Read Across America Day takes place annually on March 2nd as citizens are charged with the important task of focusing on the impact that reading has on young learners. This festive day has often included a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday since Dr. Seuss took on the challenge of improving children’s literacy. His playful rhyming schemes have helped hundreds of children become more interested in reading. Despite Seuss’s contributions to literature, it’s especially important that we shift the focus to consider reading on a larger scale. After all, what better way to celebrate Read Across America Day than by highlighting diverse and inclusive authors and stories for kids of all ages and backgrounds! Here at Half Price Books, the celebration will last all week long as we consider books that help support early reading skills in children, and particularly in reluctant readers.
Books have a long lasting impact on children’s lives, and representation matters. Being able to see themselves reflected in what they’re reading provides children with a deep connection to literature, and the world around them as a whole. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of books to appeal to a wide range of early readers. Check them out and let us know what books you would include!
This funny Mexican-American take on the Little Red Riding Hood is as adorable as you think. With a red hoodie and a basket of food, Federico is off to visit his Abuelo. Spanish words are sprinkled in throughout the book, and the text is perfect for young readers with an energetic rhythm and great read-aloud rhymes. There is a glossary in the back with a pronunciation guide for the Spanish words and there’s a great recipe for tricking wolves at the end.
There’s no one out there quite like Shel Silverstein. The Grammy-winning poet has earned his cult status as a beloved children’s author. His lilting rhythms and positive reinforcement encourage readers to enjoy the silly poems with him. Consistently, his work encourages readers to reach their full potential and to be themselves. This particular collection of his poems is a classic for a reason!
Have a little scientist in your home? This fantastic book has a wonderful rhyme scheme that makes it easier to understand for younger readers and is fit for any aspiring scientist. It sends a strong message that there’s no reason to be afraid of failure. This is truly an excellent book that introduces STEM futures with incredibly supportive parents who love their daughter’s creativity and curiosity. These adorable illustrations and very fun story will have young readers reading and re-reading.
This big-hearted middle grade debut tells the story of an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town. Ellie, the main character, has big dreams of being a baker. When she and her mother move to take care of her grandfather, she has to start all over at a new school in a new town. This book has humor and is so full of heart your reader won’t be able to put it down!
This gorgeous watercolor style picture book is unlike any others. On his way home one day, Julián’s subway car is boarded by three beautiful mermaids, who quickly catch his attention. Shortly after, Julián begins to imagine and even transform himself into a mermaid. Caught by his Nana, Julián is worried what she will think. This book is both affirming and joyful. The emphasis of this book is placed on belonging and acceptance, which are crucial to development.
We’re thrilled to celebrate Read Across America Day with a diverse and inclusive list of books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Click here for our complete list!