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Book Review: "I Am Every Good Thing", by Derrick Barnes


Most of the children’s books I’ve encountered that featured a black lead character, the character was a girl. As a proud Boymom and aunt I was eager to find a book that centered around the main character being a black boy. I found it in “I Am Every Good Thing.”


This phenomenal book written by Derrick Barnes should be required reading for every young black boy (really every child- more on that later). In a world that seems to be designed to tear them down, this book is uplifting and celebrates all the terrific things that black boys are. It explores their rambunctious, tender, innovative, inquisitive, vulnerable and fun loving side. It celebrates the past that shaped them, all the wonderful and different things they are and explores all the possibilities they can be.


It humanizes black boys and takes them from being simply a monolith derived from fear and calls them by their true names:

son, brother, favorite cousin, nephew, loyal friend.


It emphasizes that every black boy is not to be discarded but is “a force of nature”, “a miracle” and “a blessing”. They are “the sound in a forest, when the tree falls.” They are “worthy to be loved” AND respected.


This book is so profound, so timely and so very necessary. The accompanying art work (and it’s so much more than illustrations) is dynamic, colorful and complementary to the engaging and descriptive text.


As I always state, representation is important for so many reasons. This book isn’t simply for black boys. This is for every child of every race and culture to read, learn about and appreciate someone who is different from then. If that happens, then maybe one day there won’t be a need to emphasize that Black Lives Matter.


I could go on, but I’ll simply say run, jump and race to get this book. It will not disappoint.


**Pictures are those posted on Amazon.