Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, or Read Across America Day! This is an initiative started by the National Education Association (NEA) to share the joys of reading and to promote literacy in younger children. You can say that this is the United States equivalent to the UK’s World Book Day. For book lovers, we already know how important reading is but we need to spark that same passion in the younger audiences. And the only way to do that is to encourage diverse reading. All books are vital. But it is important to give children diverse books to read, books that reflect the world that they live in. So if you plan to read with a child today (or read for yourself, March is National Reading Month) here a couple diverse books that will help you get started:
- Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/ Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown and Sara Palacios
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson
- One Family by George Shannon and Blanca Gomez
- After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by George Santat
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger
She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.
- Brand New School, Brand New Ruby (Ruby and the Booker Boys #1) by Derrick Barnes
- Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary Mckay
- Battle of the Bands (The Major Eights #1) by Melody Reed
- Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (Alvin Ho #1)
Shopping Trip Trouble by Jaqueline Jules
It’s time to go school shopping, and Sofia is extra excited about her new supplies. But that excitement turns to panic when her cousin Manuel goes missing. With Sofia’s entire family on the case, Manuel won’t be missing for long.
Middle Grade Books
- Almost Paradise by Corabel Shofner
- Like Vanessa by Tami Charles
- Refugee by Alan Gertz
- My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.