One Smart Cookie. The book, without being preachy, will help students think about how they treat each other and how they act in general. The cookie theme is rich with opportunities for bulletin boards and fun activities.
One of the tasks for the beginning of the year is for everyone to get to know each other. A book I like that encourages self-expression is Walter Dean Myers' Looking Like Me. This book celebrates individuality and would be a great gateway for students to share who they are with other classmates.
A good book to kick off Reader's Workshop at the beginning of the year is Mordicai Gerstein's A Book. This story is about a young girl who is trying to find her own story. Gerstein takes the reader through several genres which would be a jumping off point for picking your own book for independent reading.
Click on the link below to read an article on beginning of the year books. It's written by Shari Frost and located on the superb Choice Literacy website. Check out this site to help your year get started.
Read Alouds for the First Day of School