Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (Hardcover)

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (Hardcover)

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Author: Derrick Barnes

Illustrator: Gordon C. James

Publisher: Agate Bolden (2017)

For ages 3-8

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.

Winner of the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers

A Newberry Honor Book

A Caldecott Honor Book

A Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

A Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book