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A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  40 reviews
In a unique narrative, readers meet a diverse group of six children ranging in age from Kindergarten through fifth grade. With nerves and excitement each child gears up for a new school year by hustling in the morning, meeting new teachers and new classmates during the day, and heading home with homework and relief by day's end.

Simple, bright illustrations focus on each
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Hardcover, 48 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Charlesbridge Publishing
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  113 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Betsy
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I think that easy readers are the hardest books for kids to write. Those are the beginner books where the word count is limited and you have to somehow pack emotion and story and imagination into a very small space with very few pages. We can’t all be Dr. Seuss, but after reading “A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices” by Sally Derby, I may have to revise some of my thinking on the matter. Yes, easy books are hard. But imagine how difficult a book like this one must have been. In ...more
Stephanie Bange
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sally Derby delivers this year's must-have "First Day of School" book in the form of a beginning reader that addresses many fears and dread often felt in the days prior to school's start. The book is written in the form of free verse poetry that reads aloud like prose.

Six boys and girls, each in a different grade and representing diversity in its widest sense without drawing attention to this aspect, are preparing for their first day of school. Told in short poems and grouped by the time of day,
...more
Alex  Baugh
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, school
It’s the start of a new school year and in 24 free verse poems, young readers are privy to the innermost thoughts and concerns of six students from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade. Told in four parts, it covers the night the first day, the morning of the first day, at and after school the first day. Kindergartener Ethan puts his bear’s fuzzy jacket in his pants pocket so he can touch it when he’s feeling scared; 1st grader Zach worries about making mistakes,Katie learns her 2nd grade teacher has ...more
Sandy Brehl
Could serve a mentor text for voice changing with age. It adapts an unusual format of multi-grade, time-passing start-of-school worries and results with good effect.
Mary Lee
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
6 kids, K-5, get ready for the first day of school, have the first day of school, and go home from the first day of school. Perfect for point of view.
Rose
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a darling picture book which illustrates the beginning of a new school year in the voices of 6 different children, each of whom is entering grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. The children are from diverse backgrounds and have age-appropriate concerns, aptly described in the 1-page prose poems which form the text of the book.

The first section presents the concerns of each child as he or she is getting ready for bed the night before the first day of the school year. A section on the morning
...more
Tasha
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Six children, ranging in age from kindergarten through fifth grade, tell the stories of their first day of school. Each of them begins with the night before where readers will see that even children who are older worry about school and who their teacher will be. Arriving at school is busy and quick, though some have time to say hello to old teachers or to be the first to arrive and meet the class pet. They meet new teachers, say hello to old friends and make new ones too. Finally, they all head ...more
Jana
Perfect for the start of the school year, this book in verse tells the story of six different children, one in each grade (kindergarten through fifth). Readers will get to experience the jitters of the night before the big day, the morning of, the school day itself, and afterward through the eyes of each of these characters. This would be a terrific read aloud to share with kids in each of these grades, to show that everyone experiences similar feelings. It also could be a wonderful mentor text ...more
Jolyce Abernathy
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked the ascending and descending order that detailed the same kids from kindergarten through 5th grade before, during and after their first days of school. With valid concerns that some children face, this book sheds light on the growing demands placed on kids as they get older. This book almost made me sad because I prefer not to think about the fact that all kids grow up! While this book was interesting for me to read, I think its a bit too long for early readers and shouldn't be ...more
Heidi-Marie
Reading for CLAU long list. I wasn't sure I was going to like this as well. But I really did! After all these "disjointed" poems in other books, I finally got stories to follow. My brain needed that. And it was one I could relate to with all my years in public school. I liked how subtly the children's different backgrounds were included, but did not take center stage. And how it truly was just a snapshot of the first day. So many stories before and after this one day, but you just get a glimpse, ...more
Linda
A must-have for the beginning of a school year. A diverse set of six voices in six grades tell us what's going on "The Night Before," "In The Morning," "At School," and "After School". As the stories move from part to part, we learn a bit more about each child and about their teachers. Good things happen like kindness in school mates and teachers, new friends made and parents who understand how to support in good ways. The illustrations are simple, showing just enough of each child and his or ...more
Joan Marie
This is a must-have for kids and parents to read for back-to-school days. Derby is right-on when it comes to capturing the excitement, the worries, the what-ifs that accompany the first day of school. Voices range from K to 5th grader. I'm adding this title to my collection of must-have poetry books!
Ellen
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One student in each grade. Short verse about the night before, in the morning, at school and after school. The students all come from different backgrounds. One student’s father speaks Spanish. Another has a hearing aid. Another is a latch key kid, etc. represents diverse student body/families well. Liked the illustrations and use of white space.
Leonard Kim
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was going to give this 4.5 because every poetry book for children now makes me think about Julie Fogliano’s When Green Becomes Tomatoes, which I still reread when I need it and think is one of the towering achievements in recent children’s literature. But that’s not fair, because this is a really good book.
Karen Kline
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
These free verse poems are about one page long each. The poems are in voices of K-5 students and arranged chronologically from "Night before school starts," "Morning," "First Day." The multi-cultural and diverse voices add to the usefulness of the book. Perfect for school settings and to whip out when the first day or week needs a little oompf.
Stacia
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I like the concept of this book but I can't get past the unkind (and unnecessary) line: "Our crossing guard is Mrs. Tibbs. She's kind of fat, and that's good because the cars can see her really well." WHAT?!?!
Maria Caplin
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Discussing voice in writing and reading is always a challenge. I continue to search for mentor text to support these lessons. This gem has 6 voices of students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Alternating poems share their diversity and story.
Emily Garrett
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: el-ed-340
This book is amazing! A wonderful look at the different fears and anxiety kids go through before their first day of school. This book also talks about a lot of diverse family situations and would be a wonderful opportunity to bring up different lifestyles and life situations to children.
Poetry
Ro Menendez
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
#bookaday Quite a range of emotions from diverse characters in grades K-5th as they worry and wonder the night before school starts, how their day goes & how they feel once it’s over, in this collection of poems. Awesome share for the first week of school!
Lynn
My school is K-5 grades, and I was hoping this would be a great first-day-of-school book for them. The text is OK, but the illustrations do not successfully distinguish between this range of ages - all the children look more like K-2.
I do think that age range will enjoy this.
Earl
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I simply adored this book. Six kids. Six grades. Six stories. From the night before to after the first day of school, we get snapshots of their lives as they deal with their individual worries and fears as well as their expectations and lessons learned. Told in verse. And the art is wonderful!
Juliana Lee
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Meet six kids beginning school this year in grades K-5th. Each child tells his/her story from the night before, during, and after school on the first day. The details in each story are subtle and heartbreaking/heartwarming. Real life. Real stories. Real good.
Rachel
A great collection of poems about school with different grades.
Maywoodbooks
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love this idea- so many middle grade novels written in verse; I love that this is a book written in verse for younger grades (k-4th)
Debbie
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked the way this book was organized. Telling each child's tale in verse was also a great idea.
Meredith
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice variety of situations. The first grader showing up to the K classroom rang true.
MaryLibrarianOH
A collection of poems show a diverse group of kids getting ready for school, heading off for the first day, meeting their teachers/classmates, and heading home.

Kim
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
My heart melted upon reading the first poem. A must read book for the beginning of the school year. ...more
Dana
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
6 children, one in each grade from k to 6 tell about their first day of school in 4 parts - the night before, morning, at school and after school.
Audrey Velasquez
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ls3013-01
First Day of School K-5
Diversity
Challenges
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