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March 1, 2021

Read across the United States

In honor of Read Across America Day, we invite you to Read across the United States with this list of the most popular children’s books by state! Read Across America Day was launched in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA), and is the nation’s largest annual celebration of reading.

Each year, the NEA sets a theme for the day. This year, the call to action is to create a nation of diverse readers. Those who participate in Read Across America Day will aim to motivate children to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are inclusive of all identities. 

Reading has the potential to take the reader out of this world, and into one unlike anything they have ever seen. It’s a known fact that each state across the country is vastly different from the next, so it only makes sense for the book choices to be different too. 

Our cross-country reading tour includes two books for each state: (1) the most popular book in the region and (2) one recommendation from Reading Partners. Let’s start with the nine states plus the District of Columbia where Reading Partners is located.

read across the united states

California: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything! By Alissa Holder and Zulekha Holder-Young

Colorado: If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! By Elise Parsley 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris and Marissa Valdez

Maryland: If I Had a Raptor by George O’Connor 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Windows by Patrick Guest and Jonathan Bentley

Minnesota: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil and Anait Semirdzhyan

New York: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Vamos! Let’s Go Eat by Raul the Third 

Oklahoma: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sheman Alexie

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Finish the Fight: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Veronica Chambers 

South Carolina: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Black Women in Science: A Black History Book for Kids by Kimberly Brown Pellum

Texas: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voice Go Tell It by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney 

Washington: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Swashby by the Sea by Beth Ferry and Juana Martinez-Neal 

Washington, DC: Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett

Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Everything Good by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

read across the united states

Here are the rest of the states’ top books and a Reading Partners recommendation for each.

Alabama: Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton 

Alaska: Eloise by Kay Thompson 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: A Story About Afiya by James Berry and Anna Cunha

Arizona: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade 

Arkansas: Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo

Connecticut: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn

Delaware: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne and Julia Kuo

Florida: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho

Georgia: Home by Carson Ellis

Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Hawaii: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris and Ana Ramirez Gonzalez

Idaho: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael Lopez

Illinois: Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: 111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh and Marianne Ferrer

Indiana: What Do You Do With An Idea? By Kobi Yamada 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery and Jessie Hartland 

Iowa: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison 

Kansas: Ramony Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez 

Kentucky: The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: All Because You Matter by Tami Charles and Bryan Collier 

Louisiana: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow 

Maine: Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Mendez and Jaime Kim 

Massachusetts: The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson and Sophie Blackall

Michigan: Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal

Mississippi: Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Yasmin the Explore by Saadia Faruqi and Hatem Aly

Missouri: The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts 

Montana: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: My Friends by Taro Gomi 

Nebraska: Freight Train by Donald Crews 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade by Lyla Lee and Dung Ho

Nevada: Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney and Rudy Gutierrez

New Hampshire: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Oldest Student by Rita Lorraine Hubbard and Oge Mora 

New Jersey: Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Ready to Fly by Lea Lyon and Alexandria LaFaye

New Mexico: The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Sadiq and the Green Thumbs by Siman Nuurali and Anjan Sarkar

North Carolina: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Señorita Mariposa by Mister G and Marcos Almada Rivero 

North Dakota: Story Boat by Kyo MacLear 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar and Alea Marley 

Ohio: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang and Charlene Chua 

Oregon: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max

Pennsylvania: The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood by Tameka Fryer Brown and Shane Evans 

Rhode Island: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle and Mike Curato 

South Dakota: Front Desk by Kelly Yang 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Under My Hijab by Hena Khan and Aaliya Jaleel

Tennessee: A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown and Jason “Rachel” Brown 

Utah: Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison 

Vermont: Drawn Together by Minh Le

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman and Sue Williams 

Virginia: A Different Pond by Bao Phi

Reading Partners’ recommendation: The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S. K. Ali 

West Virginia: The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Thank You, Omu! By Oge Mora 

Wisconsin: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Drawn Together by Minh Le and Dan Santat 

Wyoming: Corduroy by Don Freeman 

Reading Partners’ recommendation: Super Satya Saves the Day by Raakhee Mirchandani and Tim Palin 

Sources:

The Ultimate List of Children’s Books Set in Each State 

Reading Through the States with Wrapped in Foil

Children’s Book by Each State

What’s the Most Popular Book in Each State?

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