National Family Literacy Month helps improve the educational achievement and life opportunities of children, youth, and families by strengthening their literacy skills and family involvement at home, school, and community.
September is National Family Literacy Month, so if you’re a parent or a teacher looking to promote literacy in your home or classroom, this month-long event can help you develop fun and educational ways to get your children or students engaged in reading and writing. Check out these ways to participate in National Family Literacy Month with your kids or students!
How To Participate In National Family Literacy Month
Go to the library or bookstore
Visit your neighborhood library with your family. A library is the only place where you can have free access to an infinite amount of information. Libraries, in addition to books, provide a variety of programs. Participate in fun events, such as seminars, movie evenings, and reading clubs.
Read aloud with your family.
Spend time with your family reading an excellent book. You may also read a book adaptation of your kids’ favorite movie. Encourage your youngsters to read aloud a few pages if they can.
Remember that book you read a few years ago that has been collecting dust on your shelf? Wouldn’t it be better if the book could be read instead of sitting on the bookshelf? Donating gently used books to a local charity is an option. You may even assist the environment by recycling the book which would otherwise be in the garbage.
Favorite Books For Kids
Kids need to read books that are at their reading level but also that they find interesting. Some of my favorite books for kids (some are for younger kids, and some are for older kids) include:
A Pond Full of Ink
Written by Annie M. G. Schmidt
Illustrated by Sieb Posthuma
Translated by David Colmer
New in paperback
Twelve amusing poems by the “queen of Dutch children’s literature.”
This delightful poetry collection offers children and the young at heart a refreshing, inventive look at the world from the beloved Dutch author Annie Schmidt. The rollicking poems tell the stories of such intriguing characters as Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve who nest up in a tree, animated furniture that comes to life when no one is home, and three elderly otters who long to go boating but find themselves biking instead!
Much like the work of Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky, Annie M.G. Schmidt’s poetry can transform ordinary events and places into extraordinary adventures full of imagination. Accompanying the poems is bold and expressive artwork that makes this book too charming to resist.
Written by Isabella Paglia
Illustrated by Paolo Prioetti
Translated by Laura Watkinson
A sensitive book about reaching out to a new friend,
perfect for fostering social-emotional learning.
One day a mysterious box arrives in the woods. Bear, Fox, Rabbit, Squirrel, and Owl can all see that something—someone—is hiding inside. But why won’t that someone come out? Maybe the stranger is scared or having a
horrible day. Maybe they’ve been hurt in the past and don’t know who to trust anymore. Who is the creature inside the box? How can the animals reassure them and introduce them to their amazing new home?
Told through playful, pastel-colored illustrations, The Box is a gentle story about meeting others where they are. Kindness, patience, and a little creativity can help us find the most wonderful friends.
Yellow Dog Blues
Written by Alice Faye Duncan
Illustrated by Chris Raschka
A lyrical road trip through the Mississippi Delta, exploring the landmarks that shaped one of America’s most beloved musical traditions.
One morning Bo Willie finds the doghouse empty and the gate wide open! Farmer Fred says Yellow Dog hit Highway 61 and started running. Aunt Jessie picks up Bo Willie in her pink Cadillac, and together they look for his missing puppy love. Their search leads them from juke joints to tamale stands to streets ringing with the music of B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Where, where did that Yellow Dog go?
Acclaimed creators Alice Faye Duncan and Chris Raschka present a boogie-woogie journey along the Mississippi Blues Trail. With swinging free verse and stunning hand-stitched art, Yellow Dog Blues is a soulful fable about what happens when the blues grabs you and holds on tight.
Building an Orchestra of Hope
How Favio Chávez Taught Children to Make Music from Trash
Written by Camen Oliver
Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
An exuberantly illustrated true story about innovation,
community, and the power of music.
In Cateura, Paraguay, a town built on a landfill, music teacher Favio Chávez longed to help the families living and working amid the hills of trash. How could he help them find hope
for the future? Favio started giving music lessons to Cateura’s children, but soon he encountered a serious problem. He had more students than instruments!
But Favio had a strange and wonderful idea: what if this
recyclers’ town had its own recycled orchestra? Favio
and Colá, a brilliant local carpenter, began to experiment
with transforming garbage into wonder. Old glue canisters
became violins; paint cans became violas; drainpipes became flutes and saxophones. With repurposed instruments in their hands, the children of Cateura could fill their community—and the world—with the sounds of a better tomorrow.
Based on an incredible true story, Building an Orchestra
of Hope offers an unforgettable picture of human dignity reclaimed from unexpected sources. Carmen Oliver’s inviting words and Luisa Uribe’s dynamic illustrations create
a stirring tribute to creativity, resilience
A World of Praise
Written by Deborah Lock
Illustrated by Helen Cann
A global hymn to God’s abundant love and care
for his creation.
“As the sun rises above tall peaks,
As colorful birds sing in the steamy jungle,
We take each new day with you.”
From east to west, north to south, the world gives praise
to God. Cherry trees blossom in Japan; geese honk over Greenland; stars glitter over the savannas of Kenya. No
matter where we live—in the city or the countryside, by the sea or the mountains—we can find reminders of God’s goodness.
Celebrating diverse places like Peru, Estonia, and Nepal,
this poetic, lushly illustrated book praises God’s love for people, creatures, and landscapes across the globe. Whether families savor one prayer at a time or travel through them all before bed, A World of Praise will encourage children to glorify God’s presence in creation and in their lives.
Madani’s Best Game
Written by Fran Pintadera
Illustrated by Raquel Catalina
Translated by Lawrence Schimel
A heartfelt book featuring a neighborhood soccer team and its determined young star, who has a secret plan even more impressive than his bicycle kicks.
No one plays soccer like Madani. When the ball lands on his bare feet, the whole town stops to watch. Even Madani’s mother—still sewing the day’s work at home—can hear the crowds cheer when he scores. His teammates wonder what their best player could do, if he only had a proper pair of cleats. As Madani saves up money, bit by bit, his team’s rivalry match approaches. Maybe he’ll have new cleats in time for the big day! Or maybe Madani has a different goal in mind…
Told with gentle humor and lively illustrations, Madani’s Best Game is a refreshing story about the joys of sports, teamwork, and family.
A Head Full of Birds
Written by Alexandra Garibal
Illustrated by Sibylle Delacroix
Illustrated by Vineet Lal
A school story to encourage friendship and understanding among children of all abilities.
When the other kids mock her at recess, Nanette doesn’t
listen. She’d rather focus on puddles, spider webs, and
whatever she can create with her hands. One day a boy
named Noah—who’d rather fly paper airplanes than listen to the lesson—starts sitting at Nanette’s table. At first, Noah finds Nanette confusing and a little frustrating. But her ideas look like so much fun…
Expressively illustrated in colored pencils, this school story
will foster discussions about navigating differences and
embracing creativity. A Head Full of Birds is a sensitive portrayal of neurodiverse friendships and the joy that comes when we reimagine the world together.
A Story of the Spanish Civil War
Written by Mónica Montañés
Illustrated by Eva Sánchez Gómez
Translated by Lawrence Schimel
A resonant, captivating book about a brother and sister caught in a dark chapter of world history.
From 1936 to 1939, a civil war raged across Spain. When fascist dictator Francisco Franco declared victory, his forces began to persecute anyone who had once opposed him.
Different follows siblings Paco and Socorro as they come
of age in this time of secrets and danger. When the siblings’ father flees the country because of his political beliefs, their family must hide the truth in order to survive. At last a letter arrives, with a chance for them to reunite in Venezuela…
With extensive back matter on the period, this middle grade story is a stirring depiction of the Spanish Civil War, its tragic aftermath, and the timeless struggle for freedom from political violence.
Start Your Family Literacy Night
Here are some ideas for starting your family literacy night:
1. Create an inviting and comfortable space with a big table where you can all sit together.
2. Prepare tasty snacks and drinks with whatever book you’re reading.
3. Pick a theme for the evening, and put it in the event’s title – like Swinging Spiders.
4. Fill out a sign-up sheet, so people know what to expect when they arrive for the event!
5. Take pictures! You’ll want to document this special event for future generations!
6. Share your family literacy night on social media using hashtags like