With summer winding down, these back to school books for girls might help you get ahead of those first-day jitters!

Picture Day

Cover image for Picture Day by Sarah Sax

Viv never looks forward to picture day. Every year, she wears the same braid and goes unnoticed. Except this year, when she decides to livestream herself cutting off her braid. She becomes an overnight influencer at her middle school. Everyone wants her help planning their next big moment. She thought this was what she wanted. Except now she hardly ever has time to hang out with her two best friends. Viv wonders if being the center of attention is all its cracked up to be in this graphic novel that is the first in a series.

The Year My Life Went Down the Toilet

Book cover image for The Year My Life Went Down the Toilet by Jake Maia Arlow

Al doesn’t know how to talk about the two things that she thinks about constantly. She’s sure she likes girls. And her stomach hurts. All. The. Time. When she almost has an accident in gym class, she sees a doctor and finds some answers. She has Crohn’s disease. And her parents, her best friend, and her doctor all want her to talk about it. Her doctor even thinks she should join a support group for kids with similar conditions. But why would she want to talk about what she does in the bathroom?

Nayra and the Djinn

Book cover image for Nayra and the Djinn by Iasmin Omar Ata

Nayra’s strict parents pressure her constantly, she endures bullying at school, and her friendship with the only other Muslim girl in her class is exhausting. She considers transferring schools to escape it all, and she finds comfort in an online chatroom for Muslims. That’s what leads her to Marjan, a Djinn who uses their power to help Nayra navigate middle school. But guilt and secrets from Marjan’s past still haunt them, and if they don’t face what they’ve done, Nayra could end up paying the price.

A Kind of Spark

Book cover image for A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

When Addie’s teacher tells her class about the women who were hunted down and killed in her small Scottish village years ago, she immediately feels a connection with them. Those women weren’t evil — they were just different, like her. Addie is autistic. She hears sounds everyone else ignores, sees things others don’t, and is often overwhelmed feeling everything at once. So she begins a campaign to build a memorial in honor of the women persecuted for witchcraft. Surely there is more to their stories, just as there is more to hers.

The Matter of Everything: How Curiosity, Physics and Improbable Experiments Changed the World

Book cover image for The Matter of Everything: How Curiosity, Physics and Improbable Experiments Changed the World

The more we learn about matter and the tiny atoms that make up everything around us, the more our technology advances. Deeper understanding of physics has led to the invention of the X-Ray, the ability to map the inside of volcanoes, faster Internet speeds, and more. Physicist Suzie Sheehy guides you through twelve experiments that changed the world as we know it — and the women who made them happen. Check out this book if you want a deeper dive into science and history than you’ll get in class.

More Back to School Books for Girls

Winnie feels confident about tackling middle school with tactics learned in comic books and anime. But then she accidentally awakens evil spirits with her bake sale recipe in Winnie Zeng Unleashes a Legend by Katie Zhao.

Olive wants to do too many things, from reforming her school’s dress code to learning to play guitar, without enough time to do them. She has to discover how to balance it all and put herself before her activities in Crunch by Kayla Miller. (Don’t forget to check out the others in the series, too: Click, Camp, Act, and Clash!)

Everyone loves gym class — except Marisol, who struggles with anxiety about learning kick ball. What if the ball hits her, or she falls down when she goes for the kick? Surely Surely Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly is a companion to Newbery-award winner Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey.

When Scout learns her favorite author is doing an autograph session in the same city as the school band trip, she joins band for the chance to go. Now she’s scrambling to learn trombone even though she can’t read music in Scout is Not a Band Kid by Jade Armstrong.

For an extra academic boost, check out the How to Survive Middle School book series, which include interactive study guides for world history, U.S. history, math, English and science.

What about you? Do you have favorite back to school books for girls? Have you read any of the books listed above? Tell me about it in the comments!

Lacey Louwagie is an adult writer and editor who got her first editing job with New Moon Girls in 2002. She is currently a freelance writer and editor and stay-at-home parent of 2 little boys. She has been a teen services librarian and coordinates book-related goodies for New Moon Girls. She is the author...

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