A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teaches readers about the National Memorial African Bookstore and its importance in the community. It also establishes the bookstore and its owner, Lewis Henri Michaux, as important figures in America's civil rights movement.
Illustrates the significance of bookstores as gathering places to share ideas. It also demonstrates the importance of knowledge-gathering as a vehicle for social change.
Positive Role Models
Lewis Henri Michaux, the owner of the bookstore, is a strong, positive model of entrepreneurship and social activism. The story is told by Michaux's young son and includes adults such as Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, who, much like their cultural significance, are described as being larger than life.
Violence & Scariness
Friends tell the story of the assassination of Malcolm X without describing any bloodshed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know The Book Itch: Freedom, Trut, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, offers a child's-eye view of a historic business, opened by the author's great-uncle in the 1930s, that played a key role in the civil rights movement. The picture book, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, won a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. It highlights agents of social change such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X and discusses the assassination of Malcolm X and the unjust treatment of African-Americans. Parents should be prepared to talk about racial discrimination, the legacy of the civil rights movement, and the assassinations of people in the movement.
Is It Any Good?
Soaring and motivational, this book brings to life the little Harlem bookstore that became a gathering place, a house of ideas, and an agent in the civil rights movement. Author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson does a wonderful job spotlighting an important but lesser known story for children. Combining the punchy and rhythmic catchphrases of bookstore owner Lewis Henri Michaux with the observational commentary of his son Nelson makes the story come alive.
Parents and kids will love the lively dialogue and R. Gregory Christie's illustrations as well as the appearances of historical and cultural figures, including Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. The story is a perfect springboard to discuss the kinds of activities people who were part of the civil rights movement were involved in.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.