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I Am Every Good Thing

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4.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,602 ratings  ·  498 reviews
I am
a nonstop ball of energy.
Powerful and full of light.
I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader.


The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other ti
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,602 ratings  ·  498 reviews


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LaDonna
WOW!!! By now, you know that I am someone always on the look out for books that speak to our young people and encourage them to find and know their worth. I definitely found it in I Am Every Good Thing !

The lyrical words of Derrick Barnes set to the vibrant illustrations by Gordon C. James left me speechless on my initial read. This book empowers young African American boys to know that they are so much more than what others often give them credit for. I Am Every Good Thing encourages ou
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Jillian Heise
I'm crying reading the end of this gorgeous picture book from the team that brought us Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. Genuine and deep love for all that Black boys encompass shines through in this affirming story. I know just which boys in particular in my school are going to gravitate toward this book because they will feel so deeply seen by what's within its pages. Thank you for this gem, Derrick & Gordon! This book is EVERY good thing about picture books and the impact literature and represe ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books. Every Good Thing, written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James, is book #10 (of 20) of 2020. Poems for boys, about self esteem.

Hank (14): 3.5 stars. I like the art but the writing was just okay.

Harry (15): 4.5 stars. Cooool! Cool art!! A fun-loving book that is inspiring..

Tara: 4 stars. I really like this one. More of a kids’ book than the others. And most of the little poems were good and upbeat. Good mes
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Erika
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t ready for this book to end. Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James are my favorite author-illustrator duo. Our society desperately needs this book. I love how this team celebrates black boys and reminds them they are so much more than what society oftentimes tries to diminish them to be. They are every good thing.
Mariah Roze
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super cute children's picture book!

"The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he's afraid, because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are. There are superhe
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Rod Brown
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Annual Goodreads Choice Awards reading project: Read all the Picture Book nominees! (3 of 15)

I am not a fan of picture books whose sole purpose is to be inspirational, and indeed I am not a fan of inspirational books in general. I prefer a story or humor over a string of statements and metaphors, no matter how sincere or well intentioned. Nice pictures though.
Shaye Miller
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this beautiful book, written by the authors of Crown: An Ode To The Fresh Cut and dedicated by Barnes to Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, EJ Bradford, Jordan Edwards, Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, and Julian Mallory. This book celebrates all the wonderful things young black boys are, ending with “I am worthy to be loved.” The illustrations were done with oil paints.

For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog a
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Abby Johnson
Yes, this book is everything I wanted it to be. From the multiple-award-winning creators of Crown: Ode to the Fresh Cut, this is another gorgeous picture book that celebrates and affirms Black boy joy. This is a book to buy for all your sons and I think it's a must for Black households with sons. Joy oozes out of every page and it's a book that reminds Black boys that they are worthy of love and respect. ...more
Kris Patrick
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hamilton East PL, if you are reading this, what happened? Why is this not yet on your shelves? I couldn't wait on your hold list any longer.

I went ahead and purchased to read and to gift to my niece's kindergarten teacher.
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Haley Shaffer
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is the epitome of Black joy. Filled with positive messages that celebrate Black boys.
🌟I love to use picture books as copy change models with my 8 graders. This book will be the first copy change writing of next year.
The repeated “I am” invites students to talk about their experiences in everyday life. If you use George Ella Lyon’s Where I’m From poem, I challenge you to replace it with this book. #disrupttexts

coming in September

PS: This book needs to be on your Caldecott and Newbery
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Shari
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A stunning, beautiful, awesome picture book with a powerful message. I buying one for Chase. Put it in a text set with THE UNDEFEATED. Eti, is the Caldecott Club considering this book?
Sunday
"History from Black communities tells us that educators don't need to empower youth or give them brilliance or genius. Instead, the power and genius is already within them." - Gholdy Muhammed, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (p. 13, 2020)

This book reveals just what Dr. Muhammed is talking about - how the brilliance of our Black students is already within them; they don’t need us to tell them they are amazing or enable them; they need us
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melhara
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I first read this wonderfully lyrical, poetic and beautifully illustrated picture book, I couldn't help but think of Hilary Duff's song "I Am." Like the song "I Am", this book is empowering and self-validating.

I am not what they might call me,
and I will not answer to any name
that is not my own.
I am what I say I am.

This is a fantastic book for both children and adults. You are who you say you are - don't let others define you.

I am a brother,
a son,
a nephew,
a favourite cousin,
a gra
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Cassandra
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Derrick Barnes and Gordon James have done it again. "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" blew me away because the tone and message was so different than most of what's out there, but here's another book of joy, positivity, and power. The mental imagery conjured up by Barnes' musical prose is complemented perfectly by James' lively illustration. Every child should read these affirmations. ...more
Glenda
A gorgeous, affirming picture book beautifully illustrated. “I am every good thing” must be the mantra of every child. Highly recommended.
alisonwonderland (Alison)
Gorgeous and empowering! Directed to young Black boys, this book nonetheless made a profound impact on me (a white, 50-something woman).

From the jacket flap copy:
“Let’s hear it for everything that makes you the amazing, awesome, inspiring kid you are ... You are every good thing that makes the world go round. So go ahead and show us your magnificence—all the things that make you, you.”
Kingtchalla83
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"I am not what they might call me,
and I will not answer to any name
that is not my own.
I am what I say I am."

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James, needs to be in every household. It does not matter if the color or gender, but little Black boys especially need this book. Gifted it to a friend, loved one, or coworker!

Barnes writes the book in the form of a poem that yields uplifting affirmations. A genuine smile appeared on my face as I flipped the page and saw
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Beth
In a society that fears Black men and treats Black boys like adults, books that remind Black boys of their goodness are so important, and also, an unlearning that must happen for white children and adults who implicitly see Black boys and men as threats.

I hope in my lifetime a book like this won’t seem like a paradigm shift and instead will only be looked upon as a sweet, uplifting book for children.
Tabrizia
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Edelweiss and Penguin Random House for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

The artwork was amazing. The writing was poetic and beautiful. And this picture book presented a vital and important message that needs to be heard from the mountaintops. What more can be said about vital and relevant picture book?
Kellee Moye
Read by the author on a Penguin webinar 6/24/20

This book is every good thing. Perfection! It is an ode to everything that young Black boys truly are. Everyone is going to want this for their classroom, for all levels!
Sarah Krajewski
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Uplifting, powerful, and downright beautiful. A book to read in every classroom. Black boys—Black children—need this book.
Agnė
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5
"I am every good thing that makes the world go round.
You know--like gravity, or the glow of moonbeams
over a field of brand-new snow.

I am good to the core, like the center
of a cinnamon roll.

Yeah, that good."

I Am Every Good Thing is a sweet, poetic and beautifully illustrated picturebook of positive -- empowering -- self-affirmations.
"I am not what they might call me,
and I will not answer to any name
that is not my own.
I am what I say I am."

Although I personally prefer picturebo
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Jennifer
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“I am not what they may call me, and I will not answer to any name that is not my own. I am what I say I am.”

And the narrator of this exquisitely illustrated picture book is confident, funny, smart, adventurous, and creative. The authors ooze love for children; there is no way for a child to read this and NOT feel seen & cared for. It offers a representation that is sorely needed while embracing every child for all their gifts.
Westerville
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"A joyous ode to identity and affirmation..." - Robin, Youth Services

Reserve a library copy.
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Cat Fithian
Affirming and re-affirming, bringing great language for individual kids, reminding us all that each child is a good, blessed gift. This book shows that each child has great potential, and everything within them to reach that potential.
Reading it aloud, I'd want to add music so the main message is more "chantable".
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booksbythecup
What a great book for kids. Even for adults. A reminder to celebrate our young people and encourage good Abad balanced self esteem. This book made me smile and I'm eager to share with my nephew. Thank you Decatur Book Festival for this gifted (and signed copy). ...more
Karissa
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gr-choice-award
I love that this book exudes confidence for children to be themselves. My only caveat to this book is that it has no plotline so I'm not sure how interesting it would be for children. ...more
Krissy
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Read with my son. Awesome little book. Great story, great illustrations, great colors, great message. An easy 5 stars.
Hannah
Dec 02, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020, picture-books
I love it I love it I love it
Molly Cluff (Library!)
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic illustrations--just like in Ode to the Fresh Cut, so no surprise there. The text almost reads like standup poetry or a speech rather than a story structure. Very voicey, full of literary devices and metaphor-heavy, so probably best for school-age kiddos rather than preschoolers. Lots of empowering positive affirmations! And that cinnamon roll line is just scrumptious.
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Where I come from, no one dreams of becoming an author.

I didn’t know any famous African American male authors. I didn’t actually meet one until I attended college. I wanted to be a football player, the next Sean Combs, or a rapper; anything that would instantly provide me with the riches I would need to “move my mama off of the block”. I was raised in a single parent household by my mother, the lo
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  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
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