FICTION

I Am Every Good Thing

Nancy Paulsen. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525518778.
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PreS-Gr 3–“I am a nonstop ball of energy. Powerful and full of light. I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.” Page after page of empowering text speaks to energetic children everywhere, as the author-illustrator team behind Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut return with another top-notch celebration of Black boys. The catchy text exudes confidence as different speakers energetically proclaim their competence at science and sports, as well as their creativity and perseverance. Background characters are of various races, but the stars of every page are Black, and they explore, soar, soak up information, and make a difference. The pace slows as the speaker admits he sometimes is afraid of what others call him but refuses to let those attitudes define him. The vibrant illustrations reinforce the energy as groups and individuals share their gifts with the world, including a cameo by Barack Obama. Remembering their ancestors and their fathers, and acknowledging their own strengths, a line of boys gaze at the reader before the book’s final declaration, “I am worthy to be loved.”
VERDICT Pulsing rhythms and bright images combine for a worthy and timely choice for every collection.

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