Mrs. Lehew’s Book Picks


As we enter Black History month, Mrs. Lehew, the GBHS librarian, will be highlighting Black authors, and how a new perspective can help us all. Mrs. Lehew chose these books, not only because they are new to our library, but because they offer a fresh perspective for those who seek it.

This weeks book picks are: The Black Kids, Felix Ever After, and Punching The Air.

Third this week is The Black Kids, by Christina Hammonds Reed, takes place around the Rodney King riots, and focuses on Ashley Bennett, the main character, who is living a normal life in L.A. That is, until four police officers are acquitted for the assault of a black man named Rodney King. After this landmark event, Ashley is no longer viewed as just another girl. Instead she is viewed as another one of the “black kids”. When dangerous riots begin in Los Angeles, and Ashley’s family begins to fall apart, she is left to question who is the “us”, and who is the “them”. The Black Kids is a good look at what it’s like when the few ruin something for the many.

Second is Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender. Felix Love, the main character is worried that he will never find love. And while he is proud of his identity, he worries that with being black, queer, and transgender, that he is one marginalization too many. When an anonymous student begins to send him transphobic messages, after publicly posting his dead-name, Felix comes up with a plan for revenge, which lands him in a love triangle. Felix Ever After is a story all about love, and self discovery.

Mrs. Lehew’s number one pick this week is Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam. Punching The Air, tells the story of Amal Saheed, a long time artist and poet, but, due to an unfair and biased system, he is seen in his school as disruptive, and unmotivated. Then, one night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy, and Amal learns that boys just being boys, only applies when those boys are white. Suddenly, at only 16, Amal is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and must learn to take solace in his words and his art. Punching The Air is a deep and profound story about a boy that learns to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system that is trying to strip him of both.