The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
An engaging and accessible way to tell the story of Lewis Michaux, founder of the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. The illustrations help bring the era and setting to life, and are a reason to not get the book in the electronic version – I originally borrowed the book for my Kindle and couldn’t really see the illustrations well enough to appreciate the book. Get the print version!
Although it’s a picture book, it’s not one for toddlers, and even my new kindergartner wasn’t interested in listening in for it. The second grader was a better fit for it, and I think it could easily be read to or by children through fifth or sixth grade, up until they’re ready for Micheaux Nelson’s middle grade book about Michaux, No Crystal Stair.
In the 1930s, Lewis’s dad, Lewis Michaux Sr., had an itch he needed to scratch—a book itch. How to scratch it? He started a bookstore in Harlem and named it the National Memorial African Bookstore.
Title: The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore
Author: by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Category: Juvenile nonfiction
My Rating: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from NetGalley, but I actually read it as a library book (the illustrations were impossible to see in the advance copy I had). I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!