Read Across SMSD


 September 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.

September 2021 Reading List 

To help readers get ready, here is a look at book titles featured in the month of September 2021. More details about the theme and discussion questions will be posted in early September. 

NEA Read Across America Books and Resources September 2021

Similar Book Titles Recommended by SMSD Librarians- September 2021


  • "The Day You Begin" by Jacqueline Woodson

  • "Jabari Jumps" by Gaia Cornwall

  • "Because of the Rabbit" by Cynthia Lord

  • "Lety out Loud" by Angela Cervantes

  • "Small Thing…But Big" by Tony Johnston

  • "Our Class is a Family" by Shannon Olsen 

  • "We’re Not From Here" by Geoff Rodkey 

  • "The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do" Ashley Spires

Middle Grade 

  • "Class Act" by Jerry Craft

  • "The Last Fallen Star" by Graci Kim

  • "Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen" by Niki Lenz

Young Adult Level 

  • "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson

  • "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah

  • "I Wish You All the Best" by Mason Deaver

  • "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

  • "Looking for Alaska" by John Green

  • "Unwind" by Neal Schusterman

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: