“The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore” By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

In Lewis’ father’s bookstore people bought and read books, and they also learned from each other. People swapped and traded ideas and talked about how things could change. They came together here all because of his father’s book itch. Read the story of how the bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for what they believed in.

About the author

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson explores sensitive topics like slavery, elderly memory loss and discrimination in her books which are filled with hope and heart.Today, part of Nelson’s mission is to share that gift with others: “I hope to give children some of what my parents gave me — the opportunity to grow, to be made stronger, through story.” Her work has received many honors. She is a youth services librarian in New Mexico. Source: thebrownbookshelf.com



Read aloud tips

  • Discuss the author and illustrator and how the author is related to the book store owner.
  • Talk about the award that this book has won.
  • Point out and discuss the famous people mentioned in the book including Malcolm X and more.
  • Emphasize the poetry….have the children write their own poetry based on the story.
  • Talk about the concept of a “book itch”.
  • Discuss the important social justice themes.

Additional information:

For a full book description, visit lernerbooks.com.

Visit commonsensemedia.org for a full review and comments from educators and teachers as well as great class talking points. Complete research on the National Memorial African Bookstore and Lewis Michaux Sr. to learn more about the Harlem bookstore.

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