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NEA's Read Across America
Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with our recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.
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Books Kids Love

We asked educators to tell us what books are popular with their students—and got a list of new 'classics’ for the classroom.
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Published: February 14, 2023

We asked educators to tell us what recently published books they teach in their classrooms that resonate with their students. Of the 400+ suggestions we received, these titles, written in the last 25 years, stood out as being worthy to stand next to Charlotte's Web and The Scarlet Letter on the classroom library shelf.

Picture Books and Chapter Books

An American Story by Kwame Alexander

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

The Bad Seed by Jory John

Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood by Kwame Mbalia

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman

Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Dog Man series by David Pilkey

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

I am Enough by Grace Byers

I am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

My Weird School series by Dan Gutman

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean

Pink is Not a Color by Lindsay Ward

The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson

Watercress by Andrea Wang

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan Higgins

Middle Grade

Amari and Great Game by B.B. Alston

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Holes by Louis Sachar

I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Refugee by Alan Gratz

The Secret Battle of Evan Pao by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Young Adult

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Sharing the Joy of Reading

A father and son read together

Reading & Writing Resources

NEA has teamed up with PBS station WETA to offer instructional videos with expert tips on reading strategies, information on special education, tips for English language learners, and articles that highlight best practices and more!
High school student reading graphic novel in the library

Classroom Resources to Celebrate the Freedom to Read

Find posters, bookmarks, and more to show your support for banned books and freedom from censorship in the classroom.
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Take the Diverse Books Challenge

Share stories with kids of all ages that are as diverse and complex as the world we live in with our five-step challenge.
Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with our recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.

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Recommended Books by Theme from NEA's Read Across America

Spread the joy of reading with these lists from NEA and Colorín Colorado to connect children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures.
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Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.