Barbershop Books® Inspires Kids To Read For Fun!

Our award-winning literacy programs celebrate, amplify, and affirm the interests of Black boys.

Black boy reading a book at the barbershop

Ready to ignite your child’s love for reading? Join us for Reading So Lit Summer!

Child-friendly Reading Spaces in Barbershops Increase Out-of-school Time Reading

Barbershop Books® In the News…

Actor Jeffrey Wright honors Barbershop Books Founder as top 10 CNN Hero
Watch Barbershop Books segment on the Today Show
Watch TED Talk about Barbershop Books

Get Involved

Browse our E-Library

Features 70+ fun storytime videos and a diverse collection of independently published ebooks.

Recommend a barbershop

Want to help bring fun books to a local barbershop? Connect us with an interested shop.

What We’ve Heard

“I learned why my son loves Captain Underpants – it’s as silly as he can be – and that the genre is OK for beginning readers. Comics get a bad rep.”

— Ersula R., North Carolina

“He was able to participate in a program with peers and an instructor that reflected him. He really enjoyed participating in the program. He told me after today’s class that he wished it would have continued until school started back up.”

— Sharon M., Rhode Island

“His taste stayed fairly consistent, only he gained more vocabulary describing it. He can now articulate the genre and category.”

— April C., New York City

We inspire Black boys to read for fun by . . .

We seek out and integrate the interests, knowledge, and lived experiences of Black boys and other vulnerable children. Their voices and recommendations inform our book curation and programming.

The Barbershop Books E-Library features fun storytime videos and high-quality, independently published e-books from diverse authors.

Visit E-Library

Over the past 3 years, Barbershop Books developed and piloted groundbreaking reading identity exploration and assessment materials through our Reading So Lit™ program. Our Reading So Lit™ digital platform for grades preK-5 won the Learning Engineering Tools Competition’s 2023 Catalyst Award for the transforming assessment track.

This innovative reading tool helps children better understand and express their reading preferences. It also generates actionable, strengths-based reading data that equips educators to make student-driven decisions about content, reading instruction, and learning environments.


Barbershop Books® partners with libraries, school districts, city governments, and other organizations to support impactful family and community engagement and to expand reading opportunities for Black boys and other vulnerable children.

In participating barbershops, boys are more likely to be observed reading than doing any other activity including using a mobile device and are more likely to identify as readers than boys in shops that don’t participate in the Barbershop Books® program.

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