Back to School Picks for Young Readers

by Cassidy Cobb, Sundog Books' Bookseller & Writer

The summer season is coming to an end, and schools are back in session! This is the perfect time of year for eager young readers to find new stories to fall in love with, or to help foster a love of books in any children in your life. Here at Sundog, we’ve put together a list of new and classic cozy autumn reads perfect for back to school time!

Wildwood by Colin Meloy: Friends Pure and Curtis uncover a secret magical world known as Wildwood hidden within their own hometown. Filled with mysterious creatures and magic, Pure and Curtis find themselves caught in the middle of a battle for freedom as they try to get back home. 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt: Since discovering a magical spring that grants whoever drinks from it immortality, the Tuck family have journeyed through life never growing older. When young Winnie Foster finds the spring and meets the Tucks, she must decide if she wants to join them in living forever. 

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag: Aster’s family has traditions when it comes to magic: the boys are raised to be shapeshifters, and the girls are raised to be witches. But Aster has been failing at shapeshifting for years, and is much more interested in learning to become a witch. When Aster’s cousins start disappearing, he must use his magic to save his family, and find himself. 

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl: When a magic peach the size of a house gives James the chance to escape from his cruel aunts, he embarks on an adventure across the world, joined by an eccentric group of human-sized insects who call the peach home. 

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente: September lives a simple, lonely life until she is visited by a magical Green Wind, who says he needs her help to save his home of Fairyland. Embarking on a quest to retrieve a mysterious talisman from an enchanted forest, September finds friends and adventure in a world she never thought possible. 

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Young orphan Anne is mistakenly sent to live with an adult pair of siblings on their farm called Green Gables, changing all of their lives forever with her imagination and spirit. 

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: Billy and his two dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, are the best of friends and the best hunters in the Ozarks. This classic coming-of-age story deals with love, loss, adventure, and the hope that can grow out of dark days. 

The October Witches by Jennifer Claessen: The Merlyns are a family of witches, cursed to only be able to use their magic in the month of October. Thirteen-year-old Clementine should be getting her magic this year, but a spell gone wrong from her aunts leads to a visit from the other half of the family, the ones who placed the curse. Clementine and her cousin Mirabelle must team up to discover why their family split apart and try to bring them back together. 

Books like these can be an exciting step on the path to a lifelong love of reading. You can find them all on our shelves at Sundog Books, as well as other exciting titles for all ages!