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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Jaxon's Magical Adventure with Black Inventors and Scientists is an educational book on Black history for children and preteens written by Tamara Shiloh. Jaxon was finding it quite difficult to relax -- and for good reason. In a week’s time, he’d be playing the role of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his fourth grade play. He’d been in rehearsals with his classmates and had learned as much as he could about Dr. King, but Jaxon stuttered sometimes, and he was frightened that he wouldn’t be able to perform as well as he’d like. While he sat in his room thinking about these things, a strange and unsettling thought occurred to him. What if there were no Black people in the world? The very thought was mind-boggling and made Jaxon feel so confused and upset that he began to jump on his bed to release some of the building anxiety. His sister heard him calling for his mom and came running in to warn him off the bed-jumping before his mom found out. When Jaxon began to tell Raimy about his upsetting thought, she gasped and made him stop saying it. The next morning, Jaxon discovered why she stopped him and the results were stunning.
Tamara Shiloh’s educational book on Black history for children and preteens, Jaxon's Magical Adventure with Black Inventors and Scientists, begins a series of books devoted to teaching kids about the contributions Black people have made to American history, technology and culture. At one point in the story, Jaxon’s father tells him that learning for the first time about the achievements of the Black inventors and scientists covered in this book made him happy in learning about their accomplishments, but “sad and angry that we didn’t know before.” I felt exactly the same way as I read this book. Each of the mini-biographies presented in this marvelous book deserves mention in history and science books, and I’m hoping Shiloh’s series helps to address those omissions. This is one of those books that had me sharing stories about these inventors with friends and looking forward to the next person that Jaxon would meet. Jaxon's Magical Adventure with Black Inventors and Scientists educates as it entertains, and it’s grand reading, no matter what age you are. It’s most highly recommended.