I get excited when I find new books and the main character is a child of color. Lately, I’ve found it challenging to find books that highlight or uplift boy characters of color and specifically black and brown young men in the early reader category. This week while looking for titles to present to the kids in my 1st- 3rd grader book club, I came across this new title. Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time (Volume 1) by Marti Dumas. Eek!
Oh my gosh, I’m so happy! I’d already started writing my own black/brown boy protagonist early reader book. (End of year publishing goals) LOL, I love to share and I’m joyfully sharing this title. Fingers crossed that the book club kids pick this one. Background- I preview two books every month (February – May) and present them to the book club for voting. Our local and fabulous Carver Museum host me, the kids and their parents during the first quarter of the year. I usually ask them (parental units included) questions about their favorite characters, why they liked them, have you ever been in a similar situation, why do you think “this” happened, how would you end this book etc.
If the kids don’t pick this title, best believe it’ll show up again on next years book vote. A lot of the book club attendees are girls, and they tend to pick books with a girl protagonist. Every once in a while they pick a boy lead title like Alvin Ho or The Carver Chronicles.
Anyway for May, I have a “girl” and “boy” title going head to head. Lulu and the Hamster in the Night vs Jaden Toussaint. I’ll keep you posted on the winner. Either way the kids win. The Lulu series has always been a hit with my newly minted seven year old and after reading Jaden Toussaint, I’m confident we’ll have a new favorite character. He’s clever and relatable. The illustrations are fantabulous. Love, love, love his fro! The quest for screen time is a constant in my house. Congratulations to the author, Marti Dumas. Much Success!
(Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)