Celebrate Read Across America Day by Reading Along with Our Local Schools
Learning to read is a lifelong gift. With proven benefits like reducing stress, improving concentration, and expanding vocabulary, reading books is good for you, no matter what your age. But some of the best things about reading are how you get to explore new worlds, expand your knowledge of different experiences and cultures, and learn new facts and information.
“Multicultural literature serves as a powerful tool in enabling students to gain a better understanding of both their own culture and the cultures of others,” says librarian Marianne Grasso in an article for SCIS Data. “Through this deeper knowledge, relationships can be strengthened, bridging the gap between students from diverse cultural backgrounds.”
To celebrate Read Across America Day 2022, local schools have asked for books translated into over 20 languages and stories showcasing diverse traditions to share with their students. Learn more about what they’ll be reading and add these titles to your library:
Am I small?
Requested by Olene Walker Elementary
Author: Philipp Winterberg
Illustrator: Nadja Wichmann
“Am I small?” has been translated into over 200 languages and dialects, making it the most translated children’s book in the world. Perfect for kindergarten readers, this book follows Tamia as she asks various animals whether she is small.
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
Requested by East Midvale Elementary
Author: Kevin Noble Maillard
Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
By sharing what each of his five senses experience while cooking Fry Bread, Kevin Noble Maillard tells the story of a modern Native American Family.
Malala's Magic Pencil
Requested by Copperview Elementary
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Written by Malala herself, this picture book introduces a younger audience to her story of fighting for women’s rights in Pakistan and changing the world.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Requested by Clayton Middle School
Authors: Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi
This reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book “Stamped from the Beginning” explores the construct of race and how we can stamp out racism in our own lives.
Tani’s New Home
Requested by Olene Walker
Author: Tanitoluwa Adewumi
Illustrator: Courtney Dawson
Tani and his family were forced to flee Nigeria and resettle in New York City. “Tani’s New Home” is a beautifully illustrated picture book that depicts how Tani found his love of chess and learned to feel at-home in America.
Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High
Requested by Clayton Middle School
Author: Melba Pattillo Beals
This is the autobiography of Melba Pattillo Beals, one of the nine students who were the first to integrate Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. She describes the discrimination she faced and how she and her Black classmates had to act with courage and dignity.
Wishing Upon the Same Stars
Requested by Glendale Middle School
Author: Jacquetta Nammar Feldman
Yasmeen Khory, the main character, moves with her family from a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Detroit to San Antonio, Texas. Here she meets and becomes good friends with Ayelet Cohen, a first-generation Israeli American. This story explores their friendship and the strain that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict causes in their families' relationships.
The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid
Requested by Midvalley Elementary
Author, Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
Architect Zaha Hadid grew up in Iraq. This picture book tells the stories of the obstacles she overcame, as a Muslim woman, to attended school in London, open her own studio, and design buildings all over the world.