Sharee Miller, the author of Princess Hair, has published a new book titled Don’t Touch My Hair which focuses on Aria, a young black girl who travels far and wide to avoid people who would like to touch her hair without asking. This topic is a very serious one for black women and girls with natural hair. People are constantly touching their hair or asking to touch their hair! It’s a bit creepy, annoying, and inappropriate.
Image Via Kirkus Review
Sharee Miller explores Aria’s feelings towards her own hair and how she still loves her hair even though it’s different. The book focuses on that difference and how people see natural hair as some foreign concept that needs to be explored. It shows how children should ask for permission and if they are told ‘no’ then they must accept the wishes of others and let it be.
The bright colors and beautiful illustrations break down this complicated concept so children are able to grasp it a little more while still keeping that light and fun tone. The fun yet educational children’s book empowers young children to take control of their situation and tell people not to touch their hair. This a great recommendation for young kids, black or any nationality.
Image Via Lipstick Alley
Though it revolves around the issue of touching someone without their permission, it introduces kids into the controversial topic with hilarious and over-the-top ideas such as when Aria goes into space to get away from unwanted hands. This is an amazing read for all children, it will teach them valuable lessons, but still allow them to enjoy the book for what it is.
Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Tale of a Lonesome Magical Girl, tells the tale of a black and queer teenage girl with a passion for science who discovers that she has magical powers, powers which lead her to becoming the world’s savior. While saving the world, she also explores her attraction to other girls. The book blurb describes it as:
… a fantastical coming-of-age tale of a girl who learns to let go, live a little, and best of all, believe in herself — all before her sixteenth birthday.
The novel’s author, Jaz Joyner, wrote the book to alleviate the shortage of queer black fiction on the literary scene. Joyner has said that the novel provides a “universally relatable” protagonist for anyone who has ever felt unseen, outcast, or forgotten.
Image Via Goodreads
Because they are a kind and generous soul, Joyner has blessed us with an excerptof the book, published in The Offing. The content of the novel is breathtaking; Joyner has an exceptional talent for writing magical realism. For your sensory enjoyment, here is an excerpt of the excerpt of Juniper Leaves:
Through a little peephole, I saw the fall in front of us, only it shone bright blue and the trees behind it looked like animation. There were creatures moving in the water that looked like dinosaurs. Real, actual dinosaurs. The eyelet grew, revealing the land, everything more vivid and opaque. I could see deep into the forest, and though parts of it were familiar but the little, round, wooden homes built high in the trees were like nothing I’d ever seen before. The void opened to a window twice our size and after suspending us for a moment spit us out, deep into the woods.
A memorial service will be held this week for Carol McNeal, a bookstore owner who died on May 26 at the age of 86. McNeal was the owner of Carol’s Books & Things, a place described as a “library of the black experience and a bridge across the racial divide,” according to the Sacramento Bee.
McNeal had a passion for reading and sought to bring the experience of African Americans to light, her daughter Melba Whitaker said. McNeal told the Sacramento Bee that one of McNeal’s favorite day trips had been driving to the nation’s oldest African-American bookstore, Marcus Books, in San Francisco’s Fillmore District.
“She always had a love of reading, and she would go to San Francisco to enjoy Marcus Books, and then she decided we needed something like that in Sacramento,” she said. “We (African Americans) needed a place where we could come be ourselves－everything for us, by us and about us.”
Carol’s Books & Things opened in 1984 in San Francisco as a general interest bookstore. According to her son, Tim, after McNeal began being approached by customers who specifically sought to find books featuring African-American protagonists and children’s books with black characters, she decided to use her bookstore to educate the public on the African-American experience.
“She was a lifelong learner,” Tim McNeal said. “Both she and my dad were very committed to making the lives of people around them better, so education was a big part of what they shared with people. They encouraged people to continually find ways to educate themselves.”