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Read Across America in June!

To ward off the learning loss that many children experience during the summer, sharing books is a great way to launch reading and learning adventures in your own community. Encourage readers of all ages to pull on their reading suits!

For Younger Readers

OVER AND UNDER THE POND by Kate Messner and art by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle, 2017)

As a small black boy and his mother paddle across a pond, she describes the plants and animals that inhabit that world in, under, and around the water.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Warm summer days are ideal for combining reading and outdoor exploration. Take readers Over and Under the Pond and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt with books by Kate Messner before heading out on your own ecosystem adventure. Provide kids with a notebook to serve as their nature journal where they can sketch and note their outdoor observations, their feelings about nature, and any research they are inspired to undertake about specific plants or animals.

Learn More About: 

  • Using Kate Messnerto explore the environment with this Author Study Teacher Guide from Chronicle Books.
  • How teachers can make the most of nearby nature with the comprehensive Into Nature guide from the Back to Nature Network.

For Middle Grade Readers

LOWRIDERS TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH by Cathy Camper and Raul the Third (Chronicle Books, 2016)
When their beloved cat goes missing, Lupe Impala, Elirio Malaria, and El Chavo Octopus set off in their awesome lowrider following a trail that leads them to the Aztec god of the Underworld

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Lowriding has a style and art which is distinctly its own and is much more than just customized cars. It is also a way of life for many. Challenge students to search for articles and video that help them explore lowriding culture. Then get them thinking about ways they might alter an ordinary way of getting around

Learn More About:

  • Using the Lowriders series in the classroom with this Teacher Guide from Chronicle Books.
  • How Latinos transform their cars, with humor, a sense of history and identity, and mechanical prowess, into popular art with Lowriding, a multidimensional presentation and activities from Smithsonian Education.

For Young Adult Readers

THE INEXPLICABLE LOGIC OF MY LIFE by Benjamin Alire SSal, who is white, has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and loving Mexican-American family. But now Sal is questioning his own history and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, family, loss, and grief.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Students who read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life will discover numerous themes and issues to discuss and explore, including: grief, loss, identity, belonging, family, friendship, faith, coming-of-age, anger management, adoption, neglect, addiction, love, and intergenerational relationships. The theme of family is an especially interesting opportunity to explore the diverse configurations that form families. Ask students about their own definition of family and encourage them to think about their personal situations, their concepts of family, and consider how others think of.

Learn More About:

Additional Resources

Read Across America Featured Partner

Start with a Book, a project from Reading Rockets, offers great ideas for summer reading, exploration, and learning. The website offers books and activities to help kids explore a variety of subjects like dinosaurs, money, rivers and much more. Plus, thereSummer Science collection that includes a DIY summer science camp and you can sign up for Reading Tips to Go to get summer learning tips, in English or Spanish, all summer long.


Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

Supporting Pre-Service Teachers
Welcome to Supporting Pre-Service Teachers! This group is for educators who work with and support pre-service teachers. Pre-Service and Early Career teachers will also benefit from joining this group. Mentors and cooperating teachers are strongly encouraged to join! Notes of encouragement, sharing of resources, good articles, and venting is welcome too. This group is solutions driven - the goal is to find realistic solutions to support our pre-service and cooperating teachers and address any concerns and questions that come up.

Illinois Education Matters
Illinois Education Matters is a network for all practitioners in education - IEA members and non-members. This effort is designed to serve as a repository for professional development, tools, resources, and information on grants, conferences / workshops, etc. Imagine this as your one stop for all connections. If you have joined our group, please message me - letting me know that you joined. I do not get any information telling me you joined. Our membership is so large, it takes me forever to go through and see our new members. Thanks for your help. You can also join other active groups on edCommunities. Several IEA members are facilitators for edCommunities. Check out and join their groups, if interested. Mary Ann Rivera - Illinois ESPs Mary Jane Morris - Illinois Education Matters IEA Jillian Huber - Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th Jim Grimes - Higher Education Amy Kappele - Early Childhood Development & Education

Secondary Literacy
Do you want to inspire your students to think critically, to analyze works, and to use their imaginations on a daily basis? Do you want to explore ways you can integrate reading into writing curricula and writing into reading curricula in your high school classroom? Join us at the Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th group to share, explore, and discuss ways for teachers of all content areas to link these two important life skills together in order to help students get the most out of themselves every day.

Our Read Across America Online Store is Open!

Visit to purchase stickers, bookmarks, pencils, mugs, hats & more. We have all you need to create a memorable RAA celebration.


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Download the Read Across America 2017 Recommended Books Poster here (PDF).

Click here to download the 2018-19 Read Across America Resource Calendar and Poster!

NEA's Read Across America: Building a Nation of Readers

Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based resources designed to launch young readers. It's for parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Coming in 2019...

National Teacher Day
May 7, 2019

National Teacher Appreciation Week
May 6-10, 2019

American Education Week
November 11-15, 2019

Coming in 2020...

NEA's Read Across America Day
Monday, March 2, 2020