THE MOONLIT VINE and SPECULATION Selected for Read Across America 2023–2024

We’re thrilled to share that The Moonlit Vine & Claro de luna by Elizabeth Santiago and Speculation by Nisi Shawl were selected as featured titles for the National Education Association’s Read Across America 2023–2024!

Read Across America is a year-round program celebrating books and reading put on by the National Education Association. Each month, they select a picture book, middle grade, and young adult title that explores diversity and inclusion. Every featured title includes activity suggestions, questions for discussion or reflective writing, related resources, and more titles to try.


Deep blue background with stars that says "The Moonlit Vine & Claro de luna by Elizabeth Santiago" and shows the covers of those books

The Moonlit Vine & Claro de luna is the young adult pick for the September 2023 theme “Tackle Challenges Together.” Fourteen-year-old Taína learns to draw from the strength of her Taíno ancestors to bring her family and community hope and healing after a devastating incident.

⭐ “A beautiful ode to Puerto Rican history. . . Santiago’s writing sparkles.” —Booklist, starred review

⭐ “Deeply moving, beautifully written, and inspiring.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Read Elizabeth’s essay “From Learning to Writing” on TeachingBooks’ For Teachers, By Teachers Blog
Watch the official book trailer


Purple and blue swirly background with the words "Speculation Nisi Shawl" that shows the book's main character Winna, a young Black girl with large spectacles, braids, and a misty aura swirling around the glasses

Speculation is the middle grade pick for the December 2023 theme “Recognize Our Connectedness.” While staying with her grandparents in the summer of 1962, ten-year-old Winna discovers a pair of magical spectacles that reveal both the friendly ghosts of her African American ancestors and a dangerous family curse.

⭐ “Shawl imaginatively winds suspense, humor, and loss in this story that shows how the past isn’t so far behind us. . . Readers see the importance of oral storytelling: The book celebrates it as a shining beacon for those of us who still have elders who can tell stories while offering space to mourn traditions and loved ones we’ve lost.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Download the Teacher’s Guide
Go on a virtual book tour with author Nisi Shawl and TeachingBooks