Read Across America Day, an annual program of the National Education Association (NEA), is Friday, March 2. Read Across America is a celebration of reading and a celebration of the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss.
At SchoolFamily.com, we're all about encouraging reading! Parents reading aloud to their children and kids reading by themselves are both proven ways to help them do better in school—and develop a lifelong love of reading. Reading should be celebrated and applauded—even for so-called "average" readers.
Do you have a reluctant reader? Some kids will also be motivated by tracking their progress using our printable Reading Incentive Chart. For other tips on encouraging reading, check out our Building Reading Skills section.
The NEA lists recommended books under “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” And in honor of Read Across America, Voices From the Field—the official blog site of Save the Children—has posted a list of top books for children, by age, on their site in a series of posts called Love to Read. The books were chosen by Save the Children’s Early Childhood and Raising a Reader program leaders and specialists.
SchoolFamily.com is pleased to share this list with our readers. Note: The links below for each book are from online retailers. The books may also be found, however, at your local library. Not sure where the nearest library is? Do a library search through PublicLibraries.com, which lists all public libraries by state.
BOOKS FOR TODDLERS
Mine! A Backpack Baby Story by Miriam Cohen
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
I Went Walking by Sue Williams
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
Sail Away by Donald Crews
Nuts to You! By Lois Ehlert
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
All Fall Down by Helen Oxenbury
Pots and Pans by Anne Rockwell
Jungle Walk by Nancy Tafuri
BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOLERS
Best Friends by Charlotte Labaronne
Mine! Mine! Mine! By Shelly Becker
Sharing How Kindness Grows by Fran Shaw
Sunshine & Storm by Elisabeth Jones
I Accept You as You Are! by David Parker
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
I’m in Charge of Me! by David Parker
I Love it When You Smile by Sam McBratney
I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas
BOOKS FOR GRADE-SCHOOL/ELEMENTARY-AGE CHILDREN
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare