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Take Back the Block  By  cover art

Take Back the Block

By: Chrystal D. Giles
Narrated by: Genesis Oliver,Chrystal D. Giles
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Publisher's Summary

"This book made me want to step aside, hand over the mic, and listen to Wes. A must-read." (Mariama J. Lockington, author of For Black Girls Like Me)

Brand-new kicks, ripped denim shorts, Supreme tee.

Wes Henderson has the best style in sixth grade. That - and hanging out with his crew (his best friends since little-kid days) and playing video games - is what he wants to be thinking about at the start of the school year, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to.

But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy Kensington Oaks, the neighborhood Wes has lived his whole life, everything changes. The grownups are supposed to have all the answers, but all they're doing is arguing. Even Wes' best friends are fighting. And some of them may be moving. Wes isn't about to give up the only home he's ever known. Wes has always been good at puzzles, and he knows there has to be a missing piece that will solve this puzzle and save the Oaks. But can he find it...before it's too late?

Exploring community, gentrification, justice, and friendship, Take Back the Block introduces an irresistible sixth grader and asks what it means to belong - to a place and a movement - and to fight for what you believe in.

"Outstanding." (School Library Journal, starred review)

“Transformative.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

©2021 Chrystal D. Giles (P)2021 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Chrystal Giles really nailed it. I loved this book." (Linda Williams Jackson, award-winning author of Midnight Without a Moon

"Necessary and inspiring. An empowering read." (Ashley Herring Blake, author of the Stonewall Honor Book Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World)  

"Wes will welcome middle grade readers into his delightful circle of friends, his strong and loving family, and his powerful community." (Barbara Dee, author of the ALA Notable Children's Book Maybe He Just Likes You

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Great way to engage youth about history and gentrification

I enjoyed the story and found several ways to engage youth through projects and research. Looking to read more from this author.