The initial days at school, especially if it’s a new school, can test students and parents alike. Authors and publishers of an assortment of books about going back to school aim to assist families with their school experiences — elementary school, high school, college.

“Unless you’re somebody like Huckleberry Finn, the first day of school isn’t too bad,” wrote Barbara Robinson in her book “The Best School Year Ever.”

“Most kids, by then, are bored with summer and itchy from mosquito bites and poison ivy and nothing to do. Your sneakers are all worn out and you can’t get new ones till school starts and your mother is sick and tired of yelling at you to pick things up and you’re sick and tired of picking the same things up.

“Plus, the first day of school is only half a day for kids.”

When you put it Robinson’s way, going back to school isn’t so bad.

But it can be trying. The initial days at school, especially if it’s a new school, can test students and parents alike.

Authors and publishers of an assortment of books about going back to school aim to assist families with their school experiences — elementary school, high school, college.

Both fiction and nonfiction, here is a sample of those volumes — selected by store manager Kim Borcoman of Borders Books, Music, Movies & Cafe at The Strip in Stark County, Ohio — to help readers get ready for the classroom.

“The Best School Year Ever” by Barbara Robinson (softcover, HarperCollins, 155 pages, $5.99).

The author, a former Ohio resident who now lives in Pennsylvania, is the author of several children’s books, including “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and “My Brother Louis Measures Worms.”

In “The Best School Year Ever,” Robinson teaches, through the fictional Herdman family, the lessons of social interaction in classrooms.

“The Herdman kids are the outlaws of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School,” explains the publisher in promotional information. “They smoke cigars, lie, and set fire to things — and that’s only when they bother to come to school.

“Then a school project forces the students to think of compliments for their classmates — all of them. Is it possible that behind their outrageous pranks there might be something good about this crazy clan after all?”

This Harper Trophy reprint of a book published in 1994 won state reading awards in nine states. “As wild as ever,” the New York Times reviewed.

“Ruby and the Booker Boys” by Derrick Barnes (softcover, Scholastic, 130 pages, $4.99).

Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, Barnes’ book follows the further school adventures of Ruby Booker, a third-grader who has an iguana named Lady Love and whose “absolicious color is purple.”

“And the most important thing you need to know is that today I have a chance to make a name for myself,” Ruby tells readers. “It’s my first day at Hope Road Academy. All three of my older brothers already go there, but I’m my own Booker — and this booker girl has big, big plans!”

Suddenly, with the start of school, as Ruby says, “it’s showtime.”

“Biscuit Goes to School” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (softcover, Harper Collins, 32 pages, $3.99).

Pat Schories provides artwork for Capucilli’s book about the little dog, Biscuit, who wanted to go to school — and does. Biscuit attends gym class, listens to storytelling in the library, eats lunch and even takes in a class. Part of HarperCollins Harper Trophy “I Can Read” series, the book is written in simple sentences for new readers.

“S is for School” by P.J. Shaw (softcover, Dalmatian Press, 20 pages, $3.50)

This Sesame Street book, written by P.J. Shaw and illustrated by Joe Mathieu, includes all the familiar characters of the children’s television program. The book is designed to introduce kids new to school to things they’ll find after getting off their buses.

“Cookie Monster, don’t eat the alphabet!” Miss Piggy advises the big blue creature on one page picturing a party in a classroom. “Eat the snacks!”

“Okay, okay, okay. But it very tasty. Num num!”

All right. Maybe you have to be 4 or be the mother of a 4-year-old to appreciate that kind of humor.

“The Night Before Kindergarten” by Natasha Wing (softcover, Grosset & Dunlap, 32 pages, $3.99)

A lot goes into getting ready for school, as author Natasha Wing and illustrator Julie Durrell show.

The book is written to the pace of the poem “Twas the night before Christmas” — “Twas the night before kindergarten, and as they prepared, kids were excited and a little bit scared.”

“It’s almost the first day of school, and kids all over town are getting ready for it,” explains the publisher’s promotional material. “What will kindergarten be like? Will the teacher be nice? Will they still get to play? Anticipation and excitement are in the air as they head off to school, where they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is!”

“1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know” by Harry H. Harrison Jr. (hardcover, Thomas Nelson publisher, 302 pages, $9.99)

What do students need to know before they head off to school?

“Like Buying Your Books before Exams Start,” begins author Harry Harrison Jr. in his subtitle.

Advice is divided up into sections. “You Need to Know How to Prepare for College,” the entries in one chapter explain. “You Need to Know the First Two Weeks Help Determine the Next Four Years,” adds advice in another chapter.

Chapters cover such topics as adjusting to roommates, choosing classes, attending classes, taking notes, working in groups, writing papers, studying, taking exams, the avoiding the consequences of cheating, handling money, going to parties, abstaining from drinking and drugs, “handling” parents, and eventually getting out of school.

“You need to know that if you keep remembering why you’re doing all of this,” the book concludes, “you’ll graduate.”

“How to Survive Your Freshman Year” edited by Frances Northcut (softcover, Hundreds of Heads Books, 302 pages)

“This book proves that all of us are smarter than one of us,” reviews John Katzman, founder and CEO of The Princeton Review.

“How to Survive Your Freshman Year” is the collection of advice by hundreds of college students who made it through their years of education — “and some things to avoid, from a few dropouts who didn’t,” the book’s subtitle adds.

“Good advice about saying good-bye to your parents, dealing with homesickness, making new friends, and getting around campus,” the publisher promises. “What activities will fit you? What about a roommate? Is it really necessary to attend class? Oh, yeah, and what about studying? These questions and lots more (money, laundry, food, sex, parties, time-management, etc.) are addressed with honesty and humor.”

“It’s Back to School Charlie Brown!” by Charles M. Schulz (softcover, Ballantine Books, 160 pages, $11.95)

The publisher calls it “a collection that makes the grade — featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the whole Peanuts gang.”

When the kids are gone or the studying is done, both parents and students are bound to enjoy the wit and wisdom of these comic strips about Charlie and Linus and Lucy and the rest getting back on the bus and heading back to the classroom and playground.

Reach Repository Living Section Editor Gary Brown at (330) 580-8303 or e-mail