Hold Them Close: A Love Letter to Black Children

21,000+ Reviews
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Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
Publish Date
9.21 X 11.29 X 0.37 inches | 1.11 pounds

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About the Author
Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, M.S.Ed, is a Philadelphia-based educator and children's book author. A curriculum writer and former English teacher, she has educated children and teens in traditional and alternative learning settings for 15 years. As an inaugural AMAL fellow with the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), she developed foundational curricular frameworks for youth and adult anti-racist programming. Her picture books and short stories, which feature young Black and Muslim protagonists, have been recognized as the best in children's literature by TIME magazine, Read Across America, and NPR. These works include Mommy's Khimar, Once Upon an Eid (anthology contributor), Grounded (coauthor), Your Name Is a Song, Abdul's Story, and Hold Them Close.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Patrick Dougher is a self-taught artist, musician, poet, writer, and spiritual activist. He has worked as a teaching artist in New York City public schools, as an art therapist working with HIV-positive children, and as the director of a community arts organization. Patrick uses the arts to empower and support the socioeconomic growth and health of disenfranchised youths of the city. Through his art, Patrick seeks to inspire and celebrate the noble beauty and divine nature of people of African descent.


Hold Them Close is a true work of art. This is a book to be savored and reread in classrooms and homes. -- Booklist (starred review)

[This] book is an uplifting family story as much as it is a beautifully fearless introduction to much of Black history and why learning about it is essential for understanding the modern world. -- School Library Journal (starred review)

"Thompkins-Bigelow (Abdul's Story) pens a stirring free verse love letter to Black children and community, carrying readers through a range of experiences to be held tight or dismissed." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The resulting images simultaneously emphasize a painful past, a tumultuous present, and a hopeful future, making for a tribute both sobering and jubilant." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A love poem to Black children that both educates and bolsters." -- Kirkus Reviews