March 2 marks this year’s Read Across America Day, which is organized by the National Education Association to shed a bright light on the importance of reading for children. Of course, any day is a great day to pick up a book!
Early Elementary: Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes welcomes readers to a neighborhood where children and adults alike dream big dreams. The children look to the future with hope and wonder, secure in knowing their dreams will be nourished and uplifted by caring neighbors.
Middle Grade: Karthik Delivers by Sheela Chari delivers the heartwarming story of Karthik, an Indian American boy, who dutifully delivers groceries to his neighbors. Shanthi, a local playwright, learns of Karthik’s remarkable ability to remember long grocery lists and wonders if that talent would translate into remembering the lines for the lead role in her play about Leonard Bernstein. Karthik discovers his passion for art while learning to trust in the community and family that care for him so deeply.
Grades 10 and Up: We Weren’t Looking to be Found by Stephanie Kuehn tells the harrowing yet hopeful story of Dani and Camila, reluctant roommates at a mental health treatment center for adolescent girls. Dani, a rich Black girl from Dallas, and Camila, the daughter of Colombian immigrant parents in rural Georgia, couldn’t be more different. As they work through their mental health struggles, they discover that they are more alike than they realize.
Tracy Hvezda-Lehtola is a patron experience supervisor for the Hennepin County Library–Excelsior. Read more at hclib.org.