Read Across America (observed on March 2) is the nation’s largest celebration of reading, highlighting 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. Find great titles to share and talk about for #ReadAcrossAmerica below:
When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
Ever since Omar was 4 years old and soldiers forced him and his brother Hassan to flee from their farm in Somalia, Omar has promised to always take care of his nonverbal brother—but he is also eager for an education and an opportunity for a life outside of their Kenyan refugee camp.
Displacement by Kiku Hughes
Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
Class Act by Jerry Craft
Eighth grader Drew Ellis recognizes that he is’t afforded the same opportunities, no matter how hard he works, that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted, and to make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids and is finding it hard not to withdraw, even as their mutual friend Jordan tries to keep their group of friends together.
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
Lily takes on a quest from the tiger from her grandmother’s Korean folktales in the hopes it will heal her sick grandmother.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Using humor and a conversational style, author Jason Reynolds deftly reworks Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, exposing young adult readers to the history of America’s racist past that textbooks leave out.
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Darius’ life of dealing with depression and high school bullies takes an unexpected turn when he travels to Iran to meet his grandparents for the first time.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
After the death of her dutiful older sister, Olga, rebellious Julia deals with her family’s grief and the discovery of her sister’s secret double life.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
While ruthlessly pursued by Prince Inan, Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue Princess Amari, fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi.
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Launched into the world of Hindu gods, Aru faces the Sleeper demon from the Lamp of Bharata—in her Spider-Man pajamas.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
In her diary, Nisha writes letters to her late mother about having to leave their home after the partition of India creates the country of Pakistan.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
All are welcome at this school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, talents, and traditions are shared.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade
A young girl learns from her Nokomis (grandmother) about protecting our shared planet and invites all to become stewards of Earth.
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai and Kerascoet
As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.
Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin
As she and her family head to Coney Island for the first time, Rashin remembers when they lived in Iran and the fun and ice cream she shared with her best friend Azadeh during trips to the beach.
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela thinks that six is way too many names! But as she learns more about how her names connect her to her family, Alma becomes very proud of all her names.
Check out more Read Across America recommendations from the National Education Association.