Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Favorite Back-to-School “Reconnect” Books

Anyone who knows me knows that “making connections” is in my blood!  As one of the five “reading powers” I have taught hundreds of “connect” lessons to students, helped hundreds of teachers know the difference between “deep” and “quick” connections, recommended thousands of “connect books” over the years, and made dozens of “connect” book lists.  

Earlier this summer, I received an email from an educator in school district #69 (Qualicum, Vancouver Island) asking me for a recommendation for a “Re-connect” book.  At first, I wondered if it was a typing mistake!   “What do you mean by Re-Connect book?” I asked her.  

She explained that at the start of a new school year, the staff selects a picture book that is read in every classroom.  The theme of the book becomes the unifying school theme for the year.  

Past themes the school explored included courage, generosity, independence, stewardship, and caring communities.  This year, her school will be exploring the theme of “belonging” and she asked if I knew of any books I could recommend.  (I did, of course!) 

To build the school community, every class reads the book, then joins in an art activity around the theme during the first few weeks of school. The art is hung in the entrance hallway of the school to mark the school theme.   Hers is not the only school in her district that carries on this tradition each fall.  

Here is a photo of one of their school-wide art projects based on one of their past themes: Reach for the Stars. The “Reconnect Book” they used for this theme was DREAM: A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom and Wishes by Susan V. Bosack.

She also shared past themes and corresponding picture books they have used:

Well, of course, my brain started swirling with “Re-Connect” themes and corresponding picture books and I felt so inspired that I just HAD to create a new TOP TEN TUESDAY book list!    With her permission, I am sharing this amazing idea with you in the hopes it may inspire your school to begin the year with a RECONNECT book!  

Below are my top ten “RE-CONNECT” book recommendations and the possible school theme connected to it.  

RECONNECT book:  Welcome! – Barroux

POSSIBLE THEME:  Inclusion/ Belonging 

RECONNECT book:  This is a School – John Schu 

POSSIBLE THEME: Caring Communities 

PLEASE NOTE:  This book is included in the Fall 2022 PRIMARY GearPicks Pack subscription 

RECONNECT Book:  All in a Day – Cynthia Rylant 

THEME:  Stewardship

RECONNECT book: The Thank You Letter Jane Cabrera

THEME:  Gratitude 

See Also: Thankful Elaine Vickers 

RECONNECT book: Jabari Jumps Gaia Cornwall 

THEME:  Mastery/Growth Mindset 

See Also 

 The Most Magnificent Thing – Ashley Spires 

 Flight School – Lita Judge 

RECONNECT BOOK:  My Heart Fills With Happiness – Monique Gray Smith 


See Also:   Pass it On – Sophy Henn

RECONNECT Book: What is Given from the Heart by Patricia McKissack

THEME:  Generosity 

See Also:  Those Shoes – Maribeth Boelts 

RECONNECT Book:   I Can Do Hard Things – Gabi Garcia 

THEME:  Resilience 

SEE ALSO:   It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon – Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Reconnect Book: Rain Brings Frogs – A Little Book of Hope – Maryann Cocca-Leffler 

THEME:  Hope

RECONNECT Book: Wonder Walkers Micha Archer

THEME:  Wonder/ Curiosity 

RECONNECT Book – Brave Every Day – Trudy Ludwig 

THEME:  Courage 

NOTE:  This book is included in the 2022 GearPicks Pack SEL Add-On Pack

See Also:  When You Are Brave – Pat Zieltow Miller 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you feel inspired to “RECONNECT” with your students this fall by sharing one of these books with them! Huge shout out to Karen Monstad and the entire staff at Nanoose Bay Elementary School the staff for sharing their “RECONNECT” book idea with me! Happy reading, everyone!


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