Add these to your never-ending to-be-read pile…

Raise your hand if the phrase ‘back-to-school’ makes you nervous. Now raise your hand if the reason for your anxiety involves a new grade, new faces, or maybe even a new school altogether.

While the idea of something new or something changing can be quite scary at first, it often ends up being good for us. This is certainly true when it comes to meeting new people, especially those who might think, look, or act differently from us — as kids often do when going back into the classroom.

So with the new school year just around the corner, our friends at the Emirates Literature Foundation have put together a few book recommendations that will help your kids ease into this next year of learning.

Say Hello by Jack and Michael Foreman (Ages 3-7)

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A simple story about a dog and a boy who feel left out of the kids’ games. The illustrations capture the emotions of the story well — especially that of the boy and the dog as they stand at a distance and watch the other children playing football together. The author also uses short phrases and rhyming words to communicate the story’s central message: be kind and welcoming when we see that someone is sad and lonely. Say Hello is a great reminder that it only takes a warm ‘hello’ to make a new friend and make someone feel included.

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Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Ages 8-13)

fish in a tree

In this emotionally charged read for middle schoolers, Ally is quite the troublemaker until she comes across a new teacher, Mr. Daniels, who understands her struggles with dyslexia. His kindness helps Ally embrace her quirkiness and explore new possibilities. Fish in a Tree shines a spotlight on inclusion as well as the need for us to be kind to ourselves and not let our imperfections blur the wonderful opportunities awaiting us.

Our final recommendation today is a book aimed at adults  to help them navigate the increasingly multicultural workplaces of today…

The Loudest Duck by Laura Liswood

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In The Loudest Duck, author and senior advisor at Goldman Sachs, Laura Liswood, emphasises the need for business leadership to redefine diversity. It should be thought of as something that comes through a deeper understanding of the cultural and social values that an employee brings to a business. With the use of engaging and fun examples, Liswood offers a series of practical tools that can help create a level playing field so that all employees can grow and succeed.

If you enjoyed today’s variety of book recommendations from Shama Noman, the English Project Manager of Voices of Future Generations of Arabia at the Emirates Literature Foundation, then you should check out her other suggestions on their blog. For more recommendations, tune in to their podcast, the Boundless Book Club and follow them on social media and YouTube to enjoy full sessions, author interviews, fun reels – everything in the name of books!