Sunday, March 5, 2023

*Review* I Grab the Mic by Malik Sickstein


Genre: Children's 5-8 years
Published: May 16, 2023
Pages: 32

I Grab the Mic is a series featuring kids and challenging scenarios, all written through the lyrical verse of a hip hop artist. In this first story, a young Black girl and her friends grapple with the nerves that comes with speaking/performing in front of a group.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is a rhyming story about kids learning to overcome stage fright by remembering why they're on the stage to begin with. Some of the reasons they give for being on the stage are part of their imaginations as they are things like being the president giving the state of the union address, which as children they're not quite ready for yet. I felt like the story was a nice balance between "I'm afraid because..." and "I can do this because...", acknowledging that the fears are valid but showing that overcoming it can lead to really great things. They rhymes didn't follow the same patterns throughout. At some points they were in like consecutive couplets, in others they felt almost limericky. But even with switching up styles they flowed well. 

The illustrations were very colorful and fun, and I liked how the text flowed through the images instead of being static at the top or bottom of the pages. The characters were also pretty diverse, and it seemed to me that there was more focus on POC characters than white characters. I could read this book several times because the rhymes flowed well, it has a good message for kids, and the pics were fun. Overall I give this book 4.75 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Malik Sickstein is a psychologist, Hip-Hop Historian, proud Bison, and recording artist who co-authored the critically acclaimed YA novel “Let Me Hear a Rhyme.” He is a committee panelist for the Virginia Children’s Book Festival and is passionate about writing children’s and adult non-fiction that express life lessons. He is the product of three places, Harlem NYC (where he was born), D.C. (his second home), and the SF Bay Area (where he lives).

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