Reading with my littles is my passion. I love seeing where their imagination takes them, what tickles their funny bones, and what inspires them. I love when they see themselves reflected in the stories and when their eyes are opened to others in the world around them.
On March 2nd we teachers will celebrate all things related to reading during the annual Read Across America Week; a day dedicated to “create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers”. Although originally a one-day event, many teachers now use the entire first week in March as a time to focus on books that will inspire readers and that will celebrate diversity. We at ETTC have scoured tons of books to come up with this list of 23 fantastic books for Read Across America Week!
Book #1 ~ Alma and How She Got Her Name
This is a story about a little girl who questions why her name is so long and learns where she came from in her father’s answer.
#2 ~ Mae Among the Stars
Mae Among the Stars is inspired by the true story of Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space.
#3 ~ Freedom Soup
This book tells the tale of Haitian Independence over the making of New Year’s soup by a grandmother and granddaughter.
Book #4 ~ A Child of Books
A magical book that celebrates literature of the past through the adventures of a nameless young girl and the boy she inspires.
A book in the series where Miss Malarkey tries to match every reader with a book. Especially, including a reluctant reader to reach a 1000 book goal.
A story that follows Henry, a boy who loves to eat books of all types. He realizes that the more he eats, the smarter he gets….until he gets a bellyache.
Book #7 ~ Yasmin the Superhero
This one is about a Pakistani girl (superhero) who learns about community service and friendship. If you have not read any of this series yet featuring Yasmin it is fantastic!
#8 ~ Sulwe
A lovely story about a young girl who wishes her dark skin was lighter.
#9 ~ Dragons in a Bag
A chapter fantasy book that your kiddos will enjoy! It has an urban setting and brown-skinned magic wielders.
Book #10 ~ Not Quite Snow White
Other kids think that Tameika is not quite right for the part of Snow White in the school play. Will Tameika regain her self-confidence?
#11 ~ My Papi Has a Motorcycle
A story described as a celebration of love between a father and daughter. It plays out in their immigrant neighborhood while on the back of a motorcycle.
#12 ~ Boys Dance
This book shows that ballet is for everyone including boys of all ages and ethnicities.
Book #13 ~ Eyes That Kiss in the Corner
This story is about learning to love and accept your Asian-shaped eyes.
This text is a collection of 16 poems that celebrate books and reading.
A librarian tries very hard to find the perfect book for Missy, a young girl who insists she doesn’t like books.
Book #16 ~ I Do Not Like Books Anymore
In this book, monster siblings love listening to all books until it becomes time for Natalie to learn to read. Then, it is squiggles on the page and Natalie declares she no longer likes books.
Book #17 ~I Talk Like a River
A story about a boy who feels isolated and alone due to his stutter. A walk with his father helps him to accept his dysfluency.
#18 ~ I am Enough
This book is about loving who you are, being kind to others, and respecting others.
#19 ~ What Color is my Hijab?
Help students learn colors book with the character choosing the color of her hijab for the day.
Book #20 ~ I am Brown
This story is about a celebration of brown skin and all of the abilities and greatness that go along with it.
#21 ~ One Love
A book based on the song by Bob Marley celebrating diversity, teamwork, and love.
An Islamic children’s book about a mother’s love for her child.
Book #23 ~ One Girl
The power of reading and how just one girl can change the world is portrayed in this lovely story.
We hope you have found some books on this list that will inspire and enrich your students. Whether it be a read-aloud, a story walk, an author study, or a flashlight reading party, we enjoy using these diverse, inspiring books year-round but will definitely be pulling some from the shelves to celebrate Read Across America. ETTC shares the NEA’s desire to create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers’ by hopefully encouraging teachers to find diverse books to use in their classrooms.
If you have books that are perfect for Read Across America week, please post them in the comments below. 👇🏼
Written by: Suzanne Kelley
At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.
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