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On this the 19th Day of February, The Brown Bookshelf is honored to highlight: MAURICE BROADDUS Maurice Broaddus is an exotic dancer, trained in several forms of martial arts–often referred to as “the ghetto ninja”–and was voted the Indianapolis Dalai Lama. He’s an award winning haberdasher and coined the word “acerbic”. He graduated college at [ Read the full article… ]

Day 18: Ashleigh Corrin

By day, Ashleigh Corrin has worked as the graphic designer of greeting cards, textiles, magazines, and more. By night, she an iIllustrator, making her debut in children’s publishing with the bold and expressive  “Laylaa’s Happiness,” written by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie (Enchanted Lion Books). Corrin’s illustrations are light, textured, and full of emotion. Here’s where you [ Read the full article… ]

Day 17: Sade Fadipe

A Visit to Grandad: An African ABC is an “alphabetical adventure” set in Modakeke, Nigeria, with characters who are “positive models for the African culture, food and way of life.” It is written by today’s picture book author honoree, Sade Fadipe. A Visit to Grandad was first published in England as A Fun ABC before its U.S. [ Read the full article… ]

Day 16: Justin A. Reynolds

I was born to a mother who loves to read, to a woman who was always crafting stories of her own. I can recall her sitting at her word processor and her fingers flitting across the keyboard in great urgency. This was a person who was also a middle school teacher, and who would later become a librarian at a public library.


In 2019, I had the pleasure of meeting Ronni Davis during a writing retreat near Seattle, Washington. She was hobbling around on crutches, trying to keep up. She was a newbie at the writing retreat, but it didn’t take long to become friends with this wonderful writer and amazing person. After reading her debut, WHEN [ Read the full article… ]

DAY 13: Ibtihaj Muhammad

Changemaker and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad breaks barriers. She was the first Muslim American woman in hijab to compete for the United States in the Olympics. She was the first Muslim American woman to earn a medal in the games, scoring bronze in the women’s saber team event. She inspired the first Barbie in hijab, a [ Read the full article… ]


One of the highlights of the many highlights Kwame Mbalia has received is definitely the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for TRISTAN STRONG  PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY. Kwame said, “It rattled me to my core. I never dreamed that my book would resonate with readers like it did, and I’m incredibly grateful, thankful, and [ Read the full article… ]