Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James
(Agate Bolden, Oct. 10, 2017)
Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young ReadersA Newbery Honor BookA Caldecott Honor BookA Coretta Scott King Author Honor BookA Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor BookAn Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award BookAn Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor BookA Society of Illustrators Gold Medal BookNamed one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, the Huffington Post, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Horn Book Magazine, the News & Observer, BookPage, Chicago Public Library, and more The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices. A fresh cut makes boys fly. This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.