Picture Books

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore

Picture book. By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. 2015. 32 pages.
Tells the story of Lewis Michaux Sr.’s Harlem bookstore that was a center of African American history, scholarship, debate, and activism, for grades 2-5.

Time Periods: 20th Century, 1920, 1945, 1961
Themes: African American

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore ( Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's HistoryLewis Michaux’s itch for books led him to found and run the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem for four decades beginning in the early 1930s. The store played a key role in African American history as a hub of knowledge, culture, and activism.

Michaux’s great-niece Vaunda Nelson introduces the bookstore to young readers through the eyes of the bookseller’s son, Lewis Michaux Jr.

Nelson also wrote a Coretta Scott King Award-winning book about the bookstore for middle to high school readers called No Crystal Stair.

Both books would be valuable additions to any classroom collection on U.S. history. [Description from Rethinking Schools.]

ISBN: 9780761339434 | Lerner Books