Thursday, June 4, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer series - books that feature black and brown boy characters - 6.04.2020

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This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

Welcome to week one of Chapter Book Summer posts!  I started this last year because it seems like when I see teachers and parents asking about recommendations, it's often for chapter books.  Books that reach young readers who are looking for longer books, books that are for readers who are building reading stamina, and books for readers who aren't ready for the next step on the reading ladder - middle grade novels.  These books don't seem to get the same amount of "book blessing" on social media as their counterparts so I'm dedicating one day a week over the summer months to celebrate them.

When I planned these posts, this particular one was supposed to publish a few weeks from now.  However, these books, more than ever, need to be shouted from the rooftops... shared in every single classroom and every single library... book talked, blessed, and discussed.  If you don't have these books, buy them.  If you don't have the budget to buy them, check your school library and public library and make sure they have them.  Share this post with your colleagues and fellow parents.  Get them into all readers hands.

Today I am celebrating books with black and brown boy characters.

First up are some new to me series.

The Quest for Screen Time by Marti Dumas
Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest series
Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time
written by Marti Dumas
illustrated by Marie Muravski
I love the tagline on the back cover "Giant afro.  Even bigger brain."  Yes!!!  
Jaden Toussaint, or JT, is a five year old who isn't afraid to use the scientific method to prove his point!  JT gets a quick glimpse of all the things you can do on a device and now he wants more!  He thinks he has it all figured out - he can use his kindergarten homework of computer time to get himself some screen time, but as all kids figure out, it's not always that easy! 
This is the first book is what looks like a 5 book series.  Short, quick, illustrated chapters, with an easy to follow problem/solution format, this is a fun chapter book series!

Home Court by Amar'e Stoudemire
STAT: Standing Tall and Talented series
Home Court
by Amar'e Stoudemire
Written by NBA All-Star, Amar'e Stoudemire, and based loosely on his life growing up, we meet young Amar'e and friends who are busy playing sports and going to school.  In this first book, Amar'e is trying to juggle all the sports he wants to play, and hanging with his friends, and continuing to get good grades.  He lives with his father and brother in Florida and sometimes helps his dad with his lawncare business.  
There are some new, older kids on their usual court, but instead of playing ball, Amar'e works on his skateboarding tricks, which are getting harder to do the taller he gets!  His friends get beat pretty badly without Amar'e's help and now the older kids are calling this court their home court.  Amar'e knows he needs to work together, not only with his friends, but all of his peers to get these bullies off their turf.  
I like that hard work and play is emphasized in this book.  Amar'e is starting to realize that basketball is his sport, but he loves playing other sports too.  In this world where competitive sports and specializing in one is important, the idea of play is a breath of fresh air!  
Amar'e and his friends have to face down bullies and they do it in a fair way with help from everyone.  A good message for young readers.
Also looks to be a 5 book series.

How to Test a Friendship by Theanne Griffith
The Magnificent Makers series
How to Test a Friendship
written by Theanne Griffith
illustrated by Reggie Brown
A new maker series that features both black and brown characters and a Maker-Scientist that has a little Ms. Frizzle flair!  
Pablo and Violet have been best friends for a long time but in science class they meet someone new, Deepak.  He loves the sciences too, but will he also steal Violet's friendship away from Pablo?
Before the trio knows what is happening, they are whisked away to a magical makerspace where they have several makerspace challenges to solve before the time is up.
Full of science and friendship, this is definitely a new series to share!
This is the first book of a 3 book series.

Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
Dragons in a Bag
written by Zetta Elliott
illustrated by Geneva B
Meet Jaxon, his mom has to go to the courthouse and someone needs to watch him so he gets put with Ma.  Jax was surprised to find out he had a grandmother, but even more surprised to find out that no, it's not his grandmother, but a witch!  And she has an important delivery to make.  She has 3 dragons that need to go back to another realm.  Jax agrees to accompany her and before he knows it he's in head over heels!  Jax learns to open up and meet and trust new people, and get some help from his actual friends.
I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series and hoping there will be more to come!

Here is a list of other books that feature black and brown boy characters that I've covered in previous posts.  Don't miss them!

Planet Omar series by Zenib Mian
Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream series by Hena Khan
Mo Jackson series by David A. Adler (Swim, Mo, Swim!, Don't Throw It to Mo!)
Ana and Andrew series by Christine Platt
Sadiq series by Siman Nuurali

As most of you know, I am a big champion of chapter books.  These books are important stepping stones, or ladder rungs, for longer and more sophisticated middle grade books.  However, they mostly feature white characters, written by white authors.  I had to search far and wide for the titles included today.  Please support these books and show publishers we must have more BIPoC authors and illustrators and characters, especially in the chapter book format.

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

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