Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Nelson and Christie bring the story of Harlems storied National Memorial African Bookstore to picture book readers in this companion to their 2012 YA collaboration, No Crystal Stair. The shop was opened in the 1930s by Nelsons great-uncle, Lewis Michaux, who started out with five books... and a mission. Writing in the voice of Michauxs admiring son, Nelson illuminates Lewiss generosity (he invited those who couldnt afford books into his shop to read) and his fervent belief in the power of words and books to change lives. Michauxs love of words comes through in his catchy aphorisms and sales pitches (Knowledge is power. You need it every hour. Read a book!), which appear throughout, as well as his nickname for the shop, The House of Common Sense and Home of Proper Propaganda. Christies paintings powerfully contrast the idea of the bookstore as a refuge with the tensions of the day, particularly during a section of the book about Michauxs friendship with Malcolm X and his anguish following the activists assassination. Its an emotive tribute to Michauxs personal and professional legacy. Ages 710. Authors agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Nov.)