Lowell Reading Club: Back to School Books

With students now settled into their classrooms, we thought this was the perfect month to share our favorite books that relate to school. For this category, we were looking for books that either had a school setting or theme or books that took us back to school, so to speak, by teaching us something new.

For more on each of our reading styles, visit the first Lowell Reading Club article. Also, be aware that Amazon links on this page are affiliate links. As part of the Amazon Associate program, qualifying purchases made through these links may result in us earning a commission. However, you don’t have to make a purchase to read these titles. With a library card, you should be able to borrow them all for free through the Kent District Library.

Amanda’s Favorite Back to School Read

Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

4 out of 5 stars

I was looking for something light to read as the start of the school year approached, and Class Mom seemed fitting.

This is a light and humorous read in which the main character, Jen Dixon, takes on the role of class mom for her son’s kindergarten class. She sends out emails to parents which are seen as snarky to some and hilarious to others as she looks for volunteers, plans class parties, and schedules parent-teacher conferences while navigating her role. Those with kids in elementary school or who have been in a position of volunteer leadership will find this book strikes a chord and may provide a new approach to work with others. Or perhaps it’ll provide an example of what to avoid.

If you’ve volunteered in the classroom or school PTO, this should at least provide a chuckle.

Maryalene’s Favorite Back to School Read

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

5 out of 5 stars

I’ve read three of Wallace Stegner’s books, and Crossing to Safety is by far my favorite. This novel didn’t win the Pulitzer like his Angle of Repose or the National Book Award as was the case with The Spectator Bird, but I found its story to be most compelling.

Although the novel is not specifically about school, the protagonist is an instructor at a university and this book gives me all the back-to-school feels, especially in the early chapters. Crossing to Safety follows the lives of Larry and Sally Morgan and their close friends Sid and Charity Lang as they pursue their careers and grow their families. I didn’t love everything about the ending, but the rest of it was perfection.

Quiet is a word I’ve often seen used to describe this book, and I think it’s apt. If you like thrillers or mysteries, you might find yourself thinking nothing is going on here. However, I think that’s the beauty of Stegner’s work. He explores the themes of marriage and friendship in ordinary life which can be, in my opinion, quite compelling.

Crossing to Safety spans about four decades, but it starts in 1937. Born in 1909, Stegner has firsthand knowledge of the years about which he was writing, and I appreciate the authenticity this brings to the novel. It’s one thing to read a book from someone who has researched a time period and another to read one from someone who lived in that time period.

If you’re looking for a slower paced, thoughtful book for the fall months, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.

Tina’s Favorite Back to School Read

Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof

4 out of 5 stars

At a time when the world seems to be focusing on the environment, many may be wondering what they can do to help keep our planet clean. Worms Eat My Garbage is a how-to book focusing on keeping organic waste out of landfills while producing a beneficial soil amendment, vermicompost.

The author, Mary Appelhof, has a master’s degree in biology. Her love of biology comes through in her down-to-earth explanation of how the byproduct of worm composting – vermicompost – brings your soil back to life with an organic fertilizer teaming with beneficial microbes.

It’s never too late to learn from Mother Nature. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in personally helping the environment by keeping food waste and many paper products out of a landfill. Your reward will be a chemical free garden and an abundance of happy healthy plants. It is the ultimate recycle, repurpose and reuse manual that anyone can use.

What about you? Do you have a favorite book that has a school theme or that has taught you something new? Tell us about it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.