Free novels for classroom libraries to celebrate Black History Month


Riley Devlin

Library Media Specialist Nicole Glaser holds the book, Stamped, a New York Times Bestseller, and she stands in front of a periodic table display created for Black History Month on Feb. 24, 2022.

The local Virginia Beach Public Library donated copies of the novel, Stamped, to the English department in order to help Ocean Lakes build its independent, classroom libraries. 

Each teacher in the department received a copy during the week of February 21-25.

“The author wanted to write a book that made sense to teenagers. He wanted to write a book that made sense to the normal kid who doesn’t have the background or years of experience but has experienced racism,” said Library Media Specialist Nicole Glaser. “We have a lot of his books in our library that entice young readers.  And because Jason Reynolds has cemented his place in young adult literature, the reader trusts him and embraces his experiences and his challenge to all of us to be better.”

Author of Stamped, Jason Reynolds, a contemporary Black History speaker, shared the importance of Black History Month at an event held at the library earlier this month. Although Glaser was not able to attend the event herself because it was sold out, she was inspired to promote authors like Reynolds and include other local black heroes in a periodic table display in the library.

“I didn’t create the periodic table; I just remixed it and added our local Black heroes like Pharrell Williams, Gabby Douglas, and OL’s own Olympic star- Yogi Booth,” said Glaser. “We all know about Rosa Parks, we all know about Martin Luther King Jr., but let’s talk about some of the creators; let’s talk about some of the innovators that have done really important things too.”