The Book Itch

Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore

  • Interest Level: Grade 2 - Grade 4   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

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.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
978-0-76133-943-4
$17.99 $13.49
978-1-46774-618-2
$35.99 $26.99
Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Fiction, Picture Books
Subject Diversity, Social Studies
Copyright 2015
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2015-11-01
Reading Counts! Level 3.5
BISACS JUV011010, JUV016150, JUV000000
Dewey [Fic]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 630
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, and Starred Reviews

Awards

  • NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts, Winner, 2016
  • Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book, Commended, 2016
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices, Winner, 2016
  • William Allen White Children's Book Awards Master List, Long-listed, 2016
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2016
  • ACL Distinguished Book, Winner, 2015
  • Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, Commended, 2015
  • ALA Notable Children's Books, Winner, 2015
  • Kirkus Best Children's Books, Winner, 2015
  • Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards Honor, Commended, 2015

Reviews

The Horn Book Magazine

“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

Booklist

“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

Publishers Weekly

“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

Kirkus Reviews

“From the author’s heart to America’s readers: a tribute to a man who believed in and lived black pride.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“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

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 youth services librarian in New Mexico.

Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie

R. Gregory Christie's illustrations have earned him many awards, including a Caldecott Honor, five Coretta Scott King Honors, and three spots on the New York Times' annual Best Illustrated Children's Books lists. He lives in Georgia.