Also known as Dr. Seuss day or Dr. Seuss’s birthday, National Read Across America Day encourages children and youth to embrace the joy of picking up a book and getting lost in the beauty of storytelling.

As a writer and avid reader myself, I can’t think of many other national days that grow in me an excitement quite like this one except perhaps National Coffee Day. Then again, every day is like National Coffee Day to me! I digress…

In honor of National Read Across America Day and in recognition that cozying up on the couch with a good book is appropriate for all ages at all times, I offer a collection of favorites to help YOU celebrate this fun day!

*Keep in mind that this list was formatted using a generalization of ages. You know yourself and your kids best, their reading level and appropriateness of content. These are suggestions, but each family should read what they feel is best for themselves and their children.

RELATED TOPIC: 9 Ways to Sneak More Books Into Your Kids’ Lives

For Elementary Kids…But Also, For Anyone!

Some of my favorite books come from Children’s authors. Not only do Children’s authors have the unique ability to draw our minds into a deeper sense of imagination, but children’s books are just plain fun, clever, and incredibly thought provoking.

Piggie and Gerald by Mo Willems – A series of short books, about friendship, working together and learning life lessons. (1st grade and under)

Unfortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaimen – A short and adorably sweet and witty adventure in storytelling by a father to his two children who have run out of…can you guess?…”unfortunately, the milk.” (1st-5th grades)

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm – A science fiction novel about a boy named Bell living on an American settlement on Mars. All the adults on the settlement become sick and Bell and his friends must find a cure and a way to promote community. (4th-6th grade)

The One & Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate – A novel about connection and friendship that also explores the world of animal captivity. (4th – 6th grades)

I always love promoting the classics—think authors like C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl—but if your kids (like mine) particularly enjoy reading a more modern book series, consider checking out:

  • The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
  • My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara
  • Plants vs. Zombies by Paul Tobin
  • The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
  • Hazardous Tales by Nathan Hale

For Tweens…those almost-but-not-quite-teens…

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – A fantasy novel about a boy named Milo who sets out on an adventure to rescue the King of Wisdom.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen – An adventure story about a boy named Brian who must learn to survive when his plane crashes in the wilderness.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan – A fun dive into Greek mythology that follows a half blood (half human, half god) named Percy on his quest to find out who he is.

Chi by  Konami Kanata – Fun, kid friendly manga series about a cat named Chi and her adventures with friends.

For Our Teens

I’ve found that a lot of teens really enjoy many of the books already mentioned. But here are a few more they might like too!

My Happy Marriage by Akumi Agitogi – Action, fantasy, mystery and romance.

Zia by Scott O’Dell – An adventure sequel to O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphin, mixing history and fiction.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones – A story about a girl named Sophie, living in a magical kingdom called Ingary. Sophie goes from a life of dull solitude to an adventure of finding herself and falling in love, all while helping to rescue royalty and defeat an evil witch.

For Mama’s Next Book Club

Because National Read Across America Day isn’t just fun for the kids…

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt – A Heartwarming novel about human connection, grief, and an octopus named Marcellus.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner – Beautiful memoir giving us insight into the incredible, yet complicated relationship between a Korean mother and her daughter.

Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri – A heart-wrenching and incredible story about a boy and his family who immigrate from Iran to Oklahoma and the trials they face.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman – A charming story about a girl named Elsa and her hysterically crazy, yet warmhearted grandmother and the life lessons they learn.

**Interested in reading something by VCMC’s very own Tamara Davis? Check out her book, Despite the Buzz, a cautionary novel about technology and its effects on our wellbeing and relationships. 

What’s on your reading list for National Read Across America Day?



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Katie Walker
Katie was born in Seoul, S. Korea and adopted at the age of one to a sweet family in Ojai, CA. While growing up as an adoptee came with challenges, she is incredibly grateful for the gift of processing her experience through writing in hope of supporting and encouraging other adoptees and families thinking about adoption. In 2005 Katie married her best friend, Dave, and since then have had three kids - Layla (14), Eli (12) and Caleb (9). They’ve spent a lot of their family life pursuing higher education, traveling, and driving kids from one activity to another. In a normal week, you can find Katie knee deep in homework assignments, Bible study research, and catching up on all the K-Dramas - always a cup of iced coffee in hand. Reading literary fiction, walking the dog (audio book or podcast in!), and working in the garden are other ways she unwinds and stays sane. Oh, and sometimes she cooks and cleans, but now that her kids are older she benefits from their homemade pancakes and ability to wipe down a countertop.


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