A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Important aspects of starting and running a small business. Navigating personal relationships.
Communicate clearly and ask for what you want. Own up to mistakes and make amends when you hurt someone. Dream big and don't let anyone tell you not to follow your dreams.
Positive Role Models
J.D.'s mom and grandparents are warm and encouraging, and they help him learn responsibility and problem solving.
Centered on a Black family in Mississippi, and showcases Black barbershop culture, Black hairstyles, and famous Black athletes. A girl is the star athlete.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that J.D. and the Family Business, by J. Dillard, is a fun, fast-paced, nuanced story with a great message about perseverance, teamwork, honesty, and doing the things that make you happy. J.D.'s family is focused on achieving, but while his mom and grandparents expect the kids to keep studying over summer, they also encourage them to have fun with their friends and follow their passions. The adults' reaction to kids wanting to make videos to post online reflects many parents' worries about online content. The Black community in Meridian, Mississippi, is central to the story: the barbershop, the church, the friends, and neighbors all support the kids and their dreams. There's a nice message about taking responsibility when they break something valuable, and a reminder for parents about how kids feel about being overscheduled.
Is It Any Good?
In this engaging story with emotional depth, kids' dreams of greatness are balanced with recognizing the role that hard work, careful planning, and community support have in giving those dreams a chance. J.D. and the Family Business is so fun to read, with realistic dialogue and situations, especially dealing with creating online content. The relationship between J.D. and his mom and grandparents is realistic, and is filled with great conversations and examples of communication. The adults have high expectations about behavior, chores, and studying over summer, as well as an unwavering support of the kids' dreams. The focus on Black hairstyles and community is a lovely connection for young Black readers. The expressive illustrations reflect a range of emotions and are particularly great at showing the joy in kids' faces when they're doing something they love.
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Our Editors Recommend
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