6 back-to-school books for teens, tweens and parents in 2019

From coding to activism to books for parents, there’s more to back-to-school than just prepping a morning routine. Find a book for your teenager, or even yourself, in some of these recommendations. Some will appear on shelves after Labor Day, so keep some on your preorder list.  

Kid Activists, by Robin Stevenson

Best for ages: 9-13

From MLK to Hellen Keller, from Alexander Hamilton to Emma Watson, read the short stories of how kids became activists for good. Tweens will learn about the “Champions of Change” and how delivering their message altered through the ages. Preorder through Amazon, available in September. 

Emmy in the Key of Code, by Aimee Lucido

Best for ages: 10-14

Written in Code Poetry, this book is the perfect inlet for teens and tweens looking for themselves in literature. A novel, Emmy moves to a new city, tries to make new friends and deals with the illness of her favorite teacher, under whose tutelage, Emmy learns to code. Deep and engaging, kids will come back again and again.

Connoisseur Kids, by Jennifer L. Scott

Best for ages: Parents and early readers

A read-along book for both parents and kids of reading age (6 and up), the hints given help develop manners, poise and etiquette through games and play. Don’t think of it as a retro book filled with “How to be a good girl” information, but more helpful hints of teaching the art of a good handshake and how to craft a thank you note. Available for preorder. 

The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences, by Marybeth Kravets & Imy F. Wax

Ages: Parents and high schoolers

The book lists 338 schools and programs that have services for students with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder or learning differences, including in-state schools Bradley, DePaul, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Loyola, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Roosevelt, Southern Illinois (Carbondale & Edwardsville), University of Illinois (Springfield & Urbana-Champaign), University of St. Francis, Western Illinois and Wheaton. Information ranges from advice from experts to prepping for college applications to profiles of the 338 schools. 

How to Raise a Reader, by Pamela Paul & Maria Russo

Ages: Parents

Pamela Paul and Maria Russo oversee book coverage and the children’s books, respectively, at the New York Times, so they’ve seen LOTS of children’s books. The book helps parents turn their kids into book lovers starting at a young age, or turn reluctant readers into fans if they’re a little older. With tips and tricks at every age, including recommendations of best books to find, this is a great read to make a great reader. 

College Admissions Cracked: Saving Your Kid (and Yourself) from the Madness, by Jill Margaret Shulman

Ages: Parents

From when to start the dreaded personal essay to how to sidestep potential admissions landmines, this book is funny, fun and an ultimate girlfriend’s guide to college admissions. Jill Margaret Shulman, a college admissions coach, has recently survived the admissions process herself with two kids off to college. 


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