The Book Itch
Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, ALA Notable Children’s Book, CCBC Best Children’s Book of the Year, Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, Kirkus Best Children’s Books, NCTE Notable
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.
And as far as Lewis Michaux Jr. could tell, his father’s bookstore was one of a kind. People from all over came to visit the store, even famous people—Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and Langston Hughes, to name a few. In his 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 Lewis Michaux Sr. and his bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for what they believed in.
|Interest Level||Grade 2 - Grade 4|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Genre||Picture Books, Social Studies|
|Category||Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Carolrhoda Books ®|
|Number of Pages||32|
|Reading Counts! Level||3.5|
|BISACS||JUV011010, JUV006000, JUV016150|
|Dimensions||9.25 x 11|
|ATOS Reading Level||3.3|
|Accelerated Reader® Quiz||176563|
|Accelerated Reader® Points||0.5|
|Features||Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Original artwork, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, and eSource|
Author: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is the author of The Book Itch, as well as three Coretta Scott King Award-winning books: No Crystal Stair, Bad News for Outlaws, and Almost to Freedom. She is a former youth services librarian in New Mexico. Visit her online at vaundanelson.com.
Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
R. Gregory Christie's illustrations have earned him many awards, including a Caldecott Honor, many Coretta Scott King Honors, and multiple spots on the New York Times' annual Best Illustrated Children's Books lists. He lives in Georgia.
Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!
The Book Itch
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, ALA Notable Children’s Book, CCBC Best Children’s Book of the Year, Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, Kirkus Best Children’s Books, NCTE… View available downloads →
- NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
- Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book
- Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices
- William Allen White Children's Book Awards Master List
- Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
- Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards Honor
- ACL Distinguished Book
- Kirkus Best Children's Books
- Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor
- ALA Notable Children's Books
“Studded with Michaux’s aphorisms . . . the book successfully conveys the vibrancy of the bookstore and its habitués. . . . R. Gregory Christie . . . is here allowed full pages drenched with expressionistic color to convey the spirit of the place, time, and people.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“This companion to No Crystal Stair (2012) introduces younger readers to Nelson’s great uncle, Lewis Michaux Sr., owner of Harlem’s National Memorial African Bookstore. . . . [T]his moving tribute should be a welcome addition to almost any collection.”—starred, Booklist
“Writing in the voice of Michaux’s admiring son, Nelson illuminates Lewis’s generosity . . . and his fervent belief in the power of words and books to change lives. . . . It’s an emotive tribute to Michaux’s personal and professional legacy.”—Publishers Weekly
“From the author’s heart to America’s readers: a tribute to a man who believed in and lived black pride.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews
“A strong endorsement of the power of books and reading, an excellent choice for history and biography collections, and a strong choice for educators emphasizing the importance of community.”—School Library Journal