Eight-year-old J.D. turns a tragic home haircut into a thriving barber business in this hilarious new illustrated chapter book series
J.D. has a big problem--it's the night before the start of third grade and his mom has just given him his first and worst home haircut. When the steady stream of insults from the entire student body of Douglass Elementary becomes too much for J.D., he takes matters into his own hands and discovers that, unlike his mom, he's a genius with the clippers. His work makes him the talk of the town and brings him enough hair business to open a barbershop from his bedroom. But when Henry Jr., the owner of the only official local barbershop, realizes he's losing clients to J.D., he tries to shut him down for good. How do you find out who's the best barber in all of Meridian, Mississippi? With a GREAT BARBER BATTLE!
From the hilarious and creative mind of J. Dillard, an entrepreneur, public speaker, and personal barber, comes a new chapter book series with characters that are easy to fall for and nearly impossible to forget. Akeem S. Roberts' lively illustrations make this series a must-buy for reluctant readers.2021 New York Public Library Best Books 2021 Chicago Public Library Best Books 2021 School Library Journal Best Books 2022-2023 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2022 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor
February 23, 2021
Lexile: 760L | Fountas/Pinnell: P
J. Dillard (known as the "Barberpreneur") is a master barber, a certified consultant, and an industry leader who started cutting his own hair at the age of ten. He began cutting hair professionally in 1999 and became a shop owner while attending college at Tuskegee University in Alabama. He travels the country with his clients as a personal barber and calls Atlanta home. This is his first book series for children.
Akeem S. Roberts is an illustrator based in Brooklyn. He works as an in-house animator for Holler Studios and contributes cartoons regularly to The New Yorker
. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. When Akeem is not working, he likes to make comics about his day-to-day life on Instagram @AkeemTeam.
2021 New York Public Library Best Books 2021 Chicago Public Library Best Books 2021 School Library Journal Best Books 2022-2023 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List 2022 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor
MINNESOTA Youth Reading Awards
MINNESOTA Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award
CONNECTICUT Nutmeg Book Award
FLORIDA Sunshine State Young Readers Book Award
VIRGINIA Readers' Choice Award
WISCONSIN Just One More Page
NEW JERSEY Garden State Children's Book Award
Black Caucus American Library Association Best of the Best 2021 Booklist
★"A surefire win of a read expressly made for young Black boys to cherish."
, starred review
“Dillard has a sharp ear for dialogue, and J.D.’s conversational narration paired with the story’s gentle humor and perfectly placed pop culture references will ensure a wide appeal. Akeem S. Roberts’ cartoon-style illustrations of J.D. and his friends are packed with personality and make this a great choice for readers transitioning into chapter books. The first book in a planned series, J.D. and the Great Barber Battle feels like a winner
"The African American cultural references and community values will resonate with readers of all ages, while the joyful, wholesome story
will give them something to look forward to in subsequent entries."
—The Horn Book