Caswell Afterschool Reading Directive (CARD) works to create a culture of reading for children by providing inspiring books to our student athletes. Founded with a passion to improve the lives of  children CARD aspires to empower and embolden every last child through a culture of reading. For many of the children it serves, CARD represents a crucial link to a strong literacy education, and its programs help build and nurture support systems that these children may be lacking elsewhere in their lives. By immersing children in an integrated world of literary experiences that teaches them, firsthand, the impact of reading on every aspect of life, imagination is ignited and confidence is built for a prosperous future, regardless of race, economic status, or personal capabilities.

Recommended Reading:

Preschool (Ages 0-4)

Cassie’s Word Quilt by Faith Ringgold

Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley

Not A Box by Antoinette Portis

Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis

Peek-A-Boo by Francesca Ferri

Press Here by Herve Tullet

Thank You Bear by Greg Foley

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz

Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Laura Ljungkvist

Lower Elementary

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Marla Frazee

Binky the Space Cat graphic novel series (4 titles) by Ashley Spires

  • Binky the Space Cat
  • Binky to the Rescue
  • Binky under Pressure
  • Binky Takes Charge

Book Fiesta by Pat Mora, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams, Illustrated by Gregory R. Christie

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton, Illustrated by Raul Colon

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom by Tim Tingle, Illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges

Diary of a Baby Wombat by Jackie French, Illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French, Illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Dinotrux series (2 titles) by Chris Gall

  • Dinotrux
  • Revenge of the Dinotrux

Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin, Illustrated by Ana Juan

Elephant and Piggie: A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems

Elephant and Piggie: My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems

Elephant and Piggie: We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems

Ellison the Elephant by Eric Drachman, Illustrated by James Muscarello

Frida by Jonah Winter & Frida Kahlo, Illustrated by Ana Juan

Friends by Eric Carle

Glasswings: A Butterfly’s Story by Elisa Kleven

Gracias Thanks by Pat Mora, Illustrated by John Parra

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend by Jerrie Oughton, Illustrated by Lisa Desimini

Isabella: Girl on the Go by Jennifer Fosberry, Illustrated by Mike Litwin

Isabella: Star of the Story by Jennifer Fosberry, Illustrated by Mike Litwin

Knights of the Lunch Table graphic novel series (3 titles) by Frank Cammuso

  • Knights of the Lunch Table: The Dodgeball Chronicles
  • Knights of the Lunch Table: The Dragon Players
  • Knights of the Lunch Table: The Battling Bands

Library Mouse series (3 titles) by Daniel Kirk

  • Library Mouse
  • Library Mouse: A Friend’s Tale
  • Library Mouse: A World to Explore

Little Ty Cooney National Wonders series (3 titles) by Steven Riley

  • Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yellowstone Mystery
  • Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race
  • Little Ty Cooney and the Grand Canyon Tour Company

Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

Macaroni and Cheese: Comfort Food for Kids, Volume 1anthology by Stacie Isabella Turk, Illustrated by Gary Solomon and Mike Muffins

My Best Friend by Mary Ann Rodman, Illustrated by Earl B. Lewis

My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream? by Jennifer Fosberry, Illustrated by Mike Litwin

My People by Langston Hughes, Photos by Charles R. Smith Jr.

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale by Duncan Tonatiuh

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Something about a Bear by Jackie Morris

Stitchin’ and Pullin’: A Gee’s Bend Quilt by Patricia C. McKissack, Illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Tell Me a Dragon by Jackie Morris

The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin, Illustrated by Rosana Faría

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Enemy by Davide Cali, Illustrated by Serge Bloch

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Through Georgia’s Eyes by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez, Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

When I was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

Zen series (3 titles) by Jon Muth

  • Zen Shorts
  • Zen Ties
  • Zen Ghosts

Upper Elementary

A Song for Bijou by Josh Farrar

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson, Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio by Tony Johnston, Illustrated by Raul Colon

As Fast As Words Could Fly by Pamela M. Tuck, Illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Babymouse graphic novel series (14 titles) by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

  • Babymouse: Queen of the World!
  • Babymouse: Our Hero
  • Babymouse: Beach Babe
  • Babymouse: Rock Star
  • Babymouse: Heartbreaker
  • Babymouse: Camp Babymouse
  • Babymouse: Skater Girl
  • Babymouse: Puppy Love
  • Babymouse: Monster Mash
  • Babymouse: The Musical
  • Babymouse: Dragonslayer
  • Babymouse: Burns Rubber
  • Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon
  • Babymouse: Mad Scientist

Chi’s Sweet Home manga series (Volumes 1-11) by Konami Kanata

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (6 titles) by Jeff Kinney

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever

Dog Heroes series (24 titles) by various authors

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

Football Heroes Making a Difference series (10 titles) by various authors

Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story by Lila Perl & Marion Blumenthal Lazan

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Sidekicks graphic novel by Dan Santat

Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Cornelia Cornelissen

Special Ops series (6 titles) by various authors

Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust by Mara Bovsun Zullo

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Picture Book Edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

The Bully Book: A Novel by Eric Kahn Gale

The Last Ride of Caleb O’Toole by Eric Pierpoint

The Origami Yoda Files series (6 titles) by Tom Angleberger

  • The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
  • Darth Paper Strikes Back
  • The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee
  • Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett
  • Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue
  • Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes

Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel series (3 titles) by Ben Hatke

  • Zita the Spacegirl
  • Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
  • The Return of Zita the Spacegirl

Middle School

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Better Nate than Ever series (2 titles) by Tim Federle

  • Better Nate than Ever
  • Five, Six, Seven, Nate!

Boxers and Saints graphic novel series (2 titles) by Gene Luen Yang

  • Boxers
  • Saints

C.H.A.O.S. series (3 titles) by Jon S. Lewis

  • Invasion
  • Alienation
  • Domination

Case File 13 series (3 titles) by J. Scott Savage, Illustrated by Doug Holgate

  • Case File 13: Zombie Kid
  • Case File 13: Making the Team
  • Case File 13: Evil Twins

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Drama graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Hatter M graphic novel series (5 titles) by Frank Beddor & Liz Cavalier, Illustrated by Sami Makkonen

  • Hatter M: Far from Wonder
  • Hatter M: Mad with Wonder
  • Hatter M: The Nature of Wonder
  • Hatter M: Zen of Wonder
  • Hatter M: Love of Wonder

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Keeper of the Lost Cities series (3 titles) by Shannon Messenger

  • Keeper of the Lost Cities
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities: Everblaze

Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

March graphic novel series (3 titles) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy

Rapunzel’s Revenge graphic novel by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, Illustrated by Nathan Hale

Smile graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier

The Jaguar Stones series (4 titles) by J&P Voelkel

  • The Jaguar Stones: Middleworld
  • The Jaguar Stones: The End of the World Club
  • The Jaguar Stones: The River of No Return
  • The Jaguar Stones: The Lost City

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle

The Looking Glass Wars series (3 titles) by Frank Beddor

  • The Looking Glass Wars
  • Seeing Redd
  • ArchEnemy

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Softwire series (4 titles) by PJ Haarsma

  • The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1
  • The Softwire: Betrayal on Orbis 2
  • The Softwire: Wormhole Pirates on Orbis 3
  • The Softwire: Awakening on Orbis 4

The Unwanteds series (5 titles) by Lisa McMann

  • The Unwanteds
  • The Unwanteds: Island of Silence
  • The Unwanteds: Island of Fire
  • The Unwanteds: Island of Legends
  • The Unwanteds: Island of Shipwrecks

Wonder by by R.J. Palacio

Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Illustrated by David Diaz

High School

Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes

Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves edited by E. Kristin Anderson

Eon and Eona series (2 titles) by Alison Goodman

  • Eon
  • Eona

He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Hooked by Liz Fichera

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Peña

Muchacho by Louanne Johnson

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong graphic novel by Prudence Shen, Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks

Panic by Sharon M. Draper

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen graphic novel by Lucy Knisley

Slayers series (2 titles) by C. J. Hill

  • Slayers
  • Slayers: Friends and Traitors

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

The Living by Matt de la Peña

The Program series (3 titles) by Suzanne Young

  • The Program
  • The Treatment
  • The Remedy

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango

War Brothers: The Graphic Novel by Sharon E. McKay, Illustrated by Daniel Lafrance

High School *Mature Content

Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Dead Ends by Erin Jade Lange

Help for the Haunted by John Searles

Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

I Hunt Killers series (3 titles) by Barry Lyga

  • I Hunt Killers
  • Game
  • Blood of My Blood

Party by Tom Leveen

Random by Tom Leveen

Reality Boy by A.S. King

The Battle of Jericho series (3 titles) by Sharon M. Draper

  • The Battle of Jericho
  • November Blues
  • Just Another Hero

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

X Indian Chronicles: The Book of Mausape by Thomas M. Yeahpau