NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading through our theme: Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers. Many schools and libraries celebrate with an annual event on March 2, the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss, but NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.

In our diverse and complex society, students need books that provide both windows and mirrors if we are going to create more readers, writers, and people who feel included and recognized, and who understand that the world is far richer than just their experiences alone. We know it is challenging to find the time to seek out new books to share, let alone create fun, exciting learning experiences around them. We hope you’ll find the books and resources we’ve provided here and online can blend effectively into existing classroom activities and units of study.

To help you share our recommended titles with students, many of them are available through the First Book Marketplace. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need can sign up to purchase titles at a discount.

Copies of the print Read Across America calendar may be ordered from our online store, while supplies last.


June 2019 Exploring Identity

For Middle Grade Readers

Ghost Boys

By Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown)

The dead are never gone, and the spirits of murdered African-American boys have a mission to continue on and bear witness.

Teach This Book

Book Club Guide from Little, Brown Young Readers

Author Jewell Parker Rhodes: My Personal Connection to Ghost Boys

Talking points for Ghost Boys from the author

Reading Is Fundamental support materials

Jewell Parker Rhodes’ website

Q & A with Jewell Parker Rhodes from Publishers Weekly

Meet Jewell Parker Rhodes video from Little, Brown Young Readers

More Titles to Try

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

The Best Man by Richard Peck

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

For Teen Readers

The Prince and the Dressmaker

By Jen Wang (First Second)

By day, Prince Sebastian is heir to the throne; by night, he’s the fashionable Lady Crystallia made all the more fabulous by Frances, his secret dressmaker.

Teach This Book

Jen Wang’s website

Using Young Adult Graphic Novels in the Classroom from First Second includes discussion questions, teaching recommendations, and CCSS alignment for The Prince and the Dressmaker

More Titles to Try

How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity edited by Michael Cart

Ash by Malinda Lo

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina


Reading and Literacy in June