September is always an interesting transition month. Students (and teachers!) are getting settled into the new school year and the summer heat is disappearing as the crisp fall temperatures roll in. While there are tons of fun days in September, it’s also the anniversary month of a tragic part of our country’s history. What better way to celebrate and honor those days than with picture books! Here are 5 must-have September read alouds!

5 Must-Have September Read Alouds image of The Cirus Ship

The Circus Ship

Based on a true story, a circus ship is sailing from Maine to Boston when it smashes into a ledge. When the ship sinks, the animals are forced to swim to shore. They blend in so well on the island that when the circus owner, Mr. Paine comes to retrieve the animals, he can’t find them! Will the animals eventually be found and sent back to the circus or will they continue to live “Paine” free on the island?

5 Must-Have September Read Alouds image of Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

When he sees the leaves falling from his favorite tree, Fletcher worries that something is wrong. When winter finally arrives, Fletcher discovers a wonderful surprise!

5 Must-Have September Read Alouds image of The Pirates Next Door

The Pirates Next Door

The residents of Dull-on-Sea aren’t sure what to think when The Jolley-Rogers move to town. While the entire neighborhood is gossiping about them, Matilda becomes friends with the young pirate in the family. When the Jolley-Rogers have to go back out to sea, Matilda finds herself a pen pal and her neighborhood finds something that makes them rethink the assumptions they made.

5 Must-Have September Read Alouds image of Fireboat


By 1995, the city of New York didn’t need fireboats anymore so the John J. Harvey was retired. On September 11, 2001, after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the fire department made a call to see if the fireboat could come out of retirement and help battle the flames. This is a great story to share with students around 9/11 to help them understand that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

5 Must-Have September Read Alouds image of If I Built a Car

If I Built a Car

In another one of my favorite books by Chris Van Dusen, Jack designs the ULTIMATE car. It has shiny chrome, bright colors, a snack bar, and a pool! What else will Jack and his dad experience on their wild test drive?

I hope you found a title or two that you can add to your collection this month! If you’re looking for more books to share with your students during the month of September, check out this post of back-to-school read alouds!