Teachers must be brave, patient, creative and downright stalwart people. In these books, you’ll meet some extraordinary teachers and the children they teach. You’ll encounter teachers who know their students so well that they can overlook small indiscretions, help them write original tales and deal with all the issues the students bring to the classroom. Laugh with them, admire them and have fun with the teachers and children. And be sure to say thanks to the teachers you know!


Clementine’s Letter
By: Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by: Marla Frazee
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Impetuous Clementine is concerned that she’ll lose her much loved 3rd grade teacher, Mr. D’Matz, when he’s recommended to study in Egypt for a year. Clementine cooks up a letter to assure that Mr. D’Matz doesn’t get the fellowship. Humor abounds in this third book about spontaneous, likable, and ultimately honorable Clementine.

Jamaica and the Substitute Teacher
By: Juanita Havill
Illustrated by: Anne Sibley O’Brien
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Jamaica and Brianna are excited about their new substitute teacher. And Mrs. Duval doesn’t disappoint — she inspires and engages all the children. So much so, that even when Jamaica makes a bad choice, she decides to confess to Mrs. Duval. Wise and calm, Mrs. Duval helps Jamaica learn from her mistake.

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

By: Kevin Henkes
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Lily just can’t contain her excitement and simply MUST share her jingly quarters and new purse causing her favorite teacher to put her in the thinking corner. How Lily rethinks her anger with Mr. Slinger is told with gentle humor, lively language, and very expressive illustrations.

Miss Nelson is Missing

By: Harry Allard
Illustrated by: James Marshall
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Kind and attractive Miss Nelson goes missing, replaced by a substitute teacher named Viola Swamp. The children come to appreciate — really appreciate — Miss Nelson’s softer ways as they are whipped into shape by mean, strict, and not very pretty Ms. Swamp. Be sure to look for Miss Nelson Is Back (Houghton, 1986) and Miss Nelson Has a Field Day (Houghton, 1988) for more of Miss Nelson’s classroom adventures!

Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Imperial China
By: Joanna Cole
Illustrated by: Bruce Degen
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Ms. Frizzle, the amazing teacher whose students experience field trips in extraordinary fashion, now moves into history and other social studies areas. In this installment, Ms. Frizzle and her class travel by dragon to 11th century China to experience its history.

My Teacher for President
By: Kay Winters
Illustrated by: Denise Brunkus
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Since Oliver’s class has been studying about elections and voting, he decides to nominate his teacher for President, and contacts a local television station, clearly stating her many qualifications! Humor abounds as the teacher’s assets are juxtaposed with U.S. presidential duties — and with a real sense of child-like appreciation for what the teacher does.

Ramona the Pest
By: Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray
Illustrated by: Tracy Dockray
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Ramona loves kindergarten and her wonderful teacher, Miss Binney. But even the best teacher and the most enthusiastic kindergartner can have a rough day or so. This leads to laughs for readers as they empathize with Ramona, who can be rather a pest and perhaps the first-ever kindergarten dropout.

Teacher’s Pets
By: Dayle Ann Dodds
Illustrated by: Marylin Hafner
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Miss Fry welcomes the variety of pets that come to visit for the school year as warmly as she does each child in her increasingly noisy classroom. But each evening she returns to her calm little home in this quietly humorous and gentle story.

The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee
By: Kalli Dakos
Illustrated by: Mike Reed
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Teachers and children alike will see everyday school activities and objects in a different way through each short, easy-to-read poem. From the front door to the most everyday object (a pencil), each poem has its own slightly offbeat take on things, echoed in equally wacky illustrations.

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Reading Rockets is a national literacy initiative that gives parents and teachers the resources they need to help young children become strong readers and writers. Our website offers lots of video (including our PBS Launching Young Readers series), hundreds of articles about helping young readers, parent tips in 11 languages, a bilingual parent e-newsletter, video interviews with well-known children’s authors, a big library of themed booklists – and much more!

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