in-a-book is for the teacher who celebrates the half birthdays of students with summer birthdays, or on big holidays. It was inspired by a Vice Principal who said to the 2nd grade teacher in our family, “Tell your mom to write a book about half birthdays.” (True story.) See this link for FREE Half Birthday cerficates and more.

Thank You, Thank you!

As a former classroom teacher, I have endless appreciation for ALL who teach our children.

HAPPY SUMMER, dear educators. You deserve it!

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