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

YA Author Chat

Join us on March 2—Read Across America Day—for a discussion on Facebook about the importance of diverse books.
RAA Author YA Chat

In Partnership with Simon & Schuster

Providing book choices that represent the richness of students’ lives can make a difference in high school classrooms.

Four young adult authors join us to discuss why diverse books matter for all students as part NEA's Read Across America celebration.


J. Elle
J. Elle Credit: Chris Spicks Photography

J. Elle is the author of the instant New York Times and Indie bestseller Wings of Ebony, a YA novel about a Black teen who must lean into her ancestor’s magic to protect her inner-city community from drugs, violence, and crime. Ms. magazine calls it “the debut fantasy we need right now.” She also wrote its sequel, Ashes of Gold. Elle is a former educator and first-generation college student with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in educational administration and human development. When she’s not writing, Elle can be found mentoring aspiring writers, binging reality TV, loving on her three littles, or cooking up something true to her Louisiana roots.

Margarita Engle
Margarita Engle Credit: Marshall W. Johnson

Margarita Engle is the Cuban American author of many books including the verse novels Rima’s RebellionYour Heart, My SkyWith a Star in My HandThe Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner; and The Lightning Dreamer. Her verse memoirs include Soaring Earth and Enchanted Air, which received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. Her picture books include Drum Dream GirlDancing Hands; and The Flying Girl. Visit her at

Loan Le
Loan Le Credit:

Loan Le holds an MFA degree in fiction from Fairfield University, also her undergraduate alma mater. A Pushcart Prize–nominated writer, her short stories have appeared in CRAFT LiteraryMud Season Review, and Angel City Review. Loan works in book publishing and lives in Manhattan. A Phở Love Story is her first novel. Visit her website at and find her on Twitter @LoanLoan.

Brittany Morris
Brittany Morris Credit: Kariba Jack Photography

Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY and The Cost of Knowing. She is also the founder and former president of the Boston University Creative Writing Club. She holds a BA in economics. You can find her online at and on Twitter or Instagram @BrittneyMMorris.


Tanya Johnson Martin is a middle school reading specialist and reading team leader with the Howard County Public School System. Tanya is a member of the Howard County Education Association and has held several leadership positions within the county.

Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with our recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.
National Education Association

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.