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Hello friends,

Thank you for subscribing to The Irby Review and sharing your thoughts with me each month! Here are some thought-provoking articles I discovered this past month that I want to share with you:

Depression in Black Boys Begins Earlier Than You Think
The possible causes of suicide, and the risk factors for Black boys 5-11 must be understood in order to address the disparity of suicide rates between white boys and minorities. As depression may manifest differently in minorities, they are less likely to be diagnosed properly. Risk factors, like missing school because a male child feels unsafe, and harsher school punishments given out due to biased beliefs and misunderstandings, can lead to hopelessness. Psychology researchers recommend the following ways to support the mental health of Black boys:
1) Educating teachers and administrators about cultural bias, and depression in Black boys;
2) Updating mental health counselors and social workers on best practices with minorities;
3) Creating protective factors for vulnerable boys through mentoring and after-school programs;
4) Giving them positive relationships with adults. Read More

JetBlue's "Soar With Reading" Initiative Brings Free Book Vending Machines for Kids Across NYC
Kudos to JetBlue for helping to deter the decline in reading during the summer months in underserved neighborhoods with it's expansion of free book vending machines in New York. 14-year old Marley Dias, author, and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks partnered with the "Soar With Reading" initiative from the airline. The erosion of reading development when kids are out of school has been repeatedly discussed, and the impetus behind the free books. Check it out. No excuses. Read the article and find out where great titles including Marley's book, "Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!"  are located in your New York borough. Read More

15 Independent Black-Owned Bookstores Reclaiming Their Shelves and Community
It's no secret that bookstores are disappearing, especially Black-owned book stores. However, the African American Literature Club suggests that recent effort to support Black literature within the Black community may have spurred a rise in independent Black-owned bookstores during the past year. From The Bronx, New York, to Sacramento, California, check out this amazing list of Black-owned book stores! There may be one in your hometown or a city you plan to visit soon. Please tell them Barbershop Books sent you. View here

'Jeopardy!' Star James Holzhauer On His Children’s Book Strategy
The odds of a professional sports better, investor, and dad winning money on the game show Jeopardy were pretty high, but the unique strategy James used to prepare for the awe-inspiring winning streak took everyone by surprise - reading children's booksDr. Seuss and other classics were the go to books for James Holzhauer's parents, but young James told Publishers Weekly in an interview, he moved onto nonfiction quickly. In order to prep for Jeopardy, he visited multiple children's libraries and began diving into kids' books again.   Read More

This Is What A Great Book Does To Your Brain
A really good book can stimulate conversation, new thinking, and enhance our vocabulary.  Neuroscience research reveals that "deep reading" also intensifies the reader's empathetic connection to characters- putting oneself into the shoes of others. Interestingly, the brain mirrors the actions and feelings of the characters in a book. Find Out More

Please let me know what you think by replying to this email. I'd love to hear your thoughts about any of these articles. 


Alvin Irby
Founder & Chief Reading Inspirer
Barbershop Books


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