H Is for Harlem by Dinah Johnson, illustrated by April Harrison

Published by Christy Ottaviano Books

Summary:  An author’s note introduces Harlem, giving a little historical context before exploring the neighborhood from A to Z.  Whether historical (W for Madam C. J. Walker, X for Malcolm X) or contemporary (C for Harlem Children’s Zone, I for Impact Farm), the text and illustrations combine to bring Harlem to life as a vibrant neighborhood with a rich history.  Readers will learn of places to visit like the Apollo Theater and the National Jazz Museum and of performances like the Boys (and Girls) Choir of Harlem and the Harlem Globetrotters that they may want to attend someday.  48 pages; grades K-4.

Pros:  I was ready to hop on the train and take a trip to Harlem after reading this colorful book with its lively illustrations of so many fascinating people and places that have shaped this amazing neighborhood over the years. A definite contender for a Coretta Scott King Award.

Cons:  Some additional resources, particularly websites, would have been a great addition.

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