It doesn't matter if you are teacher starting for your first year or teaching for your 15th year.
You always want to start the year off right.
In the younger elementary grades its about picking the right read aloud.
When I was a 5th grade teacher I always started every school year reading Stargirl to my class. It wasn't a book the boys would dare to pick up, but every single student ended up loving the book and therefore really excited and seeing the joy in reading. Plus, this book teaches some really good lessons about how we treat people and that it's okay to be who you are and an individual.
At the middle school/junior high and high school librarian I was all about getting the students really excited about reading and starting a pattern for reading during the school year.
These books below are great as read alouds, teach great lessons, and can really light the fire of reading in boys, girls, and reluctant readers alike.
The Best Books to Start the Year
for Elementary, Middle School, and High School
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes (Kind-2nd)
A picture book for the kids that worry.
A great picture book for when separation is tough.
A different and fun look at testing and grades.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (4th-7th grade)
A favorite of mine obviously by the sentiments above.
One of my favorite historical fictions with a fun look at meeting new friends.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (4th- up)
Obviously another favorite of mine by the title of my blog. I struggled deciding what was the lowest grade I could put this fabulous series. I think it's a great book and totally clean, but the storyline needs a little bit of age/maturity which is why I chose 4th grade. However, you as a parent or teacher know the individuals best.
This one is another favorite classroom read aloud of mine. Such a great story, and reading the first in the series really gets the kids excited about reading the rest of the series. Reading the first of any series can really get a kid going.
Tangerine by Edward Bloor (6th-8th)
A great book for both boys and girls about the impossibly being possible.
Shadowland by Meg Cabot (7th-up)
The first in the Mediator series, about a girl with unusual skill/talent starting at a new school.
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz (7th-up)
Another first in a series, but this book boys will love and will be reading all year long.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (8th-up)
A great sci-fi series that boys especially, but girls will as well, enjoy. It was recently a movie as well.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (9th-up)
High school is tough, and this book about a girl really facing something tough in high school is a great read.
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (9th-up)
An eye opening read about the effect of drug use.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (9th-up)
If you can get a girl to read one book by Dessen, they will want to read them all.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers (9th-up)
Boys will enjoy this captivating read about the impact choices can have long term.
1984 by George Orwell (10th-up)
You may have to encourage a student/teen to read this, but it's one of the best "classics" that will be enjoyed and helpful down the road.