25 Books from 25 Years: DESHAWN DAYS

Lee_Low_25th_Anniversary_Poster_2_LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today!

Today we’re featuring DeShawn Days by Tony Medina and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, released in 2003 by LEE & LOW BOOKS:

deshawn daysAbout the Book: DeShawn Days introduces us to ten-year-old DeShawn’s world, where we meet his family, friends, and learn about his hopes and dreams. Author Tony Medina draws from his own experiences growing up in the projects to create this dynamic character. From neighborhood barbecues to building snowmen in the winter to experiencing the loss of DeShawn’s grandmother, readers from all backgrounds will be charmed by this upbeat, compassionate, and creative young boy.

Awards and Honors:

  • Starred reviewSchool Library Journal
  • Children’s Literature Choice List, Children’s Literature
  • Choices, Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)
  • Parents’ Guide to Children’s Media Award, Parents’ Choice Foundation
  • Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College

Resources for Teaching With DeShawn Days:

  • Our extensive Teacher’s Guide offers a wide range of teaching ideas.
  • Watch author Tony Medina read to a third grade class in Dorchester, MA.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Teacher Tip:
Tell students that poets often use what is called “poetic license.” Poets may write in dialect or nonstandard English to achieve a certain effect as Medina does in poems such as “My Cousin Tiffany.” Sometimes poets do not use capital letters or standard punctuation. Point out that Medina’s poems are not punctuated, except for the occasional exclamation point.

Other Books by Tony Medina: 

Purchase DeShawn Days here.

Other Recommended Picture Books That Celebrate Community:

bein with you this way

Bein’ With You This Way by W. Nikola-Lisa, illus. by Michael Bryant

quinito's neighborhood

Quinito’s Neighborhood/El vecindario de Quinito by Ina Cumpiano, illus. by José Ramírez

saturday at the new you

Saturday at the New You by Barbara E. Barber, illus. by Anna Rich

Have you used DeShawn Days? Let us know!

Celebrate with us! Check out our 25 Years Anniversary Collection.

One thought on “25 Books from 25 Years: DESHAWN DAYS”

  1. DESHAWN DAYS – What a wonderful gift to children. In the place where I grew up, not even purple children had books. You read some at the school library or at the downtown library. But looking back, my the time my little brothers got to middle grade, there were more and more African American children in the classrooms and on the play ground and at the “Y” or the Boys Club (They were not Boys and Girls Club then-just boys.)How we all needed DESHAWN DAYS. Thank you for the classroom video.

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