March 2nd is Read Across America Day and I thought it would be a good time to share a few more book picks for brown boys + let you in on what Le Kid and I are reading right now.
Despite our nation’s diversity, most of the children’s books that hit bookshelves don’t include characters of color (about 93% in 2013). And while BrownBoyGenius hopes to change things one day, we will continue to highlight books that feature boys that look like our sons.
As the mother of a reluctant reader I know how difficult it is to encourage kids—especially boys—to read. So far I’ve found success with books my son can relate to, like the EllRay Jakes series, but finding books with main characters who are boys of color can feel like a full time job.
That’s why we’re here. Last year I compiled a list of 35 books every boy will love, and every now and then I’ll pop in to share what my son and I are reading and loving up on at the moment. But first…
Check out 3 books we’re reading (and loving!) right now.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña & Christian Robinson
I first heard about Last Stop on Market Street while listening to NPR. Author Matt De La Peña and illustrator Christian Robinson were explaining how the story came to be and it sounded like such an awesome story. Although I didn’t grow up taking the bus like the characters in the book, I did grow up spending a lot of time with both my maternal and paternal grandmothers, who were (and are) wonderful examples. Last Stop on Market Street is a beautiful picture book for young kids everywhere. Learn more here.
His name says it all. If you haven’t heard of Kid President (Robby Novak) by now, where have you been?! Le Kid and I LOVE his infectious personality, witty words, and inspiring message, and his first book—written with his brother-in-law (Brad Montague)—has all three. Learn more here.
Malcolm X was assassinated fifty years ago. Since then, his popularity as a civil rights leader has grown and gained even more notoriety around the world. Still, Malcolm X is often misunderstood and seen as merely a “radical” who advocated violent uprisings, but his daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, is here to set the record straight. Though X: A Novel, Shabazz tells the story of her father’s life to explain how he became one of the most influential men of the 20th century. By the way, this book is perfect for teens. Learn more here.
What are you and your BrownBoyGenius reading now? Share in the comments section below.