Cover Image: For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World

For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World

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Member Reviews

A powerful narrative told through the conversations of a father and son. It is not overly wordy but very clearly gets the message across to the reader through careful use of words and beautiful imagery. The author very cleverly uses their dialogue to share with the reader the injustices faced by the black community. 

At first as the father shares all the experiences that are happening in their community his son didn't want to talk anymore about it. After a period of time, he is ready to talk and is empowered to take action. 'everyday there are people working to make this world a better place'. We are left with the beautiful message that he can change the world and that there is a hope. 

A great concept, masterfully delivered.
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A beautifully, touching book about a young boy who is trying to make sense of the world around  him as he sees many young Black men dying. He asks many questions but isn't ready to talk about things until he's ready to help create change!
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Anyone aware of what is going on in the US (or the world) is aware of the atrocities perpetuated against BIPOC communities. The unwarranted killings of Black individuals, and often Black boys, by authorities is troubling and needs to stop. How do parents, especially parents of BIPOC kids, talk about these incidents while still giving their kids hope? Michael M. Waters has provided a picture book to help you do just that.

For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World discusses a few of the cases in which Black people have been killed, often by police. There is no way to address all of the incidences. The number of Black and Brown bodies has been collecting since colonizers stepped foot on these shores and continues adding to the tally. When Jeremiah asks his parents questions, they don’t have all the answers. However, that doesn’t stop them from talking to him about such a difficult topic while still giving him needed space to reflect on what he learns.. At the end of the book, when he is finally ready to talk, his parents focus on the people who are working to change things, providing hope to what can feel like a hopeless situation.
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Wow. This is an important book for young Black boys. First, there are not many directed at this group. This book changes that and really raises the bar on the type of content we expose our kids to. Throughout, Jeremy was curious and I love that readers were able to read about real issues dealing with race...the hard topics for some families but a must for Black families. Overall, the illustrations were very nice and I liked the book's topic.
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Loved the illustrations in this book. Very impressive way for one's theory and explanation on what is going on in the world today and how it can be saved. A lot of poc would enjoy this
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THIS BOOK!!! *claps* This is a wonderfully written children's book with just the right amount of maturity that children can understand. It is an amazing conversation starter to discuss the Black Live Matters topic with young kids. It was cleverly written and thoughtful as well as infographic. I enjoyed all illustrations. My heartstrings tugged for the little boy in the book and his innocence.  

Lesson: educate the young early, nurture their young minds into strong smart individuals. It is never too early for them to learn the hard truth, the world is ugly and unsafe, it is time they learn how to best protect themselves and others while maintaining their empathy and kindness.
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Don't skip the author's note.

This is a great book to start conversations with your child. I will definitely be sharing this book with my own child.
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Wow! This is a heartbreakingly beautiful picture book that discusses how to be a change-maker. Jeremiah, a young Black boy, notices all of the instances of hatred toward Black people. He asks his parents questions about who was killed and why, but doesn't want to talk about the events any further. As he feels weighed down by the overwhelming amount of hatred on display, he finally talks to his parents and asks what they can do to change the world and they make a plan to be change-makers together.

The author's note and discussion guide are chock full of valuable information to help guide conversations with children about race.
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Right from the beginning I felt a part of this story. I was  with a young Jerimiah in the kitchen with his mom and dad when his  greatest dream was to grow locs.  As the story continued I watched with sadness  as Jerimiah learned  of the injustice happening around him.- Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, the Charleston Nine, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Jordan Edwards and many more.  He tried to make sense of it and watched as his parents did their part by joining peaceful protests, voting, organizing, and praying.  They supported him as he tried to make sense of the senseless and model for him their belief that he, his sisters and friends will be able to bring positive change to our world.  
   The book ends with a discussion guide created by the Muhammad Ali Center. It includes resources to help lead deep discussions. It includes suggested readings of change makers to serve as role models. 
         I highly recommend this book for the home, the library and the classroom. It introduces a difficult subject with compassion and offers ways to create change. A change we very much need.
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I liked but didn't love this book that offers a hopeful look at a future free from gun violence and racially motivated prejudice. Though the text was soaring and hopeful, I do feel that many issues affecting black communities were conflated in order to simplify the story.
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This is a children’s fiction book but it is based on events that happen in real life every single day. Therefore this book is about a young black boy who talks to his father about why Black people are being shot and killed. The young boy wants a better world. This book is a discussion within a family about what we can all do to keep each other safe and make the world a better place. Topics of race and gun violence are included. These are very important topics that we need to talk about with our children. This book shows how important it is especially for black families to talk about these topics. 

I just reviewed For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World by Michael W. Waters. #ForBeautifulBlackBoys #NetGalley
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This is a book that I wish did not need to be written, but I'm glad that for many black boys, it exists. This book is full of the horrors that impact all black people but our perspective is through the eyes of a little black boy named Jeremiah. Jeremiah, who starts growing locs at the beginning of the book, sees many black men and boys murdered throughout the growth cycle of his hair. It's quite depressing to see that in the span of what is likely two to four years, this child has witnessed the distressing, painful, and terrifying images of dead black men and boys who look like him on a frequent basis. Even more depressing is the fact that for some children, they've never known a world where there weren't images of unarmed black people being killed in the street on the evening news. Jeremiah is a bright, hopeful character. He is supported by his equally hopeful mother and father. I can only wish that Jeremiah's optimism and that of the little black boys who read this book rubs off on me.
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As a white American mom, this book is going to be a part of MY antiracist learning library. I love the honest story of Jeremiah and his experience watching the terrible news about Black people being murdered by police. It's age-appropriate, unpacks hard to talk about realities, and is a great conversation starter for parents and their children. I especially like the conversation guide at the back of the book.
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This is an important story to tell. It is a difficult subject to read about, but it also brings hope and action.
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This was somehow crushing and spiritual at the same time!  That a whole population of boys needs to hear this means that they've endured too much, too young.  Somehow the author puts hope and light into these pages and I'm simply in awe!
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For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World is a must-read for every parent of a Black boy, every teacher of a Black boy, every Black boy.  The reality that we show our child how to be caring and strong is clearly painting in this beautiful and powerful story.  Waters reminds us that we need to talk to our children and more importantly listen to them.  When they need to and are ready to talk, we must listen.  This book is powerful and relevant!
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This book should be in every library, school, and home. It opens the door to discussion about the fact that what  makes us human is not the color of our skin but the care we should all have for all human beings. The discussion guide is excellent and will help with a topic that needs to be talked about until we get it right.   Our hopes for the future lie in the hearts and minds of our children.  Read this book for yourself and your family.
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This is a beautiful, well-written book from beginning to end. I love that the book begins with Jeremiah asking his father if he can grow locs and in the end he is able to make the connection that growing his hair takes time, just as social equality takes time.

It is important for everyone to be made aware of the differences in the way people are treated.  It is important for everyone to know we are all the same inside but the differences outside make us special.  The color of our hair, our height, our gender, the color of our skin.  We are all special.  It is important for everyone to know we HAVE to make changes, be the changes we want to see in the way we treat others.  

I am thankful Mr. Waters has included a discussion guide, and sections about how to help prepare for the conversation, speaking about race in the classroom, and speaking about violence in the classroom. He also includes exploring change making, (in addition to discussing the book at home). 

I was given the chance by NegGalley to read this book, in exchange for an honest review.  I will be reading this book with my students first thing Monday morning.  I will be leading the change I want to see in my community.
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For Beautiful Black Boys Who Believe in a Better World is a beautiful hopeful book about what we can all do to fight injustice. This book honors that things can feel hopeless and difficult and it provides ways to talk about the problems (when kids are ready) in different settings.
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Such an important story about how to speak to children about racism and police brutality in a way that's honest and open but not overwhelming. The illustrations are gorgeous and I love that the book gives suggestions for simple things that children can start doing to make the world better.
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