Coupon
No Crystal Stair : A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and R. Gregory Christie


Overview -

"You can't walk straight on a crooked line. You do you'll break your leg. How can you walk straight in a crooked system?"

Lewis Michaux was born to do things his own way. When a white banker told him to sell fried chicken, not books, because "Negroes don't read," Lewis took five books and one hundred dollars and built a bookstore.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • $17.95

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 37 copies from $2.99
 
 
 

More About No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; R. Gregory Christie
 
 
 
Overview

"You can't walk straight on a crooked line. You do you'll break your leg. How can you walk straight in a crooked system?"

Lewis Michaux was born to do things his own way. When a white banker told him to sell fried chicken, not books, because "Negroes don't read," Lewis took five books and one hundred dollars and built a bookstore. It soon became the intellectual center of Harlem, a refuge for everyone from Muhammad Ali to Malcolm X.

In No Crystal Stair, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson combines meticulous research with a storyteller's flair to document the life and times of her great-uncle Lewis Michaux, an extraordinary literacy pioneer of the Civil Rights era.

"My life was no crystal stair, far from it. But I'm taking my leave with some pride. It tickles me to know that those folks who said I could never sell books to black people are eating crow. I'd say my seeds grew pretty damn well. And not just the book business. It's the more important business of moving our people forward that has real meaning."


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780761361695
  • ISBN-10: 0761361693
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
  • Publish Date: February 2012
  • Page Count: 188
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-18
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.55 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Biographical - United States
Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Books & Libraries

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-02-20
  • Reviewer: Staff

Nelson and Christie, the team behind Bad News for Outlaws, blend photographs, original artwork, and archival materials with fictionalized first-person narratives to tell the story of Nelson's great-uncle, Lewis Michaux, who opened a Harlem bookstore that served as a meeting place and symbol of black empowerment for 35 years. Tracing Lewis's roots to a childhood filled with questioning and rebellion, Nelson alternates between Lewis's voice and those of his parents, brothers, and others—characters who, like Lewis, spring to life on page. After rejecting a life in service of the church, Lewis leaves Virginia for Harlem, where in 1939 he opens the National Memorial African Bookstore, "by and about black people," earning the nickname "the Professor." The narrative expands to include the voices of Harlem business owners, residents, and store visitors over the decades, their stories and perspectives revealing how one man's vision helped galvanize his community. Nelson and Christie deliver an engrossing blend of history, art, and storytelling in this deeply moving tribute to a singular individual. Final art not all seen by PW. Ages 12–18. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Feb.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews