Feb. 3, 2021 - June 30, 2022

“People come to hear talk about fighting for the same rights white people have. Talk about jobs and voting. About how black folks should respect and support each other. People shout angry words. They kid around and laugh. Sometimes I don’t get why they’re mad or what’s so funny.”

Lewis Michaux, Jr. and his father, Lewis Michaux, Sr. like to talk about important things. Things like truth and how to figure out for yourself what that is. Every day, people come to the bookstore, and they read. People from the neighborhood, and famous people like Muhammad Ali, Eartha Kitt, James Baldwin, Malcom X, and Langston Hughes. Black people from all over come to hear and learn and read, read, read the stories and poems, histories, and truths of their lives. The bookstore is home to what came before, what is now, and what can be. All the words together make an itch that needs to be scratched.

Why we chose this story:  The National Memorial African Bookstore was a Harlem landmark. It was a place that, in its time, was the nation’s largest, most complete center for books by and about Black people. This story, told from the perspective of young Lewis Michaux, Jr., is a clear look into the world of Harlem in the 1960’s—a world filled with Black excellence—and the grounding experience of a young Black boy witnessing tender emotion and tears from his father.

Digital Kits
The digital story kits take all the great curriculum ideas we created for our physical story kits in 2020-21 and make them more accessible. For each title, you will receive a copy of the book and a pdf with downloadable arts curriculum, including two reader’s theatre scripts and exercises in writing, acting, visual arts, and movement. These can be purchased for an individual class, a grade band, or an entire school.

$50: Digital Kit for Single Classroom or Homeschool
$125: Digital Kit for Grade Band at School (e.g. all kindergarten classrooms)
$225: Digital Kit for Entire School
$10: Reader’s Theatre Scripts (per title)
FREE: Reader’s Theatre Scripts, Assorted Curriculum, and Teacher Chats
Free and reduced rates are available to all Title 1 schools.

Teacher Chat
Join Book-It’s Arts Education team for a FREE, 60-minute workshop on The Book Itch. In the first half, we will explore sample curriculum from The Book Itch programming, and in the second half of our time there will be a Q&A on the content of the curriculum and how to adapt it to fit into your classroom’s needs.

Thursday, November 18

Thursday, February 17

The Book Itch by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Text copyright © 2015 by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Illustration copyright © 2015 by R. Gregory Christie. Reprinted with the permission of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.