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Today (March 2nd) is Read Across America Day!
Celebrated on the same day as famed children’s author, Dr. Suess, Read Across America Day was founded in 1998 by National Education Association (NEA) to celebrate reading annually in the U.S.
Here’s a curated list of books to read with your child this year on a broad range of topics such as pollution and what it’s like as a kid to have your best friend move away.
The Mess That We Made brings environmental health to the forefront by examining how the accumulation of trash and plastic in the oceans have added to the earth’s pollution problem.
Book Summary Snippet: The first half of the book portrays the growing magnitude of the issue, and the second half rallies children and adults to make the necessary changes to save our oceans. Facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, ocean pollution, and how kids can help are included in the back matter.
2). Sad Book
The Sad Book portrays an honest, comprehensive, perspective on what it means to be or feel sad. It goes through several reasons why someone may be sad and gives examples of things a sad person can do that may make them feel better for a while.
Book Summary Snippet: This is a very personal story that speaks to everyone, from children to parents to grandparents, teachers to grief counselors. Whether or not you have known what it’s like to feel deeply sad, the truth of this book will surely touch you.
“Lyrical and sensitive, ‘Love’ is the sort of book likely to leave readers of all ages a little tremulous, and brimming with feeling.”—The Wall Street Journal
Book Summary Snippet: From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.
4). I Like You
Written in 1990, this little gem highlights the gift of friendship.
Book Summary Snippet: Here is the book that Romeo would have given Juliet, Charlie Brown would have given Snoopy, and you can give to some very special friend. This special book expresses the true meaning of friendship in a long list of ways with charming accompanying illustrations.
The author wrote this book for his son who was two months old when it published. According to its dedication page, it includes everything he thinks his son should know about the world.
“Moments of human intimacy jostle with scenes that inspire cosmic awe, and the broad diversity of Jeffers’s candy-colored humans…underscores the twin messages that ‘You’re never alone on Earth’ and that we’re all in this together.”–Publisher’s Weekly
Losing a friend is hard at any age. Evelyn Del Rey, tells the story of two friends who do everything together and how they deal with being separated when one moves away.
Book Summary Snippet: The tenderness of Meg Medina’s beautifully written story about friendship and change is balanced by Sonia Sánchez’s colorful and vibrant depictions of the girls’ urban neighborhood.
7). Dreamers (also available in Spanish)
Dreamers is based on the author’s experience of moving to the United States with her infant son.
Book Summary Snippet: Dreamers is a celebration of making your home with the things you always carry: your resilience, your dreams, your hopes and history. It’s the story of finding your way in a new place, of navigating an unfamiliar world and finding the best parts of it. In dark times, it’s a promise that you can make better tomorrows.
This story is part of a STEM book series by Andrea Beatty and David Roberts telling the story of a boy gifted in the area of architecture.
Book Summary Snippet: Some kids sculpt sandcastles. Some make mud pies. Some construct great block towers. But none are better at building than Iggy Peck, who once erected a life-size replica of the Great Sphinx on his front lawn! It’s too bad that few people appreciate Iggy’s talent—certainly not his second-grade teacher, Miss Lila Greer.
Ada Twist, Scientist is also part of the Beatty and Roberts’ STEM series and is inspired by real-life scientists, Ada Lovelace (a mathematician and first computer programmer) and Marie Curie (who discovered radium and polonium).
Book Summary Snippet: Ada Twist’s head is full of questions. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie—stars of their own New York Times bestselling picture books Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer—Ada has always been endlessly curious. Even when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments don’t go as planned, Ada learns the value of thinking her way through problems and continuing to stay curious.
10). Hot Pot Night
While not exactly a cookbook, this story would be a joy for kids who love helping out in the kitchen.
Book Summary Snippet: A Taiwanese-American child brings his diverse neighbors together to make a tasty communal meal. Together, they cook up a steaming family dinner that celebrates community, cooperation, and culture.
To read similar content from the Center for Lifelong Learning, view the full Along the Journey blog here.