Take Back the Block
Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (11/8/2021)
Winter 2020 Kids Indie Next List
— Hannah Oxley, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI
View the List
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's 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 6th 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
"Filled with hope, friendship, and grit." --Stacy McAnulty, best-selling author of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
"Timely and penetrating." --Kelly Starling Lyons, author of Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations
"Chrystal Giles's sparkling debut will have you standing up and cheering." --Lisa Yee, award winning author of Millicent Min, Girl Genius
"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
Praise For Take Back the Block…
★ "This impressive debut is notable for its depiction of how gentrification pushes the working-class poor out of neighborhoods, as well as substantive ways that communities can protest, all for a middle grade audience. Wes is a humorous, likable, relatable narrator. . . . Giles has crafted an outstanding depiction of the nuances of gentrification as well as the struggle and joys of working-class Black families and communities." —School Library Journal, Starred Review
“In dealing with challenging themes around gentrification, the story capably illustrates the practice’s social costs through characters who humanize and simplify this complicated topic for young people. The underlying message: you are never too young to make your voice heard.” —The Horn Book
Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780593175170, 240pp.
Publication Date: January 26, 2021