The relevance of first day of school books has never been broader nor more challenging than it is today—the day that the 2021 First Among First Day of School Books champion will be determined. The central themes of these books—anxiety, foundering presentiments, clashes between expectations and experience, making adjustments to adapt to an evolving communal landscape—apply to just about anyone of any age right now. On the other hand, the peculiarities and uncertainties of school in 2021 reflect the broader world more greatly than the more insular and comforting traditional first day of school experience did.
Our winner this year will best address these complexities in a warm, reassuring, and relevant manner. It is true that more is being asked of it than was called for from our prior champions such as Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day of School; Steve, Raised by Wolves; A Letter to My Teacher; The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!; and If I Built a School. Yet one would expect that this year’s standout would address transcending the vagaries of fate with aplomb.Continue reading