There is almost no finer place to be than West Michigan in September. We have warm days (but not too warm) and cool nights (but not too cool). We have bright blue skies (more often than not), puffy white clouds drifting over still-green grass, and breeze-blown trees that are just beginning to put on their glorious fall colors.

View of the Grand River in Fall

View of the Grand River in fall
Photo courtesy of Vicky Fanning

It’s almost a shame that kids have to be in school right now.

Since they do, though, we’re helping them adjust to academic life by featuring a great collection of school stories this month here and at Eerdmans.com — stories that feature children and teens not only surviving school, but triumphing over a variety of school-related adversities.

Read on to learn more about two of our newest school stories.

Back to Front and Upside Down

Back to Front and Upside Down

Back to Front and Upside Down
Claire Alexander

It’s the principal Mr. Slipper’s birthday, but while the rest of the class gets busy writing cards for the occasion, Stan becomes frustrated when his letters come out all in a muddle. Stan is afraid to ask for help, until a friend assures him that nobody’s good at everything. And after lots and lots of practice, Stan’s letters come out the right way round and the right way up.

This delightful book deals with a common childhood frustration and will remind readers that practice pays off and that everyone has to ask for help sometimes.

Starring Arabelle

Starring Arabelle

Starring Arabelle
Hillary Hall De Baun

Impulsive, romantic Arabelle Archer is determined to make the most of her freshman year. She’ll audition for the school play and soon be on her way to the stardom she knows is her destiny.

Arabelle’s year gets off to a unexpectedly rocky start, however, when all the roles in the play go to upperclassmen and she has to settle for prompting. To make matters worse, her guidance counselor insists that she fulfill her community service requirement by volunteering at the Heavenly Rest Nursing Home — the last place she wants to be.

But when a crisis puts the school play at risk, Arabelle realizes the true value of the friendships she’s made at Heavenly Rest, and she discovers that making a lasting impression isn’t always about being a star.

Click to view the rest of our featured collection of school stories for young readers.

A version of article originally appeared in EBYR’s monthly e-newsletter. Click to subscribe. (Note: your email address will be used only to send you the newsletter(s) you request.)