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.


February 2019 Life-Changing Educators

For Middle Grade Readers

Chasing Space

Young Readers' Edition by Leland Melvin (Amistad)

Get an inside look at the rigorous training and work required to make it all the way to outer space from athlete-turned-astronaut Leland Melvin.

Teach This Book

Leland Melvin’s website

Science Friday: Chasing Space: Astronaut Leland Melvin’s Journey From Sports To Space

CSPAN BookTV interview with Leland Melvin

NASA’s African-American Astronauts Fact Sheet

Leland Melvin at the 2017 National Book Festival

Reading Is Fundamental support materials

More Titles to Try

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker

For Teen Readers

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Written and illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu; translated by Montana Kane (First Second)

Meet 29 feisty females—some world famous, some little known—in this collective comic biography.

Teach This Book

Interview with The Beat: Pénélope Bagieu on Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Using Young Adult Graphic Novels in the Classroom from First Second; includes discussion questions, teaching recommendations, and CCSS alignment for Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Reading Is Fundamental support materials

More Titles to Try

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger

The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Reading and Literacy in February