These special end of the year books for kids are a great way to celebrate the last day of school.
The end of each school year is always bittersweet. Students have learned so much and now are looking forward to summer. Teachers look back over the past year and see so much growth! But now it’s time to pass our students on to another teacher. Before they go, take the opportunity to read another good story with your class.
As the end of the school year approaches, I like to end the year with some special picture books. I’ve used the following school books with preschoolers and kindergarteners, as well as third and fourth graders. I would even read some of them to junior high and high schoolers too, because you are never too old for a good picture book!
I compiled this list of some of the best end of the year books for kids, so you have a variety of books from which to choose. Personally, I would read several of these books over the course of the last weeks of school.
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Here are my favorite end of the year books for kids.
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This fun book is the story of Mrs. Hartwell’s class during the last week of school. The class shares all the things they are going to miss from the school year, over the course of a week as they do all the last things. The children think their teacher is going to be especially sad when they leave so they try to think of a special present for her. It’s a fun way to show how kids and teachers might miss school – but will still have a fun summer vacation!
If you are looking for a lighthearted, funny story, check out this one about a teacher who is set to retire. Mrs. McBloom hasn’t cleaned up her room in 50 years of teaching, so the treasures her students and former students find are quite entertaining! This is a silly story that will make teachers and students laugh. This is a slightly older book, but check your library to see if they have it.
Franny loves school but it’s hard for her to say goodbye. This book focuses on how Franny says goodbye to all the different areas of school while remembering lots of good memories to take with her. The unique thing about this book is that the author is a licensed clinical social worker, so she really does a great job presenting ways for children to say goodbye. You could use this book during the final days of school or if a student has to leave the class mid year.
If you teach Kindergarten, this is a great story to read at the end of the year – especially if you read Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for the First Day of Kindergarten at the beginning of the year. (The entire Miss Bindergarten series are some of my favorite read-alouds for Kindergarten!) After a great year together, Miss Bindergarten is getting ready for the last day of school with her class. All her students are alphabetically named (Adam is an Alligator, Brenda a Beaver, etc) which is a fun addition to the story. You’ll love this book because Miss Bindergarten does everything a Kindergarten teacher normally does to end the year.
Lizzie is a little girl who absolutely loves school! She loves preschool and she loves Kindergarten, but she especially loves first grade with her new teacher, Miss G. This book shares all the fun things that happen in first grade, and how truly sad Lizzie is to have the year end. This book reminds you that you can have fun at school and still have fun in the summer – because a new school year will be coming! Since many young children love school just like Lizzie, this is a great book to read at the end of the year. Don’t limit it to just first grade, but you could read it with K to 2 students!
Sometimes You Fly focuses on all the things that happen before you master something. This is a good book to use as you discuss all the things your students learned this year. It’s a short book but has some important reminders especially “With every try, sometimes you fail, sometimes you fly.” This is a book where you should read and talk through it at the same time – pointing out everything happening in the illustrations as the children are learning and achieving so many different things.
Here’s another story from the teacher’s perspective, reminding students of all the amazing things they’ve learned and done this past school year. The illustrations are so charming and perfectly capture kids in the classroom. This book would be a great end of the year book for lower elementary age students.
This brand new book is beautifully written by an experienced teacher, who beautifully captures what every teacher wants to say on the last day. Written as a letter, this book highlights the ups and downs of the whole school year. I like how it points out that the teacher will miss the students, but they have many new adventures ahead in the next grade! Plus, there is the reminder to come back and visit, and we know teachers always love seeing former students. If you like this book, the same author also wrote A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School.
If you are looking for a story to encourage your students to keep trying, you need to read The Magical Yet! This book is a great school year book – at any point in the year! I love how this book encourages children to keep working at it because “Yet can’t do it all overnight. Some things take days, months or years to get right.” This is a great book to remind your students to keep working at all the things they can’t do…yet.
Teachers will definitely appreciate this sweet story of a teacher who plants a garden of seeds and tends them all year. The analogies to how the seeds (aka students) grow are spot on! Explain this concept to the students or have them guess who the seeds are after reading. It’s an enjoyable end of the year read for sure.
Max Lucado is a gifted author. He has many wonderful children stories, and this one tells the story of several orphans. While many of the children try to impress the King into adopting them, it is the orphan who simply longs to be with the King that is adopted. The Christian parallels are so poignant here. God loves us all just the way we are, and that’s what I want my students to know.
This book is the story of a blessing that is written perfectly for young children. Norbert the Elephant had a very bad day at school, and his parents tenderly remind him that they would choose him each and every time. I always tear up a bit in this one. Once again, this is a good book to use in a Christian setting, reminding your students that God has chosen all of us to be his special creations. Although this book is currently out of print, it’s worth tracking down a copy if you can.
This newer children’s book has become one of my favorites and it is the perfect end of a school year book! It is short and simple but oh, such a sweet book! It shows all the things we wish for our students. The illustrations of children by Tom Lichtenheld are adorable too. I add Bible verses to this book for a perfect addition to this beautiful book.
Every end of the year book list should include this classic book by Dr. Seuss. This is a perfect book to read at any age level – elementary school through high school. There are so many adventures ahead of our students, and this rhyming picture book is a great reminder of all the things they can do! I have always loved this book and give it to many students for a graduation gift. I add Bible verses to every page of this story as well to turn a classic book into a priceless one. (Oh, and if you are a parent who has teachers sign this book for your own child, here’s a printable letter I created to make it easy!)
Everyone knows Dr. Seuss but do you know this one? I have to say that I love this sweet story even more than Oh the Places You’ll Go! And since I really do love the Dr. Seuss book, that is saying a lot. If you haven’t read this book yet, get it now! It is one of my favorite books. This is the perfect end of the year picture book to read to students of all ages. Joanna Gaines (yes, the Joanna Gaines of Magnolia fame) writes a beautiful book highlighting everyone’s differences and reminding children that the world needs all of our gifts and abilities. The colorful illustrations of hot air balloons and different children are precious. And yes, I add Bible verses to this sweet book as well.
I hope you found some new children’s books to bring a happy ending to the last days of school! What’s your favorite end of the year book to read?