As the end of the school year draws near, it’s time to start thinking about how to wrap up the year and say goodbye to your students! Along with your end of the year countdown activities, memory books, student gifts and end of the year awards, another great way to commemorate the end of the year is by sharing end of the year books with your students. These books can be a fun way to count down the final days of school, help students reflect on their experiences over the past year, and ease any anxieties about moving on to a new grade!
End of the Year Books about Growing and Moving On
The end of the school year is a time of change and transition. For students, it can be a time of growing up, letting go of old routines and relationships, and moving on to new challenges and opportunities. End of the year books can be a powerful tool to help students process these complex emotions and prepare for that next chapter!
“Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden” by Edith Pattou is a delightful children’s book about a teacher who carefully tends to her garden of students, nurturing and helping them grow over the course of a school year. The book emphasizes the importance of education, the role of teachers in shaping young minds, and the power of kindness and encouragement.
“The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst explores the idea that we are all connected to the people we care about, even when we are apart. The book uses simple language and illustrations to explain how a “string” made of love and connection can stretch across any distance, providing comfort and reassurance to children and adults alike.
“Memory Jars” by Vera Brosgol follows a young girl named Freda as she copes with the loss of her beloved grandmother. Through the process of creating memory jars filled with small reminders of her grandmother, Freda learns to cherish the memories they shared and find comfort in the love that will always connect them.
“My Teacher Likes to Say” by Denise Brennan-Nelson recounts the wise, and often humorous, sayings of a teacher, from “the early bird gets the worm” to “put your thinking caps on.” A perfect read for the last day of school!
“You Are Ready! The World Is Waiting” by Eric Carle encourages young readers to explore the world around them and embrace new experiences. Through vibrant illustrations and simple text, the book inspires children to be curious, brave, and open-minded as they journey through life.
“And Off You Go to Change the World” by Ashten Evans takes young children on a journey to discover what they can become, as they move onwards and upwards in the world. The beautiful verses are perfect for wishing children good luck in the future!
“Curious You: On Your Way” by H.A. and Margret Rey follows the beloved character Curious George as he sets out on a new adventure, exploring the world around him with boundless curiosity and enthusiasm. The book encourages young readers to embrace their own sense of wonder and excitement as they journey through life.
“The Knowing Book” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Matthew Cordell is a poetic and inspiring children’s book that celebrates the journey of life and the wisdom that comes with experience. Much like “Curious You: On Your Way” the book encourages children to embrace the unknown, to be curious and adventurous, and to trust in their own ability to navigate the ups and downs of life.
“I Wish You More” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal emphasizes the power of positive thinking and good wishes. Through simple, yet profound language, the book inspires readers of all ages to cherish every moment… the perfect sentiment as you send them off to new beginnings.
End of the Year Books about Being You
As the end of the school year approaches, students may be feeling a mix of emotions – excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty about what the future holds. One way to help them navigate these feelings is through end of the year books that celebrate individuality and being true to oneself. These books can help students gain confidence and self-awareness, and inspire them to pursue their passions and dreams!
“Have You Ever Wondered What You Will Be” by Junia Wonders explores the question of what children will become when they grow up. With diverse characters and positive affirmations, this stunning story will inspire the boundless potential within readers of all ages.
“Happy Dreamer” by Peter H. Reynolds is a children’s book that celebrates the power of creativity and imagination. Through playful language and colorful illustrations, the book inspires readers of every age to find their own unique path to happy, and to always dream big and follow their passions.
“Be You!” which is also written by Peter H. Reynolds, honors the beauty of individuality. It is an inspirational reminder for readers to “be your own work of art,” to be patient, persistent, and true to yourself… because there is one, and only one, you.
“Remarkably You” by Pat Zietlow Miller follows a diverse group of children as they embrace their unique qualities and talents, reminding readers that everyone is special in their own way. Furthermore, the book relays to children the message that each person’s talents are even more valuable when shared with others… be you and do good.
“The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be” by Joanna Gaines promotes self-reflection and self-acceptance. Through the story of a little girl named Emmie, the book explores the idea that each person is created uniquely and for a purpose, and that true happiness comes from embracing who you were meant to be.
“What Will You Be” by Yamile Saied Méndez emphasizes the importance of following one’s passions and encourages children to believe in their own potential. Throughout the story, a young girl dreams about all the endless possibilities, sparking a sense of wonder, curiosity, and growth. With her abuela’s loving guidance, she learns her potential is limitless.
“Only One You” by Linda Kranz offers a powerful message about the importance of being true to oneself and embracing the differences that make us each unique. A little fish, named Adri, swims through the sea of life, and along the way helps encourage readers to embrace their uniqueness and remind them that they have the power to make a positive difference in the world.
“Dare to Dream Big” by Lorna Gutierrez highlights the importance of perseverance and determination in achieving one’s goals. It encourages children everywhere to dare to dream big, to help others, and speak out for what is right, but also take time for simple joys and to be comfortable in their own skin.
“I Knew You Could” by Craig Dorfman is a heartwarming children’s book that continues the inspirational journey of the Little Engine That Could. It relays the message to believe in yourself and your ability to overcome obstacles, as you follow your own path to achieving your goals.
End of the Year Books about the Last Day
The last day of school is a bittersweet moment for students and teachers alike. It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. As the school year draws to a close, these end of the year books can be a great way to capture the memories of the school year and reflect on all the hard work that went into it, as you say goodbye to your students!
“A Letter from Your Teacher on the Last Day” by Shannon Olsen expresses a teacher’s sentiments and well wishes on the last day of school. Through a letter written from the teacher’s point of view, the class is invited to reflect back on memories made, connections formed, and challenges met.
“Goodbye For Now” by Madison Rowe is a book with bright, playful illustrations and a charming message that you can deliver to your students from the teacher’s perspective. It recalls all the ups, downs, highs, lows, and FUN that your class had together over the school year!
“Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the Last Day of Kindergarten” by Joseph Slate captures the excitement and nostalgia of the end of the school year. Now that the school year is over, it’s time for Miss Bindergarten to say “good-bye, kindergarten,” as the class remembers and celebrates their year together.
“Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Last Day of School” by Julie Gassman follows a boy named Hart and his dragon, Sparkles, as they navigate the last day of school and its many surprises. Dragon loves parties and picnics and playgrounds and is ready to celebrate too, but is it smart to bring a dragon to the last day of school?
“The Last Day of Kindergarten” by Nancy Loewen captures the mixed emotions of the students as they say goodbye to their beloved teacher and familiar classroom. A perfect read to prepare your students and fill them full of joy and excitement for the future!
“Last Day, Hooray!” by Nancy Poydar perfectly captures the excitement and fun of the final day of school and the beginning of summer vacation. For Ivy and her friends it’s time to take down pictures, clean shelves and say good-bye… but there is also time for one last surprise!
“When It’s the Last Day of School” by Maribeth Boelts is a heartwarming children’s book that follows the experiences of a diverse group of students on their last day of school. Through their reflections and emotions, readers are reminded of the bittersweet feelings that come with the end of the school year and the excitement of new beginnings.
“Last Day Blues” by Julie Danneberg is a delightful children’s book that captures the last day of school from a teacher’s perspective. Mrs. Hartwell’s students worry that their teacher will miss them while they are gone for the summer. The class comes up with a way to make sure Mrs. Hartwell won’t be too sad, but Mrs. Hartwell and the other teachers have some plans of their own!
End of the Year Books about Graduation
Graduation season is upon us, and for many students, this marks the end of an era. End of the year books can be a great way to celebrate this important milestone and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead!
“The Berenstain Bears’ Graduation Day” is a charming children’s book that celebrates the achievements of Sister and Brother Bear as they graduate from their respective grades. The story is filled with fun and relatable experiences that young readers can identify with as they prepare for their own graduations.
“Next Stop: Kindergarten!” by Brooke Jorden reminds kids just how much they know and how prepared they really are for kindergarten. Through playful rhymes and colorful illustrations, the book helps to ease any anxieties young children may have about starting school and highlights the excitement of learning and making new friends.
“Goodbye Preschool, Hello Kindergarten” by Sonica Ellis captures the mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness that many children feel during the end of the year and helps to ease the transition to a new school year. A must read for the end of preschool or the beginning of kindergarten.
“The Night Before Kindergarten Graduation” by Natasha Wing is an engaging children’s book that captures the excitement and anticipation leading up to the graduation ceremony for a group of kindergarten students. Through playful rhymes and relatable experiences, the book celebrates the milestones and accomplishments of these young learners and prepares them for the next chapter of their educational journey.
“First Grade, Here I Come!” by Nancy Carlson follows the experiences of a young mouse named Henry as he prepares to start first grade. The story perfectly addresses the differences between kindergarten and first grade, as well as the excitement and apprehension that many young children feel as they embark on a new academic year and encourages them to embrace new challenges with confidence and enthusiasm.
“Second Grade, Here I Come!” by D.J. Steinberg celebrates the excitement of learning and making new friends, while also addressing common concerns and anxieties that many young students face as they begin a new school year. Covering an entire school year of holidays, memorable moments, and important life lessons, this is perfect for soon-to-be second graders!
End of the Year Books about Summer
As the school year comes to a close, many students and teachers alike are looking forward to the arrival of summer. End of the year books can be a great way to wrap up the school year and help students reflect on their experiences. But as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it’s also a great time to explore books that celebrate the season of summer!
“Summer Vacation, Here I Come” by D.J. Steinberg is a collection of sweet and funny poems. The story follows a young boy as he counts down the days until the end of the school year and imagines all the fun adventures he’ll have during his summer break.
“The Night Before Summer Vacation” by Natasha Wing follows a family as they pack and prepare for their summer vacation. Of course, there’s bound to be something that is overlooked.
“Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall follows a young boy named Jarbari as he works up the courage to jump off the high dive at the local swimming pool. The book reminds young readers to be brave and embrace new challenges, like that of beginning a new grade.
“Then Comes Summer” by Tom Brenner celebrates the joys of summer, from swimming and camping to chasing fireflies and eating ice cream. This lyrical ode to summers spent outdoors will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever counted down the days until school gets out.
“Summer Days and Nights” by Wong Herbert Yee focuses on appreciating the small but special details of summer. Throughout the story, a young girl explores the joys of summertime activities, such as swimming, catching butterflies, sipping lemonade and going on a picnic.
“Summer Wonders” by Bob Raczka is a children’s poetry book. The rhyming text paints a vivid picture of the sights and sounds of summer, from days of diving and swimming to nights of stargazing and fireflies.
Activities for End of the Year Books
Pair your favorite end of the year activities with any of these end of the year books! Here’s a quick look at my favorites!
An end of the year memory book is such a fun way to remember and commemorate the school year! Plus, it makes a great memento to share with parents at your end of the year celebration!
Of course, my favorite is this backpack craft… which doubles as an end of the year memory book! Each page has just the right amount of writing for our little learners!
These grad kids would make such a cute display for preschool or kindergarten graduation! Use your school colors to personalize each graduate!
Send your students off to summer with this summer bucket list craft!
More End of the Year Activities
Don’t forget to check out these end of the year countdown activities!
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