Read Across SMSD


 December Theme info and resources

What is Read Across SMSD? The Shawnee Mission School District, in partnership with NEA-Shawnee Mission, encourages all in our community to join this celebration of reading called Read Across SMSD. Every SMSD school is encouraged to participate! 

Goals: Modeled after NEA's Read Across America, we encourage reading for all ages and across the SMSD. Read Across SMSD supports our district academic goals and our district strategic plan belief that our community's strength is derived from its diversity. It's an opportunity for all of us to celebrate stories and cultivate a culture of belonging for every student. 

How to Participate: Read Across SMSD supports Shawnee Mission’s academic goals by encouraging reading for all ages. Each month of the school year features a new theme and book recommendations, provided by the National Education Association. Shawnee Mission School District librarians and educators have also compiled lists of similar titles that connect to each monthly theme. The SMSD will share these titles and accompanying discussion questions on this page. 

Students and educators in all of our schools have been encouraged to include Read Across SMSD book titles in their reading activities and traditions this year. We also hope families, neighbors, and friends across our community join our students and staff in Read Across SMSD.
Our schools will continue to ensure that reading is a priority, and we encourage all in our community to do the same, especially with the students you know. It will also be a great chance for us to get to know and celebrate each other.

December 2021 Reading List 

NEA Read Across America Books and Resources December 2021

December 2021 Additional Resources


  • "The Juice Box Bully"  by Maria Dismondy

  • "Be Kind" by Pat Zietlow Miller

  • "Maddie’s Fridge" by Lois Brandt

  • "A Friend for Henry" by Jenn Bailey

  • "Those Shoes" by Meribeth Boelts

  • "Stick & Stone" by Beth Ferry

  • "Boxes for Katje" by Candace Fleming

  • "Every Little Kindness" by Marta Bartolj

Middle Grade 

  • "Save me a Seat" by Gita Varadarajan

  • "Pay it Forward" by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Young Adult Level 

  •  "Just Mercy" (adapted for YA) by Bryan Stevenson

  • "I Am the Messenger" by Markus Zusak

  • "How to Save a Life" by Sara Zarr

  • "Jackpot" by Nic Stone

Share your Read Across SMSD Experiences

Post your participation on social media using #ReadAcrossSMSD

Follow the district @thesmsd on Facebook and Twitter

Share upcoming events and activities in SMSD schools with the Communications Team: