My Powerful Hair
by Carole Lindstrom
illustrated by Steph Littlebird
Abrams Books, 2023
review copy from the public library
Once upon a time, I wrote a book about the power of read aloud. One of the stories in that book was about the time when I read aloud The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. Our exploration of Byron’s new “conk” hairstyle led to a whole class share time of hair products and tools, with the highlight being my Sikh student and his mother educating us about the role of uncut hair in their religion. It was one of the most powerful moments in my teaching career.
There are now lots of books exploring hair and identity, the newest being My Powerful Hair. This book is important AND it is beautifully written and illustrated. Don’t miss the endpapers. Don’t ignore the Author’s Note and definitely don’t shy away from the shameful history of Indian boarding schools. Don’t neglect to share with your children/students that both the author and illustrator are Indigenous creators. Don’t miss this book.