Read Across America

Grab a stack of books, a toasty warm beverage, and find a place to get cozy because March 2 is Read Across America Day. Read Across America is a national celebration of reading started by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998 that aims to get (and keep) children and teens reading. When adults make time to read with children, children get the message that reading is important— and enjoyable.  

This year’s theme is Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers. There is room in our community for all readers and research has shown that representation matters. NEA’s Read Across America includes “books that students can see themselves reflected in, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or a character that might be different than them. Readers who feel included, recognized, and a part of the world are engaged readers.”

Read Across America doesn’t just celebrate reading in March, the program lasts all year long. Each month, the NEA highlights three books, one for elementary, middle school, and teen readers, that explore topics related to diversity and inclusion. There are also discussion questions and writing prompts related to the book that parents and teachers may use to engage kids and teens with the book’s themes. 

We believe, like the NEA, that “Students need books that provide both windows and mirrors if we are going to create more readers, writers, and people who feel included and recognized, and who understand that the world is far richer than just their experiences alone.” Below you’ll find the books selected by the NEA for each age group for the 2021-2022 school year. Read them anytime, but you’ll find the discussion questions at the NEA Read Across America page under the accompanying month/title. 

Picture Books

January
A Sled for Gabo

February
The Electric Slide and Kai

March
Jump at the Sun

April
Kiyoshi's Walk

May
Someone Builds the Dream

June
My Two Border Towns

July
Zonia's Rain Forest

Middle Grade Books

January
Measuring Up   

February
Loretta Little Looks Back

March
We Belong

April
Finding Junie Kim   

May
Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame

June
Nuestra America

July
The Girl and the Ghost

Young Adult Books

January
A Ph̉ơ Love Story

February
The Cost of Knowing

March
With A Star in My Hand

April
Last Night at the Telegraph Club

May
From A Whisper to A Rallying Cry

June
Living Beyond Borders

July
After the Rain

For more information, watch this video:

NEA and Marley Dias partner to launch the new Read Across America

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