A coming-of-age tale about a boy who discovers a love of poetry after finding his late father's journal. Adapted from a story that first appeared in Flying Lessons & Other Stories and perfect for fans of The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson.
Isaiah is now the big man of the house. But it's a lot harder than his dad made it look. His little sister, Charlie, asks too many questions, and Mama's gone totally silent.
Good thing Isaiah can count on his best friend, Sneaky, who always has a scheme for getting around the rules. Plus, his classmate Angel has a few good ideas of her own--once she stops hassling Isaiah.
And when things get really tough, there's Daddy's journal, filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, a superhero who gets his powers from beans and rice. Isaiah wishes his dad's tales were real. He could use those powers right about now!
Kelly J. Baptist's debut novel explores the indomitable spirit of a ten-year-old boy and the superhero strength it takes to grow up.
"Isaiah's optimism, drive, and loyalty to friends and family make him a hero to cheer for." -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
In this heartfelt middle grade debut adapted from "The Rice and Beans Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn," a short tale in 2017's Flying Lessons & Other Stories, 10-year-old Isaiah Dunn's life has been spiraling out of control since his father died four months ago. His mother struggles with alcoholism, his family is in danger of being evicted from the cheap motel they moved into after losing their apartment, and his very real frustrations being "the only one who gets in trouble," among others are causing problems at school. The Black boy's only comfort comes in his father's notebook of stories featuring a superheroic, fictionalized version of Isaiah. Determined to earn the money needed for a new apartment, he tries his hand at selling candy to classmates and sweeping up hair at a barbershop, while quietly connecting with his father's stories through his own emerging talents as a poet and writer. Baptist offers an age-appropriate look at burgeoning homelessness without an overly neat ending, starring an indomitable protagonist who confronts bullies and faces his own flaws. Isaiah's optimism, drive, and loyalty to friends and family make him a hero to cheer for and lend a feeling of hope to this exploration of difficult topics. Ages 8 10.