A bookseller recommends 'I Am Every Good Thing' for back to school

Throughout September, MPR News’ Ask a Bookseller will feature recommendations for children and teens to kick off the start of the school year. 

'I Am Every Good Thing' by Derrick Barnes
'I Am Every Good Thing' by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James.
Courtesy of publisher Penquin Random House

To start the month, Lorielle J. Hollaway of Cultured Books, a multicultural children’s bookstore in St Petersburg, Fla., recommended the brand-new picture book “I Am Every Good Thing” by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James.  

The picture book is filled with affirmations for black boys. 

“When there are so many negative stereotypes against black boys and black children, this is just a beautiful poem, almost a love letter, letting them know that they are every good thing,” said Holloway. She recommended it as a book for all children “because we all need to see that black boys are loved and valued.” 

Holloway couldn’t resist sharing her favorite line from the book: “I am good to the core like the center of a cinnamon roll. Yeah, that good.” 

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