Be Like Me From A to Z Book Review

Title: Be Like Me from A to Z – Break Barriers and Achieve Your Dreams

Authors: Debra Alexander, Julian Alexander, Kay Craft, Allyson Martinez

Illustrator: Alison Hamilton

Publishing: Diversity Decoded, 2023

Synopsis (from Amazon):

This alphabet book “explores Black history through the stories of people and movements that remove obstacles, create opportunities, fulfill dreams, and pave the way for progress for all people.”

Opening Lines:

The Amazons came from African Benin. Fierce warriors, strong fighters, inspiring women.

Why I Like This Book:

Be Like Me from A to Z is uniquely suited to readers of all ages! It celebrates the accomplishments of a variety of Black people throughout history and in present day times.

As stated in the forward, “This book invites you on a journey into the heart of diversity and to learn more about the Black people who, both in the past and today, have fought to break barriers, create benefits, achieve dreams, and make paths forward for all people.”

There are a lot of things to love about this book. The colourful and bold illustrations and the rhyming text are especially appealing. Each page is titled with the person’s name, followed by a 4-line poem, all of which have a catchy beat.

At the end of the book there are five pages of notes which give you lots more interesting details about the various people. I found the story about Jocko Graves particularly touching.

Be Like Me from A to Z belongs in every classroom from K to middle school. It’s a great way to pique interest in Black history and to celebrate all the important achievements.

I found it to be a fascinating picture book and I hope you do, too!

Story Extension Ideas

  1. If you’d like a closer look at the book check out this page where you can see a short video.
  2. Learn about the various people in more detail. In a primary classroom, this could be either a daily or weekly focus on a different person. For the older grades, the students could choose their favourite person and create a poster filled with pictures and facts they’ve gathered.
  3. Kids Activities has a great post where they share 28 different activities to celebrate Black History Month.
  4. Younger kids might enjoy this Martin Luther King paper bag puppet template.

Looking for more great books? Be sure to check out the Kid Lit page where I list all the books I’ve reviewed.

Thanks for reading!

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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