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Story Time with Derrick Barnes and Gordon James

Award-winning duo, Derrick Barnes and Gordon James comprise the talent behind Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. Join them for an extra special story time and signing at Main Street Books!

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The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother's hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title, which won a Newbery Honor, Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Honor, and the Ezra Jack Keats Award, is a celebration of the way boys feel when they leave the barber's chair. 

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DERRICK BARNES is from Kansas City, MO. He is a graduate of Jackson State University with a BA degree in Marketing. He is the author of the critically acclaimed picture book CROWN: An Ode To The Fresh Cut (Denene Millner Books/Agate Bolden) which won a multitude of literay awards, making it one of the most decorated picture books in the history of children’s literature. The awards/prizes include two 2018 EZRA JACK KEATS AWARDS (one for New Writer and an honor for the magnificent illustrations). It was also a HUGE winner at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards, taking home FOUR Honor awards: the Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, Newberry Honor, and the Caldecott Honor. In October of 2018, CROWN also took home the lucrative and highly coveted Kirkus Prize For Young Readers.

He is also the author of the best selling chapter book series entitled Ruby and the Booker Boys (Scholastic). Prior to becoming a published author, Derrick wrote best-selling copy for various Hallmark Card lines and was the first African American male staff writer for the company. His next book, entitled The King of Kindergarten, will be published by Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin in the Spring of 2019. Derrick resides in Charlotte, NC with his enchanting wife, Dr. Tinka Barnes and their four sons, Ezra, Solomon, Silas, and Nnamdi (Nom-dee).

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GORDON JAMES ‘ chosen artistic genre has its roots in Impressionism.  The art of John Singer Sargent, Nicholai Fechin, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and many others inspired James to pursue a style that is both academic and expressive. As a result his work contains a lyricism not often found in contemporary art.   Be it through the sensitivity found in his romantic pieces, or commitment to excellence in his commercial work, James always connects with his viewer.  He says of his work, “When people see my art I want them to say, I know that person, I know that feeling.”

He is the illustrator of award-winning picture book, CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut and LET ‘ER BUCK: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda M. Nelson.

James currently resides in Charlotte, NC with his wife Ingrid, their children Astrid and Gabriel, and their dog Rascal.

Earlier Event: May 22
Moving Stories with Camerin
Later Event: May 29
Tunes & Tales with Jamie