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2019 Commemoration and National Read Across America Day

By February 12, 2019 No Comments

As a school librarian I love Read Across America. It is a chance to introduce readers to great books, plus of course bust out my red and white Cat in the Hat clothing and gear. Celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday and reading is wonderful, but this year I am especially excited about the theme Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers. In classrooms and school libraries throughout the United States, readers come from all walks of life with so many experiences and being a part of their journey is amazing. The power of literacy and a lifelong love of reading creates infinite possibilities for all readers.

The 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution is also about being a part of a journey, the one that has led to our democracy. It can be hard to truly understand the lives of those who lived in and came to Virginia in those early years of American history. The hardship, fortitude, and labor involved in the development of the colony laid the groundwork of how Virginians would play such a large role in the journey of America. The people and events of Virginia in 1619 shaped how the colony progressed and still resonates in our present. This 2019 Commemoration Read Across America Reading list was created to showcase books that speak to the power of opportunity and democracy along with our diversity of experience.

Elementary Suggested Reading List
· Brick by Brick by Charles R. Smith Jr.
· Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
· The Vast Wonder of the World by Melina Mangal
· Alma & How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez Neal
· Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
· Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatium
· The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
· Meet Yasmin! By Saadia Faruqi
· You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith

Secondary Suggested Reading List
Grades 6-8
· Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston
· The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
· The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods
· Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz, with Renée Watson
· This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne
· Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington’s Courageous Slave
Who Dared to Run Away by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve
· 42 Is Not Just A Number by Doreen Rappaport

Grades 9-12
· Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
· Dream Country by Shannon Gibney
· Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi
· Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu
· Because I Was A Girl: True Stories for Girls of All Ages by Melissa de la Cruz
· On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
· Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Be sure to let us know if you use any of the above books during your Read Across America activities, or share other Read Across America initiatives with us using #2019Schools. Happy Reading!


Sarah E. Hinshaw is a school librarian and international education consultant from Northern Virginia. Follow her on Twitter @sarahehinshaw