Hot Best Seller

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore

Availability: Ready to download

Lewis's dad said he had an itch he needed to scratch -- a book itch. How to scratch it? He started the National Memorial African Bookstore. It became a center of black culture and a home to activists like Malcolm X. Lewis's dad said he had an itch he needed to scratch -- a book itch. How to scratch it? He started the National Memorial African Bookstore. It became a center of black culture and a home to activists like Malcolm X.


Compare

Lewis's dad said he had an itch he needed to scratch -- a book itch. How to scratch it? He started the National Memorial African Bookstore. It became a center of black culture and a home to activists like Malcolm X. Lewis's dad said he had an itch he needed to scratch -- a book itch. How to scratch it? He started the National Memorial African Bookstore. It became a center of black culture and a home to activists like Malcolm X.

30 review for The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore

  1. 5 out of 5

    Prabhjot Kaur

    Lewis's dad opens up a bookstore that only started with five books long ago. Lewis's dad wanted black people to have a chance at reading books which wasn't allowed at the time. And his bookstore became very popular and people came and read books and Lewis's dad encouraged everyone to ask questions and find out the truth behind propaganda. He was an influence. It is a heartwarming and gut-wrenching story with amazing text and quotes and illustrations. Words. That's why people need our bookstore. 4 st Lewis's dad opens up a bookstore that only started with five books long ago. Lewis's dad wanted black people to have a chance at reading books which wasn't allowed at the time. And his bookstore became very popular and people came and read books and Lewis's dad encouraged everyone to ask questions and find out the truth behind propaganda. He was an influence. It is a heartwarming and gut-wrenching story with amazing text and quotes and illustrations. Words. That's why people need our bookstore. 4 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    More, more, more like this, please. Let's make black history everyone's history. More, more, more like this, please. Let's make black history everyone's history.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vincent F. A. Golphin

    This is an important American story. For further insights, check out Veereads, my blog - http://veereads.blogspot.com/2015/09/.... This is an important American story. For further insights, check out Veereads, my blog - http://veereads.blogspot.com/2015/09/....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    Gorgeous illustrations and great information about an influential man and his influential bookstore in Harlem.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    This book is about the National Memorial African Bookstore and how it became a center for black culture in the 1960s. Told from the point of view of the son of Lewis Michaux, the owner of the store, this book looks at the figures like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who come to the store. It is also the story of how Michaux fought to have a store, selling books out of a pushcart at first and being denied a business loan from banks. Michaux was known for his slogans which he shouted on the street, tol This book is about the National Memorial African Bookstore and how it became a center for black culture in the 1960s. Told from the point of view of the son of Lewis Michaux, the owner of the store, this book looks at the figures like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who come to the store. It is also the story of how Michaux fought to have a store, selling books out of a pushcart at first and being denied a business loan from banks. Michaux was known for his slogans which he shouted on the street, told to his son and painted on the front of his store. The book continues through the assassination of Malcolm X. Readers must look to the note at the end to discover what happened to the store. This nonfiction picture book speaks to the power of bookstores to inform and to keep a culture strong. One man’s vision comes to life thanks to his own determination and also the way that it spoke to others. The choice location near the Apollo Theater also helped get African-American celebrities to come to the store. The choice to have the story told from a child’s point of view was what makes this book appropriate and understandable for children. The illustrations by Christie are filled with deep color and thick paint. They directly show the effort and intensity of determination of running a book store like this one. Some pages light with oranges and yellows while others are darkened by death. A powerful book about an important book store and the vital need for information and books as part of a movement. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    I did not expect this! A story about a black boy whose father is the owner of a bookstore filled with black history. In a way, this is a historical fiction graphic novel to enlight youngsters, or me and you about the fact of the past, and (sadly) today in the black community. This is a book with heavy theme, intended for children but also a delight for adults.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    I loved the middle grade nonfiction book No Crystal Stair that Vaunda Micheaux Nelson wrote earlier. It shared this history in a different way, but was too lengthy and complex for my students. I was excited to find out about this picture book that makes the story accessible for my students. As a book lover, I can appreciate someone loving books and learning so much that they want to share that with the world. Vaunda's great-uncle, Lewis Micheaux, created a hub of learning and book loving in Harle I loved the middle grade nonfiction book No Crystal Stair that Vaunda Micheaux Nelson wrote earlier. It shared this history in a different way, but was too lengthy and complex for my students. I was excited to find out about this picture book that makes the story accessible for my students. As a book lover, I can appreciate someone loving books and learning so much that they want to share that with the world. Vaunda's great-uncle, Lewis Micheaux, created a hub of learning and book loving in Harlem through his National Memorial African Bookstore. The first line was a sign that was posted above the door, "This house is packed with all the facts about all the blacks all over the world." Another line that I really appreciated was, "Not every book is true, he says, but the more you read, the easier it is to figure out for yourself what was true." He didn't have a college education, but, "He had grown to believe that books could change the lives of black people." In this book, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson tells about this man through the eyes of his son so we see it from a child's viewpoint. This makes it easy for young readers to understand. This would be great for our teaching units about people making a difference in the world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Rationale for choosing to include this book in the diverse literature set: This nonfiction book offers an historical account of someone with a significant and unique perspective of the Civil Rights Movement. I appreciate the life example set by Lewis Michaux, Sr., and his sense of mission. I am so glad to know of his story and the contribution he made to our world's evolution toward freedom and equality for all of its citizens. Text Connection Reflection: Text to text: Micheaux's book itch remind Rationale for choosing to include this book in the diverse literature set: This nonfiction book offers an historical account of someone with a significant and unique perspective of the Civil Rights Movement. I appreciate the life example set by Lewis Michaux, Sr., and his sense of mission. I am so glad to know of his story and the contribution he made to our world's evolution toward freedom and equality for all of its citizens. Text Connection Reflection: Text to text: Micheaux's book itch reminds me of Stella's itch to write in the book Stella by Starlight. I imagine Stella's itch to write will lead her to make a difference in the Civil Rights movement as a writer in some capacity, particularly as a news reporter. Discussion questions: 1. Remembering: Who are some of the famous people that walk through the doors of Michaux's book store? 2. Understanding: Explain why the story has the title that it does. Define the word propaganda. 3. Applying: Identify and name another person from the story who shared Michaux's sense of mission. Explain your answer. 4. Analyzing: "Malcolm X used to say,'If you're not willing to die for it, put the word freedom out of your vocabulary,'Dad said."They think they got rid of him. But people won't forget, Louie. His words will never leave us." What are your thoughts about these statements? Explain. 5. Evaluating: "Words. That's why people need our bookstore." What does Lewis Jr. mean by this? Do you agree with him? Why or why not? Identify similarities between Stella by Starlight and The Book Itch. 6. Creating: What inferences can you make about the author Vaunda Michaux Nelson? Create a poster with your own "Proper Propaganda." What truth do you want to share with the world?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    "WORDS. That's why people need our bookstore" I love so much about this picture book: its emotional tenor, its gorgeous illustrations (Christie at his best!), and its lovely story about a little-bookstore-that-could (and did). It's also a nice story about Malcolm X and his death from the perspective of a friend's child. Winner of a Coretta Scott King award, this book provides a wealth of knowledge about a little-known bookstore from mid-twentieth century Harlem and tells an engaging story about t "WORDS. That's why people need our bookstore" I love so much about this picture book: its emotional tenor, its gorgeous illustrations (Christie at his best!), and its lovely story about a little-bookstore-that-could (and did). It's also a nice story about Malcolm X and his death from the perspective of a friend's child. Winner of a Coretta Scott King award, this book provides a wealth of knowledge about a little-known bookstore from mid-twentieth century Harlem and tells an engaging story about the owner of this shop.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    A fantastic book about books, bookstores, and African American history. Text is wonderfully written and includes great lines from Micheaux himself like, "Don't get took! Read a book!" In addition to learning the history of the bookstore, our narrator also tells about how Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X visited the bookstore. I really liked the illustrations that went along with the story. The paintings were colorful and vivid, and it's easy to see why this book won awards. M A fantastic book about books, bookstores, and African American history. Text is wonderfully written and includes great lines from Micheaux himself like, "Don't get took! Read a book!" In addition to learning the history of the bookstore, our narrator also tells about how Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X visited the bookstore. I really liked the illustrations that went along with the story. The paintings were colorful and vivid, and it's easy to see why this book won awards. My three year old wasn't interested in this book yet - there are no princesses - but I think it is important to promote diverse stories.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    What a beautiful story of the author's great-uncle, Lewis Henri Michaux. Imagine an African-American man with little schooling but knowing how important books and reading are to everyone, but especially his fellow African-Americans. Michaux tried to get a loan to open his bookstore, but was turned down, so he did every odd job he could, and saved the pennies. He started with a cart, selling books on the street, but finally opened a store, right around the corner from the Apollo theater. Many not What a beautiful story of the author's great-uncle, Lewis Henri Michaux. Imagine an African-American man with little schooling but knowing how important books and reading are to everyone, but especially his fellow African-Americans. Michaux tried to get a loan to open his bookstore, but was turned down, so he did every odd job he could, and saved the pennies. He started with a cart, selling books on the street, but finally opened a store, right around the corner from the Apollo theater. Many notables such as Muhammed Ali, Nikki Giovanni and Malcolm X frequented the store, and some spoke on the platform erected outside the store. Michaux thought it highly important that blacks educate themselves about their history. He was known for his fiery speeches, and eventually called The Professor. Christie's illustrations are beautiful portraits of this part of Harlem history, not exactly realistic, but when the famous are mentioned, a hint of what they looked like is there. The endpapers are filled with quotes from Michaux (Don't Get Took! Read A Book!), and explained a bit more in the story. There is additional information and a bibliography in the back. It's a story everyone should read about someone who knew the value of books!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Holly Mueller

    A winner of the 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award, The Book Itch is an account based on the true story of Lewis Michaux Sr.'s National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. He opened it in the 1930s and had to battle the notion that "Black people don't read." Told in his son's (Lewis Michaux Jr.) point of view, his dad proved everyone wrong by making it a place for prominent people such as Malcolm X (who was friends with Lews Michaux Sr.), Muhammed Ali, Eartha Kitt, and Langston Hu A winner of the 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award, The Book Itch is an account based on the true story of Lewis Michaux Sr.'s National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. He opened it in the 1930s and had to battle the notion that "Black people don't read." Told in his son's (Lewis Michaux Jr.) point of view, his dad proved everyone wrong by making it a place for prominent people such as Malcolm X (who was friends with Lews Michaux Sr.), Muhammed Ali, Eartha Kitt, and Langston Hughes to exchange ideas and buy books. "The House of Common Sense and the Home of Proper Propaganda", just down the street from the Apollo Theater, was forced to close its doors in 1975, but the legacy lives on in words.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Kotkin

    Picture book biography of Lewis Michaux, friend of Malcolm X and owner of National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. Told through the eyes of his son. Researched and written by his niece (once-removed). Inspiring story of realizing one's dreams (opening a bookstore specializing in black history and literature), despite shortcomings (lack of formal education) and obstacles (refusal of bank to grant a loan). Also covers Michaux's friendship with Malcom X and Malcolm X's death. Moving art by Gr Picture book biography of Lewis Michaux, friend of Malcolm X and owner of National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. Told through the eyes of his son. Researched and written by his niece (once-removed). Inspiring story of realizing one's dreams (opening a bookstore specializing in black history and literature), despite shortcomings (lack of formal education) and obstacles (refusal of bank to grant a loan). Also covers Michaux's friendship with Malcom X and Malcolm X's death. Moving art by Gregory Christie, the best I've seen from him, further enhances the emotional impact of the book. Highlights many memorable Lewis Michaux quotes in the text and on the endpapers. Excellent addition to any civil rights curriculum. Fascinating history for independent reading as well.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Caryl

    What a neat way to tell Micheaux's story to children. The illustrations give it a 60s Harlem feel. Now I *must* read No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller, and soon! What a neat way to tell Micheaux's story to children. The illustrations give it a 60s Harlem feel. Now I *must* read No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller, and soon!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Whisler

    This book I would consider to be for older children rather than early childhood students. The illustrations were interesting and the story line tugged at your heart, but I feel like there were a lot of historical plot points that need addressed before a child can fully understand what is happening in the story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Lovely illustrations and a good message for everyone, no matter your background. Words are important and you can determine what’s true and real by reading and ingesting a lot of information.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    What a powerful book about the importance of reading and education. Author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson has a personal interest in this subject since Lewis Michaux, owner of the National Memorial African Bookstore, was her uncle. He promoted books and reading about African and African American history and issues as a way for African Americans to make better lives for themselves. Beyond the brick and mortar store, he took to the streets, hand selling books to people who might not know about his booksto What a powerful book about the importance of reading and education. Author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson has a personal interest in this subject since Lewis Michaux, owner of the National Memorial African Bookstore, was her uncle. He promoted books and reading about African and African American history and issues as a way for African Americans to make better lives for themselves. Beyond the brick and mortar store, he took to the streets, hand selling books to people who might not know about his bookstore. The bookstore was a Harlem landmark and a gathering place for people to talk and learn and debate.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    It is so important that American history encompass all (or, at least, to the best of our ability, most) of the pieces. This picture book, which, I feel is best to be shared with older children so it can be discussed and all the players understood, introduced me to a bookstore of which I had no previous knowledge. In broad strokes, the author, the bookstore founder’s great-niece, introduces the store’s birth, importance in the community, and famous figures who graced its space. So much informatio It is so important that American history encompass all (or, at least, to the best of our ability, most) of the pieces. This picture book, which, I feel is best to be shared with older children so it can be discussed and all the players understood, introduced me to a bookstore of which I had no previous knowledge. In broad strokes, the author, the bookstore founder’s great-niece, introduces the store’s birth, importance in the community, and famous figures who graced its space. So much information crammed into so few pages. I love books that open doors and windows, and broaden my horizons … isn’t that most books though?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Phil Jensen

    This is a great, inspiring story about a Harlem bookstore. The story moved energetically and the art was evocative. Recommended for anyone, probably most accessible to ages 9+.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    In 2012, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson published her documentary novel, No Crystal Stair, about the life and life's work of Lewis Michaux, her great uncle. Mixhaux opened the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem, NYC, believing that knowledge of black writers and intellects was the way to freedom. Now, Nelson has re-written No Crystal Stair in the form of a picture book for older readers. The Book Itch is narrated in the first person by Lewis Michaux's young son, Louie, who likes to help his da In 2012, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson published her documentary novel, No Crystal Stair, about the life and life's work of Lewis Michaux, her great uncle. Mixhaux opened the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem, NYC, believing that knowledge of black writers and intellects was the way to freedom. Now, Nelson has re-written No Crystal Stair in the form of a picture book for older readers. The Book Itch is narrated in the first person by Lewis Michaux's young son, Louie, who likes to help his dad in the store on weekends. Louie is clearly proud of his father's store, seeing it as quite an achievement, a place that draws some many people that sometimes, he says, you can hardly get inside. Michaux began, Louie says, with a book itch but with only five books, selling them out of a pushcart and the belief that knowledge is power. Opening the bookstore wasn't easy, especially since he couldn't get a loan from the bank for a bookstore, because, as the banker said "Black people don't read." Well, Michaux worked hard, saved his money and opened The National Memorial African Bookstore, or as he like to call it: The House of Common Sense and the Home of Proper Propaganda." And it was a success, a hub of intellectual thinking and African American history that became a popular destination for all kinds of people - black, white, teachers, politicians, writers, and some famous people including heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, poet/writer Langston Hughes and even Malcolm X, who often spoke from the platform outside the bookstore. Writing The Book Itch from the perspective of Michaux's son may put this into the category of biographical fiction, but it also allows Nelson to provide a lot of information on a more personal, intimate level, which I think young readers will find very engaging. Nelson has made Lewis Michaux such a engaging, colorful person whose passion for books and knowledge come through so strongly. I loved reading his aphorisms, of which he was clearly very fond: R. Gregory Christie, who did the illustrations for No Crystal Stair, has teamed up with Nelson on The Book Itch. Christie's bold strokes and bright vivid colors reflect and compliment the ideas that were so much a part of The National Memorial African Bookstore, and which contrast with the darker colors he uses to show the impact of Malcolm X's murder on the bookstore and Michaux personally. Be sure to read Nelson's short biography of Lewis Henri Michaux (1895-1976) at the end of the book, as well as her Author's Note and Selected Bibliography for further reading. The Book Itch will be available on November 1, 2015. This book is recommended for readers age 7+ This book was an EARC received from NetGalley This review was originally posted on Randomly Reading

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maura Murphy

    The Book Itch is an informational text that explains the history and significance of the National Memorial African Bookstore. What started as a bookstore with only five books founded by Lewis Michaux turned into a bookstore that told the story of African-American culture and showed a community about the importance of educating yourself through reading. This is a book that a teacher could use in grades 3-5, but would be especially impactful in 4th and 5th grades. This would be a great book to use The Book Itch is an informational text that explains the history and significance of the National Memorial African Bookstore. What started as a bookstore with only five books founded by Lewis Michaux turned into a bookstore that told the story of African-American culture and showed a community about the importance of educating yourself through reading. This is a book that a teacher could use in grades 3-5, but would be especially impactful in 4th and 5th grades. This would be a great book to use in a classroom because it can lead to many different discussions about many different topics. For example, you could use this book to talk about racism in America, something that can be seen in different places in the book, especially when Lewis's dad goes to the bank to ask for a loan for his bookstore. You could use this book to talk about culture, and the importance of knowing not only your own culture's history, but also the history of other cultures. Talking about the significance of the bookstore and the impact that it had on the community in Harlem would be a great way to start discussions about the importance of different cultures being represented in books and in history. I also think this would be a great book to read aloud to children and start a conversation about the importance of reading and being educated. You could use the "Words of the Wiser" signpost to help students notice and note situations where the father in the story is giving advice to his son or to others, and have discussions about why that advice is important. This was a WOW book for me for many reasons. The first thing that I noticed about this book was its illustrations, which are stunning and add so much to the story. I also think that this book does a great job of bringing up many different important topics to talk about with kids, many of which are often seen as too difficult to discuss with younger children. I also loved all the life lessons that were shared in this book, especially the ones related to education and reading!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A picture book presentation of the same Harlem bookstore owner as No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller, by the same author and illustrator, from the point of view of Lewis Michaux’s son Lewis Jr., this suits younger readers, and can be shared aloud with a group. Witty, alliterative quotes by the senior Lewis Michaux - “Don’t get took! Read a book!” - set a creative, positive, energetic tone that goes well with the voice of the narrator. H A picture book presentation of the same Harlem bookstore owner as No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller, by the same author and illustrator, from the point of view of Lewis Michaux’s son Lewis Jr., this suits younger readers, and can be shared aloud with a group. Witty, alliterative quotes by the senior Lewis Michaux - “Don’t get took! Read a book!” - set a creative, positive, energetic tone that goes well with the voice of the narrator. His youthful perspective describes both good and bad in stride, until the death of Malcolm X, the significance of which is clearly represented in several consecutive dark, melancholy images. Nelson doesn’t end on this down-note, but allows the young narrator to look forward to his future, and to making use of the knowledge and experience of his father’s bookstore, as well as his father’s cleverly-phrased advice. This excellent balance of heavy, serious, historically accurate depictions of the time and place, and youthful faith, emulation, and respect for the strong figures in his life and his community give readers a sense of multiple dimensions that feels authentic. Christie’s rough-textured oil or acrylic paintings have a gritty, urban feeling that unquestionably reflects the time and place, and shows a range of thoughts and feelings on every unique face. The narrative comments and responses give a taste of the politically and intellectually active community in Harlem, and convey the outlook of the bookstore owner as well as the context that surrounded him. This is a loving and fitting celebration of the life-work of a subtly influential person. Back matter include notes about Michaux, an author's note, and a bibliography.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Giddings

    Informational Text: "The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore" is a book that is rich in history about the National Memorial African Bookstore and its community. While starting the book store with only 5 books and going against people who said “black people don’t read,” the bookstore persisted and became an influential part of African American history. Influential historic African American’s such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X used the bookstore as a place to meet and educate Informational Text: "The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore" is a book that is rich in history about the National Memorial African Bookstore and its community. While starting the book store with only 5 books and going against people who said “black people don’t read,” the bookstore persisted and became an influential part of African American history. Influential historic African American’s such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X used the bookstore as a place to meet and educate themselves further. This book walks students through history and does so in an amazing way. I think this book would work best as an instructional tool in 4th and 5th grade classrooms. I think this book could bring a lot of value to a classroom. First, it would be a great book to use in an integrated lesson between Social Studies and ELA. Whether teaching about racial tension, prominent historic leaders, or the murder of Malcolm X, this book could be used as a tool to do so. This book also teaches the power of reading and could be used to instill a love for reading in students. The book teaches about the value of education and reading and how that encourages leaders to stand up and fight for what they believe in. Students could relate this idea to an influential text or event that inspired them to fight for what they believe in or to better themselves as a person. This book was a WOW book for me because it was packed with history. I loved the idea of a “book itch” and I think that this is an idea that could be discussed to teach students how important it is to read and want to read!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: "This house is packed with all the facts about all the blacks all over the world." That's what it says above our door. We own this place, this house--the National Memorial African Bookstore. It's our home, just about, because we spend so much time here. Premise/plot: The author imagines what it was like for Lewis Michaux Jr. to grow up as the son of Lewis Michaux Sr. in this environment. Lewis Michaux opened the store in the 1930s, I believe, but the story is set in the 1960s wit First sentence: "This house is packed with all the facts about all the blacks all over the world." That's what it says above our door. We own this place, this house--the National Memorial African Bookstore. It's our home, just about, because we spend so much time here. Premise/plot: The author imagines what it was like for Lewis Michaux Jr. to grow up as the son of Lewis Michaux Sr. in this environment. Lewis Michaux opened the store in the 1930s, I believe, but the story is set in the 1960s with Lewis as a young boy watching the civil rights movement unfold before him. It is a book celebrating knowledge, ideas, books, and families. My thoughts: This is definitely a picture book for older readers. Is it fiction? Is it nonfiction? Well, it's certainly based on real people, real events, real situations. But I think the author's imagination is at work to make one cohesive story. The end covers are worth paying close attention to. The end covers feature quotes: "Knowledge is power. You need it every hour. Read a book!" "Words. That's why people need our bookstore." "Don't get took! Read a book!" "Books will help him clear the weeds and plant the seeds so he'll succeed." "The House of Common Sense and the home of Proper Propaganda." It's worth pointing out that Lewis Michaux let customers read books at his store. They didn't necessarily have to buy books in order to read them. Also, customers could stay past closing time. Text: 4.5 out of 5 Illustrations: 3.5 out of 5 Total: 8 out of 10

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I have seen Vaunda's novel-length book, No Crystal Stair, which is also about her great-uncle's store. While that book has received many honors, it is too long for younger readers, so I was very pleased to hear that she had written a picture book on the same topic. The Book Itch introduces Lewis Michaux's bookstore through the viewpoint of his son, Lewis Jr. As the narrator, Louie talks about his father's early efforts selling books from a pushcart. He tells of the bankers who refused to loan hi I have seen Vaunda's novel-length book, No Crystal Stair, which is also about her great-uncle's store. While that book has received many honors, it is too long for younger readers, so I was very pleased to hear that she had written a picture book on the same topic. The Book Itch introduces Lewis Michaux's bookstore through the viewpoint of his son, Lewis Jr. As the narrator, Louie talks about his father's early efforts selling books from a pushcart. He tells of the bankers who refused to loan his father money for a store because "Black people don't read," and telling him that he should sell fried chicken instead. Lewis worked and saved and opened the store anyway - and proved those bankers wrong. His store became a center for discussion and learning and attracted celebrities such as Muhammed Ali and Malcolm X. Although he had little formal education himself, Michaux believed in the power of words and books to improve lives and empower individuals. This book captures the energy and excitement of the cultural center that was Michaux's bookstore. The childs-eye view of the Heavyweight Champion of the World, or Louie's relief that his father was not hurt when Malcolm X was assassinated make the story more accessible and meaningful to young readers. It is an excellent addition to any library and will make a great read-aloud for lessons on Civil Rights or to accompany units on African American History. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    The Book Itch is the story of The National Memorial African Bookstore, founded in Harlem by Louis Michaux.It is told from the perspective of Lewis's son's. The story takes place in the 50s and 60s when there was a lot of racial tension and hatred. The bookstore not only was a place to feed your hunger for books and knowledge, but was a meeting place for famous African Americans such as Muhammed Ali and Malcolm X. It is wonderful to see how the love of reading and books enabled this man to move b The Book Itch is the story of The National Memorial African Bookstore, founded in Harlem by Louis Michaux.It is told from the perspective of Lewis's son's. The story takes place in the 50s and 60s when there was a lot of racial tension and hatred. The bookstore not only was a place to feed your hunger for books and knowledge, but was a meeting place for famous African Americans such as Muhammed Ali and Malcolm X. It is wonderful to see how the love of reading and books enabled this man to move beyond the expectations of the bankers who would not loan him money to establish his dream store. There are historical events in the story, particularly the murder of Malcolm X and how the author saw this event used to further empower African Americans. I have to say that I was not impressed with the illustrations. I understand the style the illustrator was going for but the illustrations appeared to be a bit too blurry and as another reviewer said, "smudged". I can definitely see using this book when teaching about these historical events as well as librarians and English teachers using this to reinforce the love and necessity for reading. 4.5 stars I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Taneka

    "This house is packed with all the facts about all the Blacks all over the world." So say the words over the door of Lewis Michaeux's bookstore, The House of Common Sense and Home of Proper Propaganda. The story of Lewis Micheaux's, the Professor as he was called, is given in this picture book. It is told from the perspective of his son, Lewis Michaeux, Jr. He talks about the importance of literacy and the importance of the bookstore to the community. He also talks about the different people that "This house is packed with all the facts about all the Blacks all over the world." So say the words over the door of Lewis Michaeux's bookstore, The House of Common Sense and Home of Proper Propaganda. The story of Lewis Micheaux's, the Professor as he was called, is given in this picture book. It is told from the perspective of his son, Lewis Michaeux, Jr. He talks about the importance of literacy and the importance of the bookstore to the community. He also talks about the different people that he has met through the bookstore, such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. Malcolm X was a regular at the store. "He loves books as much as we do. He says he could spend the rest of his life reading, just to satisfy his curiosity." I too, share his sentiment. If only one could get paid just to read. This is a great read for parents that want to instill the importance of reading to their kids. It is made even better when paired with Vaunda Micheaux Nelson other book about Lewis Micheaux, No Crystal Stair. 4½ stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Deena Alzaben

    The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore is a fantastic informational text that would be good for students in grades 4 and 5. This book is about the National Memorial African Bookstore and how it became a center for black culture in the 1960s. It is told from the point of view of the son of Lewis Michaux, the owner of the store, this book looks at the figures like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who come to the store. It is an interesting to see the perspective of a young person The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore is a fantastic informational text that would be good for students in grades 4 and 5. This book is about the National Memorial African Bookstore and how it became a center for black culture in the 1960s. It is told from the point of view of the son of Lewis Michaux, the owner of the store, this book looks at the figures like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali who come to the store. It is an interesting to see the perspective of a young person in this time period. It really emphasizes the impact the bookstore had on the black community in Harlem. This book expresses the issue of racism and advocates for civil rights. In my classroom I would use this books to teach a variety of topics. First, I think it can be used to teach about social activism because it provides such great examples of people who were active such as , Malcolm X. I could also use this book to teach perspective, since it is told from the view point of Lewis Michaux son. This book is a WOW book for me because it is powerful, beautifully written, and inspiring. I especially love how it highlights the importance of reading books and knowledge.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Molly Stella

    Currently reading to all my 4th and 5th grade classes and I must say it is FABULOUS. When Mr. Michaux goes to the bank for a business loan he's told that "Black people don't read." I make sure to read this passage super loudly and slowly. The kids are wrap and then erupt into exclamations of disgust and protest. It is fucking magical. Great way to get kids thinking about historical people and events like Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights movement. DON'T GET TOOK, READ A BOOK! Currently reading to all my 4th and 5th grade classes and I must say it is FABULOUS. When Mr. Michaux goes to the bank for a business loan he's told that "Black people don't read." I make sure to read this passage super loudly and slowly. The kids are wrap and then erupt into exclamations of disgust and protest. It is fucking magical. Great way to get kids thinking about historical people and events like Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights movement. DON'T GET TOOK, READ A BOOK!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Audra

    Wonderful children's book about Lewis Michaux, the founder and owner of the African National Memorial Bookstore in Harlem. He called it the house of common sense and the home of proper propaganda. Who came to his store? Malcolm X, Kwame Nkruma, Joe Louis, Langston Hughes, Eartha Kitt, and the list doesn't stop there. He started selling books on the street. He had five books and a dream to put books in the hands of black people. When he went to the bank for a loan to open a brick and mortar books Wonderful children's book about Lewis Michaux, the founder and owner of the African National Memorial Bookstore in Harlem. He called it the house of common sense and the home of proper propaganda. Who came to his store? Malcolm X, Kwame Nkruma, Joe Louis, Langston Hughes, Eartha Kitt, and the list doesn't stop there. He started selling books on the street. He had five books and a dream to put books in the hands of black people. When he went to the bank for a loan to open a brick and mortar bookstore, the bank told him they would give him a loan to sell fried chicken or fish and chips, but not books because "black people don't read." So he washed windows and saved every cent he earned and opened the bookstore. The bookstore that stayed open for 44 years. Guess the bank was wrong. I never knew about this bookstore. But I'm glad I know now. Don't be fooled by the children's format. It's still very informational. If you want a meatier version, read No Crystal Stair, also by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. I will be reading that very soon. "Don't get took! Read a book!"

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...