Top 10: Best Quirky Schools in Children's Books

Top 10: Best Quirky Schools in Children’s Books

Are there any schools that you wished you could have attended? How about any of these schools in children’s books? From quirky schools to ones that specialize in something unusual, here’s a list of schools to consider.

How about you? What are your favorite schools (quirky or otherwise) in children’s books? Please share!


10. School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

This is the kind of school you’d send your kids if they had debilitating phobias to conquer. Even if my kids weren’t terrified of something, I’d have them read this very funny series. [chapter book, ages 10 and up]

If you are afraid of the dark, I have a list of picture books you might relate to.

9. Yoko and Friends series by Rosemary Wells

I’d do a lot to get my kids into Mrs. Jenkins’ class at Hilltop School. She embodies the perfect teacher for any kind of child. The class itself seems like a typical group of kids: girl bullies, mean kids, messy kids, smart kids, shy kids, body image conscious kids and even a kid that brings sushi for lunch. This picture book series also feels like “every school” because I get a deja vu feeling when I read it. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

If you are starting school and want multicultural picture books to feel more comfortable, here’s my list: Multicultural Starting School Picture Books.

8. Alice Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey

I’m not sure I could handle Alice Miranda’s posh private boarding school. I’ve always avoided the “richer than God” crowd and assumed that the richest brat runs the school. It appears to be the case at Alice Miranda’s school but she’s up the task of taking her on and bringing her down. And fixing the dysfuntionality at the school simultaneously. Any kid who enjoys a funny chapter book where a girl bully gets her comeuppance would like this series. [early chapter book, ages 7 and up]

If you need more books that deal with bullies, here’s my list.

7. My Weird School series by Dan Gutman

I think my kids would like attending this weird school where teachers go to extreme lengths to engage their students. This “weird” series gets kids reading, even reluctant ones.  [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]

Need more chapter books for 1st or 2nd grade? Here’s some good ones!

6. Bloomability by Sharon Creech

What’s fun about Bloomability is that fans of Sharon Creech can see flashes of brilliance in her written work that will be in full bloom in later books like Walk Two Moons. Creech’s first job was as a teacher at an International School somewhere in Europe so it’s not a surprise that this boarding school chapter book reflects the student body that she taught. Bloomability is told through the eyes of Dinnie, who is unhappily attending boarding school for the first time. For any kid who wanted to go to boarding school far, far away, this is the book to armchair travel to Switzerland for an alpine adventure. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

Want to learn more about Sharon Creech? Here’s our Sharon Creech author study.

5. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson

These kids are in a “school” of sorts but it’s a dangerous one.

Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the “School” where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of whack jobs.

And by flock, I should mention that Angel and friends are hybrid experiments themselves; half human/half bird beings that can fly. With riveting plot twists and turns, the reader is never really sure who the bad guys are and what’s truly going on but this is an adventure that is a thrill ride from start to finish. [young adult, ages 12 and up]

If you like action adventure fantasy, here’s my list of More Books Like Percy Jackson.

4. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Hogwarts school was voted as the 36th best Scottish educational establishment in a 2008 online ranking, outranking Edinburgh’s Loretto School.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, shortened Hogwarts, is a fictional British school of magic for students aged eleven to eighteen.

May we all be able to attend Hogwarts one day! Who wouldn’t want to learn to how to become a wizard at this school? Sign me up! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

3. Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29 by Axel Avian

Another school that I wish I could have attended is one that trains secret agents, 007 style. While there are many secret agent youths in children’s literature, most are incognito and attend regular school. In this book (pardon the terrible cover), Colt Shore is recruited for a school for secret agents, where, apparently, only a scant amount of training is needed to go on a mission. I’d recommend this book for anyone who thinks that secretly she (or he) was born into a family of spies and destined to become an agent. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

I have more secret agent books if you need them. You know who you are.

2. Sideways Stories of Wayside High by Louis Sachar

For kids who like quirky schools or possibly might be attending such a school, this is the school for you. Strange things happen here at Wayside High; a small smelly teacher finally removes his outerwear and the person revealed is not what you’d expect. How do these teachers land jobs at Wayside High? How does a school get built incorrectly? Those who appreciate the odd and abnormal should get themselves to this school. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

1.Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill

This is my vote for Teacher of the Year in children’s literature and it happens to also be a true story! Set in a remote part of Alaska, a new teacher for a one room school room arrives and changes the lives of those she teaches. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Top 10: Best Quirky Schools in Children's Books

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. So glad to see both Wayside School and Bloomability on this list! One of my colleagues actually used to teach with Sharon Creech at a boarding school, which made Bloomability even more interesting for me to read. Thanks for being a great #KidLitBLogHop co-host!
    Katie recently posted…Book Club: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankweilerMy Profile

  2. Emma loves Hogwarts and Sideways School. We’ll have to look for some of these other books.
    maryanne recently posted…Small Talk Crochet ShawlMy Profile

  3. This is an interesting topic for gathering books into one arena. Many will surely be interested in digging further. Visiting from KidLit

  4. I’m not sure I’d put Hogwarts in a quirky category, but I found this to be an interesting list. Have you come across The Fabled Forth Graders of Aesop Elementary School? They’d definitely fit in with the students of these other schools.

  5. Hello! Stopping to say hello from the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    I love your list. I’ve made a few notes and am adding a couple of these to my “to read” list. While not a quirky school, I like the Enid Blyton Mallory Towers series (I’m missing two) and the characters there.

    It was interesting to see Hogwarts came in #4. i had thought it would be higher. 😀

    Avi has an interesting school story where the students end up taking over to finish out the year.
    Xyra recently posted…Book Review: Mystery CatMy Profile

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