NEA Rebrands Read Across America!! Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers

A New Logo and a New Website

There’s no way that Gram’s Book Club could do this better so II’m sharing through my blog and on Facebook. NEA is featuring an interactive resource calendar which you can find here with suggestions for different age groups and lesson ideas from the books. The August 2019 book was All Are Welcome Here by Alexandra Penfold. The June 2020 choice is Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour. A middle grade choice is The Hero Next Door by Olugbemisole Rhuday-Perkovich. It’s a collection of middle grade short stories from some of the best known diverse book authors.

Cliff Fukuda, Read Across America Advisory Committee member and a history teacher at Aiea High School in Aiea, Hawaii explains that “The books featured in the calendar are only the tip of the iceberg of diverse literature and diverse authors.”

source: neaToday for NEA-Retired Members, October 2019

Gram’s Book Club Pick #4 The Girl with the Magical Curls by Evita Giron

Celebrate our differences and our similarities. My mission for Gram’s Book Club is to have children learn about other cultures and not judge others by our appearance. The child reading the book didn’t notice that the girl with the magical curls was different - she connected with what was the same. She did learn that Tatiana covered her curls at night with a silk cap and wondered about that. Evita Giron wrote a charming book to celebrate her daughter’s curly hair and taught my granddaughter about an African American girl’s hair. I’m a new fan. Find her at and check out the illustrator Rayah James


Gram’s Book Club Pick #3 Turning 15 On the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery

The author was 13 the first time she heard Martin Luther King speak. Her grandmother took her to the church he was speaking at. He inspired Lynda to march for the right to vote. Think about that. In 1963 some states prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote in local and national elections. She was the youngest marcher and went to jail nine times before she was 15. Read her story and learn the history of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Be inspired at her bravery and fortitude as she persuaded people with “steady, loving confrontation”.


I Will Always Write Back

Gram says: It started with a teacher setting up an assignment to chose a pen pal from the list of countries on the blackboard. Caitlyn chose Zimbabwe because she wanted to learn about other countries. Her letters changed Martin’s life.

Mia (my granddaughter) says: it was an inspiring book that made me want to make a change in the world. I really connected with the characters as they grew as people throughout the book.

Laura ( her mom) says: A well written and engaging book. This is the type of book that helps you to remember how lucky you are and that small changes can make a huge impact.


Loving v Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

Here’s my first choice for Gram’s Book Club, the true story of the fight to make interracial marriage legal in 1967. More selections will be posted here soon. Compelling and heartrending, this true story personalizes the civil rights movement in a way that will make readers who know little about that era eager to learn more. Imagine, only 50 years ago someone could be arrested for marrying another of a different race. (from commonsense

1st book choice