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The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, R. Gregory Christie


I read this book at the library as well, but it's one I wish I'd taken home to read several times. It's the story of a young boy named Lewis whose father owns a bookstore in Harlem (the National Memorial African Bookstore). It was a center of black culture. So not only does Lewis get books to read (educating him during a time when "black people don't read") but he also gets introduced to Civil Rights activists famous historical figures like Malcolm X, Muhammed Ali, Eartha Kitt, and Langston Hughes. Even though this book is told from the POV of a child, the book doesn't shy away from things like the reaction when Malcolm X is killed.

It's a wonderful and accessible bit of history, told beautifully and illustrated in bright colors and a style that feels like 1960s Harlem. History aside, I also really love how Lewis' father not only understood the importance of reading but was passionate about it and able to share that and pass it on to his son.

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