Our National Reading Month book picks


March is National Reading Month – the perfect time to fall back in love with reading or discover something new.


Reading and a love of learning can help children and adults reach their potential, as well as fostering empowerment and opening up new perspectives.


Looking to add to your reading list? We asked local nonprofit leaders for their recommendations. Here’s our list of books to inspire you and the young people in your life this year.


Books for Adults

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

-Julie Fox, Executive Director, Immigrant Home English Learning Program


Here for It by R. Eric Thomas

-United Way staff pick


The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams

-Sharon Hales, Community Outreach Manager, The Oasis Institute


Untamed by Glennon Doyle

-United Way staff pick


Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Arrey Obenson, President and CEO, International Institute of St. Louis


Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

-United Way staff pick


We Can’t Breathe by Jabari Asim

-Sal Martinez, Chief Executive Officer, Employment Connection


If at Birth You Don’t Succeed by Zach Anner

-United Way staff pick





Books for Kids

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (All ages)

-Elizabeth Pawloski, CVA, National Director Tutoring Partnerships and Expansion, The Oasis Institute


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault (Ages 1-4)

-United Way staff pick


 I Am So Brave! by Stephen Krensky (Ages 2-4)

Ready Readers recommendation


All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel (Ages 4-8)

-United Way staff pick


Twins by Varian Johnson (Ages 8-13)

-Constance Gully, President and CEO, Parents as Teachers


Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (Teens and young adults)

-Jane Donahue, President, St. Louis Public Schools Foundation




Emily (Becherer) Gearhart

Emily (Becherer) Gearhart is a proud native St. Louisan, writer and lover of stories in all their forms. Faced with a captivating question, she will research her way down a rabbit hole and emerge with words that educate and inspire. You can probably find her taking in a musical, bingeing through a new podcast series, exploring the trails at local parks or curating her extensive library of Spotify playlists.