Black Books Fair: January 31st-February 13th

Flyer for book fair: proceeds benefit Shoreline libraries
  • Join us as we kick off our annual (Virtual) Black Books Fair! Every purchase will benefit putting titles in schools. We are thrilled to have Kwame Alexander & Jewell Parker Rhodes join us in discussing their novels, including Mr. Alexander's Crossover books and Dr. Alexander's newest title, Paradise on Fire.

    Why Black Books?

    Though they make up approximately 40% of the US population, less than 10% of children's books released the last 24 years were written by and for people of color. Even more, the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the University of Madison-Wisconsin discovered that children's books published in a given year were 3x more likely to feature an animal or other character than a Black character. When children see mirrors of themselves or positive windows into the world of another, they are able to better develop empathy, more well-rounded narratives and critical thinking skills needed to talk about matters of identity. ( Lastly, books can communicate JOY! There is much to celebrate about community, and by featuring selected books, it helps change the narrative for everyone.

    Please purchase a book, support a local bookstore and help put titles back in schools!

    Special thanks to Third Place Books for their partnership on this endeavor, and a special thanks to the Shoreline Equity & Family Engagement Department, Shorelake Arts, Shoreline PTA Council, Jewell Parker Rhodes & Kwame Alexander.


    Click here to buy books, beginning on January 31st:

    **Please don't forget to put "Black Voices" in the notes so that our Book Fair gets credit!**

photo of Kwame Alexander, smiling in the foreground. He is wearing a suit, has a bald head and wire rimmed glasses
  • About Kwame Alexander: 

    (Kid friendly version)
    Kwame Alexander has written 35 books, three of them in a chair next to a fireplace at his neighborhood Panera Bread. He now writes in a penthouse in London, where he lives. But, he misses the writing studio he built in Virginia a few years ago. It has huge windows, a large painting of John Coltrane, 3000 books, heated floors, a blue couch, and a loft which was Randy’s idea. When he’s not writing, Kwame’s playing Softball with his soon-to-be six feet tall middle school daughter, walking around London listening to audio books, and travelling to schools and libraries across the globe...on Zoom. Kwame has eaten snails, chocolate covered bugs, and grasscutter, which is like a big rat, which he had no idea he was eating because it was in a really tasty stew he ate in Ghana while building a library and a health clinic in a village called Konko. He’s never eaten frogs. But, he has written a book about them called Surf’s Up. And, some other books you may have heard of like The Crossover and Swing and The Undefeated and Becoming Muhammad Ali, all New York Times Bestsellers, which his Dad likes to brag about in grocery stores and doctor’s offices. Kwame loves jazz. Kwame loves his family. Kwame loves his job. Part of Kwame's job is to write and produce the Disney Plus TV series based on his novel The Crossover. The other part of Kwame’s job is to Change the World One Word at a Time. Oh yeah, he also won the Newbery Medal. Whoa!

    (Grown-up approved)
    Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times Bestselling author of 35 books, including SWING,  BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI, co-authored with James Patterson, BOOKED, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, REBOUND, which was shortlisted for prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, The Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book, THE UNDEFEATED, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, and, his NEWBERY medal-winning middle grade novel, THE CROSSOVER. A regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he founded the publishing imprint VERSIFY, and opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. He is the writer and executive producer of THE CROSSOVER TV series on Disney plus.