My Books

IMG_182228 Days (All grades)

“In recognition of Black History Month, the creators of Black Jack offer 28 capsule tributes to African-American history and culture, spotlighting both celebrated and lesser-known figures, incidents, and legislation.”-Publisher’s Weekly

“A stellar achievement for the whole year—not just its shortest month.”- Kirkus Review

Order from IndieBound

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

  

IMG_0818Black Jack (Grades 2+)

“This book is sure to be championed by reluctant readers with energy and restlessness just like Johnson's, but it is a strong selection for library and classroom read-alouds as well.” – School Library Journal

Order from IndieBound

 

 

BBBBrick by Brick (Grades 3+)

"An excellent title that provides an admirably accurate picture of slavery in America for younger readers."-Kirkus Review

 Click here for NY Times Book Review

Order from IndieBound

 

 

CAMELEONS_shorts_18Chameleon (Grades 7+)

"Kids will grab this for the immediacy in the scenes, the brutal standoffs, the fast talk at the ball court, and the elemental conflicts of coming-of-age." -Booklist

Order from IndieBound

 

 

IMG_1127.JPGDance With Me (Pre-K)

“The use of repetitive, highly chant-able wording engages this book's very young audience, supporting language development even as it encourages them to throw their whole bodies into the experience of reading it.” - Kirkus Reviews

Order from IndieBound

 

 

Diamond LifeDiamond Life (Grades 4+)

“The energetic, playful language begs to be read aloud. Combined with bright colors, bold print in a variety of fonts, and exceptional photography, this book is a winner.”- School Library Journal

 

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

Hoop Kings_1Hoop Kings (Grades 4+)

“This book will have enormous appeal for all ages; basketball fans will love it, but so will others who respond to color, lively language, and energy. Readers will experience a wild ride!”- School Library Journal

Order from IndieBound

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

Hoop QueensHoop Queens (Grades 4+)

“Smith's infectious wordplay may encourage young basketball fans to invent their own creative ways to describe the things they love. A great choice to energize poetry units."- Booklist

 Order from IndieBound

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

3602018-R1-E002

I Am America (All grades)

“From clothes and music to religion and ethnicity, this handsome picture book celebrates diversity in America today. Children will enjoy finding themselves and their friends and talking about their differences and connections.”- Booklist

  Order from IndieBound

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

worldcoverI Am the World (All grades)

"In this slim volume, photography and verse come together to present a youthful showcase of diversity, beauty, strength, and joy. A powerful jumping-off point for children beginning to study their own culture and those of the youngsters around them."- School Library Journal

Order from IndieBound

 

 

IMG_0501.JPGIF (Grade 4+)

“Kipling's powerful poem comes to life for a contemporary audience in atmospheric photographs that use the metaphor of sports.”– School Library Journal

 

 

 

IMG_0026.JPGLet’s Play Basketball (Grades Pre-K+)

 Order from IndieBound

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0173.JPGLet’s Play Baseball

Order from IndieBound

 

 

 

 

IMG_0580.JPGThe Mighty 12 (Grade 4+)

“Fans of fantasy, comic books, and adventure stories will be irresistibly drawn to The Mighty 12 for general reading.”– School Library Journal

Order from IndieBound

 

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

My PeopleMy People (All grades)

2010 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration

"In its visual simplicity, [Smith]’s picture-book presentation is a tour de force.” -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Order from IndieBound

 

 

0763652857One Death, Nine Stories (Grades 9+)

“The authors included are all well-known young adult writers, such as Ellen Hopkins, Rita Williams-Garcia, and A. S. King, and it is clear that they know and understand their audience. Despite the differing perspectives and characters, the writing is remarkably consistent in tone. The vignette feel of each section may appeal to reluctant readers who can manage a narrative in small chunks without losing the arc of the story itself. More enthusiastic readers will devour it whole.” —School Library Journal

 Order from IndieBound

 

 

IMG_0815Pick-Up Game (Grade 7+)

“Such luminaries as Walter Dean Myers, Bruce Brooks, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Robert Lipsyte examine the ways in which players, wannabes, and hangers-on interact in the vibrant, freewheeling subculture of inner-city playground hoops.” School Library Journal

Order from IndieBound

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

3602018-R1-E028Rimshots (Grade 3+)

“This unconventional book might well sneak up on kids who don't think they like to read and score a slam-dunk.”- Publisher’s Weekly

 Order from IndieBound

 

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

3602018-R1-E033Short Takes (Grades 3+)

“Varying from tight haiku to free-form rap, the poems bounce with the rhythm of the ball, rhymes jumping from the line end to the middle and back again. Stylish and immediate, this is perfect for teachers seeking accessible material for poetry units and for young fans of the game.” - Booklist

 

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

Negro leagues-2Stars in the Shadows (Grades 5+)

“Writing in snappy rhymed couplets, Smith delivers a play-by-play, inning-by-inning account of the second annual East-West Classic, held in Chicago in 1934, an all-star face-off between the best players from the Negro League.” -Publisher's Weekly

Order from IndieBound

 

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

IMG_0515.JPGTwelve Rounds to Glory (Grade 4+)

2008 Norman Sugarman Best Biography Honor Book

2008 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

Order from IndieBound

 

“It is the text by Charles R. Smith Jr. that illuminates the dazzle and daring of Ali, and ultimately the spiritual calm. He writes in a soft-rap second person singular, suggesting a poetry-slam letter of thanks for a life that has enriched us. This is a book that fulfills the mission of engaging readers until they are ready for the ever expanding adult shelf of Aliology in all its nuance and spin.”- The New York Times - Robert Lipsyte

 

Listen to Poems from this Book

 

IMG_1133.JPGWinning Words (Grade 4+)

“Smith does a fine job of evoking the action and character of the games, in words and in close-up photos. An excellent choice for reading aloud, this book should win over a wide audience, including reluctant readers.”- School Library Journal

Order from IndieBound