THE BOOK ITCH: FREEDOM, TRUTH AND HARLEM'S GREATEST BOOKSTORE -- the story of how Lewis Michaux Sr. and his bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for what they believed in
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and R. Gregory Christie (2015, Carolrhoda Books; 32 pages)
This is the story of how Lewis Michaux Sr. and his bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for what they believed in. The story happens in the 1930s and the reader follows Lewis, a boy whose dad, Lewis Michaux Sr., had an itch he needed to scratch - a book itch. To do that, he decided to start a bookstore in Harlem and named it the National Memorial African Bookstore. The bookstore was one of a kind. After all, people from all over came to visit it, including Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Langston Hughes! The bookstore was a place to learn, from the books and also from each other; people shared and traded ideas and talked a lot about how things could change for the better.
The book has been illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, and both the text and the illustrations accompany the reader to a time of history when words were ultimately important. "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." We listen to Malcom X words through the ears of our friend Lewis, and we accompany him through a story with a hopeful ending, hope coming in the shape of words, books, and a bookstore. Lewis' perspective introduces young readers to the elder Lewis and the National Memorial African Bookstore.
The book includes a selected biography, a note about Lewis Henri Michaux (1895-1976) with a picture inside his store in the late 1960s, and also an author's note in which he shares the reason why he started researching Mr. Michaux and the National Memorial African Bookstore, and how that interest in him and his store made this book possible.
Great book in picture book format for young readers interested in the history of United States of America.
Find this title in our catalog: The Book Itch
Recommended by: Maite
My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson (2017, Candlewick; 160 pages)
This is a book inspired by the socially tumultuous and violent real-life events of 1961 in Cuba and it is a coming-of-age story of a girl named Lora.
The book is historical fiction, narrating the adventures of Lora when she decides to join an army of volunteer teachers to bring literacy to all of Cuba in just twelve months. Lora, 13 years old at the time, tells her parents that she wants to travel into the impoverished countryside to help teach her fellow Cubans how to read and write. Her parents are unhappy with the decision, since Lora has barely been outside of Havana, but the girl is determined, and doesn't mind the idea of surviving in a remote shack with no electricity and sleeping in a hammock. She is an idealist, and she wants to share with people in need.
I loved this book, which came to me as an advance copy (the publication date is Oct. 10, 2017). Lora's adventures, her persona, her determination and courage are inspiring. Recommended to young readers who would love to be powerful agents for change. A beautiful book.
Recommended by: Maite