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First Day Jitters
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First Day Jitters

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  2,275 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn't want to start over at a new school. She doesn't know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She i ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Charlesbridge (first published January 1st 2000)
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First Day Jitters is full of interesting, colorful, and vivid illustrations. Sarah Jane Hartwell is a relateable character that decides she does not want to go to a new school on the very first day of the school year. Through discussions and arguements with her father, Sarah is convinced that her attendance is mandatory, despite her fears and hesitations. The fears of Sarah Jane, and many fears other people may have on their first day of school, are described throughout the story and resolved wi ...more
The first day at a new school is always a frightening experience. In this story, Sarah does not want to go to school. Mr. Hartwell eventually gets Sarah to get out of bed, eat breakfast, and go to school. With the beautiful illustrations, the pictures do not tell how old Sarah is. It is revealed at the end of the story that Sarah is the new teacher. First Day Jitters shows children that they may not be the only ones nervous about a new school or the first day of school. The teachers often are al ...more
Illustrated by Judy Love
Published 2000
Fiction, picture book

Sarah Jane Hartwell does not want to get out of bed. She does not want to start over in a new school. She is worried about making new friends and nobody liking her. Mr. Hartwell finally is able to convince her to go to school. As they pull up to the school, the principal Mrs. Burton, leads Sarah through the crowded hallways and shows her, her classroom. Mrs. Burton introduces Sarah to the class. "Class I would like you to meet…y
Anna Summers
In the book, First Day Jitters, Sarah doesn’t want to get out of bed to go to the first day of school. Sarah’s father finally convinces her to get up and begin the day. After Sarah arrives at school, the reader finds out that Sarah is actually the teacher. The author, Julie Danneberg, brilliantly writes this book in a way that leaves the reader surprised at the end of the story when it is revealed that Sarah is actually the teacher. The illustrations are also done in a way that Sarah’s face is n ...more
Opening: When you woke up this morning how did you feel? (Turn and tell) What did you partner say? I bet a lot of people felt nervous or scared. Why would someone feel scared? If you weren't nervous this morning, when was a time that you did feel nervous? What do people do when they are nervous?

In the story we are going to read today, First Day Jitters, we are going to meet a character named Sarah. Now in the title I see a new word, "jitters." What do you think jitters means? Use the cover to h
Clara Hamilton
This book is about moving, the first day of school, and the jitters that we associate with it. It follows the morning of Sara, who does not want to get up, or go to school, or go to her class. She is very nervous to meet new people in her class, and since she does not know anyone, make new friends. Finally, Mr. Hartwell coaxes her out of bed and into the school. Then her day starts.

The theme of this is moving, and being brave in new circumstances.

This book would be perfect for the beginning of t
Courtney Gregory
First Day Jitters is written by Julie Danneberg. This book is about a girl who is scared to go to class on the first day. She makes up excuse after excuse as to why she did not want to go to school. She was scared of a new building and new teachers and new friends. She didn’t know anyone which was very nerve racking. In a cute twist on the very last page, Sarah whom we all assume is a student, turns out to be a teacher who is nervous. This sends a great message to the students about how everyone ...more
First Day Jitters is written and illustrated from the perspective of the main character, an individual who is nervous for the start of her first day of school. This is the perfect way to start off a school year. Children will relate to and laugh at the main character’s crazy thoughts and emotions as she gets ready for her first day of school. What they will enjoy even more, is the story’s humorous and surprising twist.

This story is a great read aloud for an elementary school classroom. It’s a w
Nov 17, 2008 Book rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to Book by: My teachers
This book is a great book for people all ages. Once you read this book your inside book lover itches to read it again.
First Day Jitters will make you feel more confidint if you are trying something for the fist time.
Monica A
Everyone experiences first day jitters whether it be for their first day of school or their first day at a new job. What a charming story this is breaking down the feelings most people would have in Sarah Jane's situation. While reading, I nodded in agreement with the feelings that Sarah Jane had and this goes to show children that everyone experiences first day jitters including teachers as well. The story came with, what i thought, was an unexpected twist that I think was fantastic to help any ...more
Rebecca Ashley Teague
In this story, Sarah Jane is nervous about her first day at a brand new school. Her father tries to calm her nerves. After a lot of discussion, Sarah realizes she has to be at school for the very first day. The ending of the story has a surprising and funny twist that students will love. The story is easy for any child and adult to relate to because everyone gets first day jitters. I will use this story on the first day of school as an icebreaker and to help calm the nerves of my students. I wil ...more
This is a book about me today! I loved the surprise ending.
Danneberg, J. (2000). First day jitters. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Sarah doesn’t want to go to school on her first day. She has “first day jitters”! Mr. Hartwell continues to encourage Sarah to go to her new school, but Sarah is reluctant and afraid. The full-page illustrations by Judy Love are colorful and engaging, and don’t show Sarah’s face until she arrives at her new classroom, where the reader is in for a surprise.

Horn Book Guide 9/1/2000
Library Talk 5/1/2000
Violet Lewis
This is an excellent book about emotional health! It teaches children many concepts about understanding some feelings. It also teaches emotional concepts to young children to help them understand that everyone (including adults) has these feelings!

Learning experience: LD5j- Children will identify and connect information and events to real-life experiences.

I would use this book to teach children about different emotions they have experienced in life. I will get several pictures of children with f
This book is about a girl named Sara and her father, and Sara’s first day of school. She is still in bed and her father tries to wake her up several times but she doesn’t want to go to school because she thinks that the children will not like her and she doesn’t have any friends at this new school. Finally Sara comes downstairs and is dressed and ready to go to school. Her father drives her to school and when they arrive the principal shows Sara to her classroom. You’ll have to read the b
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Hagler
This colorful children's book is about a girl named Sarah Jane Hartwell, who has bad jitters about the first day of school. She is really nervous because it is a new school and she doesn't know anyone. She refuses to get out of bed, until Mr. Hartwell finally makes her. He drives her to school as Sarah is still complaining about being sick. At the end, the author throws a twist in the book when the reader realizes that Sarah is actually a teacher on her first day of class!

This book was very ente
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay Kaiktsian
Danneberg,J. & Love, J.(2006). First Day Jitters. Tumbleweed Press.

Library of Virginia


Bright and fun story. Fantastic story of how one feels going to someplace new. This book would be a great story to use to learn about narration and predictions. I could also use this book to explain how we all are nervous at something that we just start. Illustrations are interesting and help to tell the story. For readers K-3.
Mary Andrea
My second grade teacher read this to my class, on the second day of school because she forgot, she said she was going to read the last book in the end of the school year but that sadly did not happen as she forgot once again.

Anyway, this is a great book worth reading, up until now I remember the feeling of surprise and how I loved this book. A nicely done and surprising twist in the end, but not so complicated that it is hard to understand.
This is going to be the book I read to my classes at the beginning of the school year, each and every year. It's a book that is full of vivid illustrations and wonderful characters that really help bring the story to life. It's a story that we can all relate to, as it explains the worries of a person's first day jitters. This particular story, tells the first day of the school's brand new teacher and I think it can really help ease the children's minds that adults get nervous too and that our ji ...more
Sarah is hiding under her covers as Mr. Hartwell asks, "You don't want to miss the first day at your new school do you?" From under the blanket she replies, "I'm not going." When he reminds her how much she liked her other school and asks her to think of all the new friends she'll meet. Mr. Hartwell finally gets Sarah to stumble out of bed and get into the car where she slumps down into her seat. At school, the principal cheerfully welcomes her and takes her to the classroom where she is introdu ...more
I actually didn’t really like this book as much as I thought I was going to like it. The whole way through the book they lead you to believe that it is the child that wont get out of bed and is so nervous to go to school when in the end you come to find out that the person that was so nervous for the first day of school was their teacher Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell. The reason I don’t particularly like this book is because it shows the teacher dreading school and being really scared which doesn’t s ...more
This was fun to read with my class. When they got to the end a number of kids blurted out, "I never expected that!"

We talked about whether or not teachers would be nervous about school. Everyone was pretty sure they aren't. I told them that actually, they are. They worry about all sorts of things. I'm not sure my students believed me.
Clairissa D
This is a very cute story about a individual named Sarah who is very anxious and nervous about her first day of school.Through out the morning Mr.Hartwell is constantly encouraging and pushing Sarah to get her things together and get ready to school. Mr. Hartwell finally gets her out of the house and they proceed to drive to the school. They arrive at the school and Sarah does not want to get out of the car. Once she finally gets out of the car and meets with the principal, the principal walks h ...more
Dana Snyder
It teaches children many concepts about understanding some feelings. It also teaches emotional concepts to young children to help them understand that everyone (including adults) has these feelings!

Children willbe able to identify and connect information and events to real-life experiences.

I would use this book to teach children about different emotions they have experienced in life. I will have children make different facial emotions on paper plates. As the students are sitting in a circle, I w
My nieces haven't read this one yet.

The book runs through the excuses Sarah makes to avoid going to her new school (note that she's nervous about switching schools), and she's steadily cajoled into the front of the class where our Surprise! Announcement! reveals (and I admit, I was surprised - this is really well-done) that she's the teacher.

Well, no doubt teachers do get nervous on the first day of school, same as anybody else does :) Kids are likely to be surprised and laugh at the ending too,
Julia Jasztal
Mommy's review from 1/3/12 -

2.5 - Julia and I borrowed this from the library before Christmas and finally got around to it a few days after the 25th. When we cracked it open Julia informed me that she'd had this read to her in school so she already knew the story.
I was able to see fairly quickly where this was going but I pretended I didn't for Julia's sake and she got a big kick out of me being "tricked".
I'm surprised I haven't seen a book like this before now, with the character not being sho
Rachael Bingham
This is an excellent book to read on the first day of school. It helps children see that they are not along in being nervous about starting something new! It is cute and the illustrations are fun!
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It's a great book 2 6 Nov 16, 2014 07:28PM  
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