Many classrooms are gearing up for the most famous book holiday ever: Read Across America Day. Originally, Read Across America Day, or “Dr. Seuss Day” was created in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd. However, about three years ago, The Conscious Kid published an article titled, “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti- Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books” that enlightened the education community about the explicit racism that Dr. Seuss engaged in.
Ever since then, educators and families have put a stop to Dr. Seuss Day and rebranded Read Across America Day as a general celebration of literature on March 2nd or the whole week. Some organizations, such as the National Education Association, have gone further and put the focus for Read Across America Day on diverse books featuring characters of color and characters with different gender identities.
In 2019, we, at Colorful Pages, put out an article sharing a list of alternatives to Dr. Seuss to help make the choice of anti-racism easier for educators, librarians, and families. And last year, in 2020, we wanted to take our support a step further so we started an alternative program educators, librarians, and families can engage in with free online resources called Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week.
Instead of Dr. Seuss Day or General Read Across America Day, participate in Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week. In our program, we aim to redress the harm that Dr. Seuss has done by uplifting diverse books and BIPOC authors throughout the week. This year, we have totally revamped our Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week! We specifically focused on diverse books published recently in 2020 and early 2021. In addition, I have created new worksheets and new content for this year. Check out all the resources below and participate in this awesome week!
2021 Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week
During the Week of March 1, 2021, Read Across America with Colorful Pages helps children ACTUALLY read across America by reading diverse picture books by authors of color from different locations in the United States of America. Each day, March 1st – March 5th, educators can pick 1-2 books from our program and:
- Show their students the chosen diverse picture book
- Introduce the author of color and where they live or were born in America
- Read and discuss the book
With Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week, students benefit from appreciating diverse characters and plot lines, as well as seeing authors of color from all parts of America. This creates multiple windows and mirrors for students while hopefully creating a door for them to feel inspired to see themselves as writers, too!
2021 Read Across America with Colorful Pages: Resources
Are you ready to join in and actually read across America with your students? Start to plan your participation in 2021 Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week using the following free resources:
- 2021 Book List (with Authors’ Locations)
- Unit Plan for the Week
- Book Covers with Authors Pictures
- Student Final Project Worksheets (with Differentiation Options)
2021 Book List
Here are the books for this year! Check out our official “Book List” for the authors’ locations for your 2021 Read Across American with Colorful Pages Map.
- Eyes That Kiss In The Corners, by Joanna Ho
- All Because You Matter, by Tami Charles
- We Are Water Protectors, by Carole Lindstrom
- If Dominican Were a Color, by Sili Recio
- The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read, by Rita Lorraine Hubbard
- Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away, by Meg Medina
- Lift, by Minh Lê
- My Friend!, by Taye Diggs
- Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon, by Kat Zhang
- Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood, by Tony Hillery
Let’s Do This!
Last year, my second and third graders had so much fun with this program! We got to just sit down together and enjoy some really engaging diverse books and celebrate authors of color. I even had students from other classes who visited (due to a substitute shortage) and they all were instantly engaged. At the end of the week, we all got to pick our favorite one to draw and write about. It was beautiful!
Happy 2021 Read Across America with Colorful Pages Week!! Your students are going to love celebrating diverse books by diverse authors. Throughout the week, let us know how it is going by commenting on this article or posting on social media and tagging us or using the hashtag #ColorfulPagesAcrossAmerica! Also, share this article and our free resources with your colleagues to spread the diverse book love.