Read Across America Day

Published 1:17 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Tomorrow is Read Across America Day! The National Education Association launched Read Across America in 1998 as a year-round program to celebrate reading. Given Dr. Seuss’ impact on the reading world, his birthday (March 2) was declared Read Across America Day, a day when we celebrate the joy of learning and give thanks to the parents, caregivers, educators, librarians, authors, and community members who invest in our children. Pick up one of these amazing books to celebrate with the children in your life!


I Did It! by Michael Emberley

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In the 2023 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book, simple text for new readers accompanies delightful pictures in a comic format, which show a little creature trying and trying again as they learn to ride a bicycle.  


Berry Song by Michaela Goade

On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries. Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all. 


Hot Dog by Doug Salati 

This picture book is about a dog who goes to the beach with his owner and shows us how to find calm so we can appreciate the small joys in life. It won the 2023 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.


Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

A determined owl builds strength and confidence in this medieval picture book about the real mettle of a hero: wits, humor, and heart. Full of wordplay and optimism, Owl’s surprising display of bravery proves that cleverness (and friendship) can rule over brawn.


Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson

The winner of this year’s John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature is a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.


Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

Bree can’t wait for her first day at her new middle school until she’s stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she’s forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help. With Etta’s training and a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school’s failing team around. 

Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.