Featured Author

CROWN Please join us for Library in the Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 at Big Eleven Lake Park, located at 10th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas!

Our Featured Author

Derrick Barnes

The 2018 Library in the Park's featured author is Derrick D. Barnes, who authored the critically acclaimed picture book CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. Illustrated by Gordon C. James, the children's book is a poem Barnes wrote after being inspired by a teen's trip to the barber. Barnes wrote the following about the inspiration: "It took me back to when I was a kid, and how sitting in that barber’s chair and receiving a dope haircut was probably the only place in the Black community where boys are treated like royalty. Still are. It’s a poem about self affirmation and how the world may not see your brilliance, or your beauty, but you do, and everyone around you that loves you can definitely see it, recognize it."

The book has received the following awards: 2018 Esza Jack Keats Award, Newberry Honor, Caldecott Honot, Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor.

Hear Derrick Barnes talk about being a writer and about his book series Ruby and the Booker Boys



Learn more about Derrick Barnes

Derrick D. Barnes is from Kansas City, MO. He is a graduate of Jackson State University in Jackson, MS with a BA degree in Marketing. His first two books were Stop Drop and Chill and The Low Down Bad Day Blues. He also wrote the YA novel The Making of Dr. Truelove, which was recognized by the American Library Association as a Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers. Additionally, he writes the best-selling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. Prior to becoming a published author, Derrick wrote best-selling copy for various Hallmark Card lines and was the first African American male staff writer for the company. He is the owner of a creative copy writing company, Say Word Creative Communications. He is also the creator of the popular blog Raising The Mighty, where he ‘chronicles the experience of bringing up four beautiful Black boys in America’. His next book is entitled The King of Kindergarten. Derrick resides in Charlotte, NC with his enchanting wife, Dr. Tinka Barnes and their four sons, Ezra, Solomon, Silas, and Nnamdi (Nom-dee). For more information about Derrick Barnes, please visit him online by clicking here.