Your Secret Weapon Bookshelf

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In case you haven’t noticed, August has arrived. Sick of seeing “back to school” ads yet? Or are you the type that gets a happy little flutter in your stomach when you think of buying all those fresh pens and notebooks for the coming semester? (Admit it…there’s no shame!)

Whether or not you’re a fan of school, fall is almost here. Our list of back-to-school books will help you get organized, get confident and dominate that AP class you just might be dreading. So start your year off right by picking up one (or all?) of the following titles:

1) Make the Grade by Lesley Schwartz Martin
Did you land in the most notoriously difficult English teacher’s class this year? Wondering how you’ll balance the AP load you thought was a good idea last spring? Take a look at this book, which provides tips and strategies for approaching each week of the academic year. And unlike some books on study skills, this one’s specifically for high school students.

2) Math Doesn’t Suck (and other titles) by Danica McKellar
We’ve highlighted McKellar’s series of math books before, but they’re so useful we thought they deserved a second mention! The former “Wonder Years” actress has something for nearly every level of math, from algebra to calculus. Not only will her study guide get you through your exams, but her personal anecdotes and engaging style just might convince you math is worth pursuing beyond finals week.

3) Where’s my Stuff? by Samantha Moss and Lesley Schwartz
We’ve all been there—you start the year with a pristine spiral notebook and color coordinated folder, only to watch your backpack turn to shambles once your teachers start loading you up with handouts and homework. So before you lose that essay you dutifully wrote instead of watching “Pretty Little Liars,” pick up this helpful guide to school organization. Follow the tips, and not only will you feel more collected, you won’t forget another quiz in AP European History.

4) Study Smart, Study Less by Anne Crossman
We realize there’s more to school than tests and homework, but studying less seemed like a promise too good to pass up. Like Make the Grade, this book provides strategies for more efficient studying, but we especially love how it identifies your “study persona” first, so you know exactly what to improve upon. Do you study all night long and still fail to ace the test? This book will help you find out why, and more importantly, fix it.

5) Too Stressed to Think by Annie Fox and Ruth Kirschner
Sometimes “stress” and “school” just seem to go hand in hand. Fortunately, the book industry seems to have gotten that memo, because there’s a boatload of books out there on dealing with stress—specifically targeted at teens. We liked how this one included quotes and tips from teens in addition to the experts. But if this particular title doesn’t speak to you, keep looking. It’s nice to have some strategies in your back pocket for those tougher-than-usual days (or weeks!)

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