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Boys Booked on Barbershops (B-BOB)
Girls Booked on Beautyshops (G-BOB)

          Boys Booked on Barbershops (AKA B-BOB)

Girls Booked on Beautyshops (AKA G-BOB)

Cutting edge literacy programs designed to get children well groomed and well read

 Dr. Sabrina A. Brinson

Founder and National Director



 Children who are fortunate enough to be exposed to engaging stories

cherish and remember them, even through adulthood. Often, they model

primary characters or act out central themes (Brinson, 1997)


Boys Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops are national literacy programs designed to make the most of naturally-occurring opportunities for children to read in the context of their cultures and communities in familiar neighborhood sites, barbershops/beautyshops.



 Did you know that there are a lot of children who can read, but are not motivated to do so?  Or, did you

know that 9 out of 10 African American students have not mastered reading by the fourth grade

(National Center for Education Statistics; National Association of Educational Progress, 2000)? 

Therefore, focused attention needs to be given to increasing the interest of children in reading.  Boys

Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops take a lead in bringing high visibility to community-

based efforts to promote reading among children. 


 As stable businesses in the community barbershops/beautyshops are ideal settings for encouraging reading of high interest books with boys and girls.  Namely, children get their hair cut and groomed in shops where they often must wait.  Therefore, reading is an ideal way for these children to spend their waiting time.  Picture it—boys and girls reading and/or being read to while waiting to take their turn in the Barber’s/Beautician’s chair!


 Boys Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops is a creative means of exposing children (1-18) to books for three reasons-to increase their opportunities for reading, their literacy development, and their interest in reading.  The overall goal of B-BOB/G-BOB is to facilitate the on-going practice of reading for boys and girls as they make their regular visits to barbershops/beautyshops in communities all over the nation.


Participating shops house B-BOB/G-BOB Reading Nooks full of a wide variety of multicultural books designed to spark the interest of children.  Benefits include read-alouds between adults and children, shared reading among children, discussions about books read, and follow-up readings with related books.


   Launching B-BOB 


Monday, February 2, 2004, B-BOB was officially launched all over the nation.  At which time B-BOB chapters and partners began their programs and furnished participating barbershops with high-interest books (e.g., Carlos and the Squash Plant/Carlos y la planta de calabaza by Jan Romero Stevens, Crazy Horse’s Vision by Joseph Bruchac, Just the Two of Us by Will Smith, Salt in His Shoes-Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan & Roslyn M. Jordan, Ten Oni Drummers by Matthew Gollub).  Barbershops were open for four hours.  During that time family members (e.g., fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters) and various organizations (e.g., professional groups, faith-based groups, fraternities/sororities, student groups) from the community helped launched B-BOB by bringing boys to get haircuts.  Equally important, adults and children read books together, along with special guest readers who read stories aloud.

 Launching G-BOB


Sunday, August 29, 2003, Girls Booked on Beautyshops was officially launched!  At which time G-BOB Reading Nooks were set up in participating beautyshops with high-interest books like A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon, Babushka’s Doll  by Patricia Polacco, Jingle Dancer  by Cynthia Smith, Mirandy and Brother Wind  by Patricia McKissack, Mr. Sugar Came to Town/La Visita del Sr. Azucar  by Harriet Rohmer & Cruz Gomez, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters-An African Tale  by John Steptoe, One Leaf Rides the Wind  by Celeste Davidson Mannis, Raising Dragons  by Jerdine Nolen, Ruby’s Wish by Shirim Yim, Sleeping Cutie  by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Talkin' about Bessie-The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes, and When I Grow Up I Want to be Me by Sandra Mogsamen.


   Rationale for B-BOB/G-BOB


Books are a powerful means of proving positive images and interesting materials to children (Banfield, 1998).  It is important to choose books based on their worth, students' needs and interests, curriculum requirements, developmental appropriateness, student attraction, literary appeal, and cultural and social authenticity (Goodman & Goodman, 1991; Huck, Helper, & Hickman, 1993; Norton, 1991).  Therefore, introducing children to intriguing literature that features different characters, dimensions, experiences, history, and traditions is vital to their positive self-acceptance, as well as sound literacy skills, and a love of reading. 

  Male Considerations  

 Wilhelm reported certain text types like nonfiction, and features of texts such as visuals tend to engage boys more because they encourage readers to make connections to the world.  Certain text features are more applicable and easily connected to the lives of students, and that is the reason boys tend to enjoy texts with these features (2002).  Boys are usually interested in books and periodicals about hobbies, sports, and activities they might engage in, along with informational resources.  They like escapism (e.g., science fiction, adventure, and fantasy) and humor and they like to collect series of books (Simpson, 1996; Smith & Wilhelm, 2002).


Multicultural Literature

 Children seek guidance from adults and we nurture children's spirits when we respect and accept them as they are and celebrate life with them (Taylor, Brinson, & Turner, 2005).  Hence, a key goal in education is to embrace all children. Bishop (1992) identified three categories of multicultural books that can heighten awareness about diversity.  1-Culturally neutral books include illustrations or characters of color.  2-Culturally generic books focus on characters of a specific cultural group, there is little cultural information, and themes are typical of the larger American culture.  3-Culturally specific books include illustrations and details that help define a culture with specifics like attitudes, family relationships, language, names, religion, and values.


Multicultural literature is designed to give all children a SIP (Brinson, 2002):

                                           Strong Self-worth



All children need to be able to find positive images of themselves in books.  Finding just the right book or story can help a child see the importance of his or her culture and its literacy (Brewer, 2001).  Therefore, a primary objective of B-BOB/G-BOB is to identify books that boys and girls deem interesting and meaningful, to entice them into the regular practice of reading.  Titles come in different editions like big books, board books, hardcover books, and paperback books.  New titles are frequently added to the list.  Many of them are available in Spanish.  Many of them are also winners of prestigious awards like the Caldecott Medal, Carter G. Woodson Award, Coretta Scott King Award, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, Newbery Medal, Pura Belpre Award, Teacher’s Choice Award, and the Tomas Rivera Award.


B-BOB Theme Books:  Barbers by Alison Behnke, Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, Getting a Haircut-First Time by Melinda Beth Radabaugh, Haircuts at Sleepy Sam's by Michael R. Strickland, Janna and the Kings by Patricia Smith, The Barber's Cutting Edge by Gwendolyn Battle-Levert, Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell, and Will gets a Haircut by Olof Landstom & Lena Lanstrom.



G-BOB Theme Books: Hairs/Pelitos  by Sandra Cisneros, Happy to be Nappy by Bell Hooks, I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron, Ruby's Beauty Shop  by Rosemary Wells, and Saturday at the New You by Barbara E. Barber



My Grandma’s Backyard written by brothers, William (9) and Miles Rabun (7).


My Grandma's Backyard
(Xlibris, May 2007)

Today's kids are looking for an inspirational children's book to peak their interest to read and learn. Now, we have My Grandma's Backyard, which is written from a kid's perspective, by kids and about kids! My Grandma's Backyard is also an inspiration for young authors to write and publish their early writings and a testimony that it can be done even while one is still young!

My Grandma's Backyard
is a story that is a positive reflection of two African-American young brothers who visit their grandmother for the summer. The grandmother's love for nature and outdoors is shared with the boys to make summer really fun.   All communities will embrace the achievement of these brothers doing something positive and inspirational while promoting literacy, and the importance of writing and reading comprehension.


*     Young Authors - Miles and William Rabun
Contact Information: 919·845·9500


Authors' talking points:

Kids are never too young to write and publish a book. At 7 and 5, Miles and William finished their first manuscript of My Grandma's Backyard. Finally at 8 and 6 the process was complete. If you dedicate yourself to write about something you love to do and keep improving your writing after you have written it down, you can share your story with others.

My Grandma's Backyard is based on a real backyard in Atlanta, Georgia and the professional color illustrations are a real depiction of what Miles and William find and do in their grandmother's backyard.  There are bridges, stone frogs, a blue shiny ball, a kettle and much more! Cleaning out the pond is a favorite activity for Miles and William as well as reciting poems on the stage in the backyard.
My Grandma's Backyard is more than a story; there are fun activities included. The first part of includes Miles and William's original story and then continues with a matching activity, vocabulary words, reading comprehension exercises and games with an answer key.

 Discover and Explore Nature.  The world of nature surrounds us all and can be as close as your own backyard.  Miles and William found fun and adventure in rocks, flowing water, plants, insects and much more in their grandma's backyard.   

The complete list of books is provided to B-BOB/G-BOB participants.  Recommended books are selected based on demographic research (e.g., ages, ethnic group memberships) and focus on academics, acceptance of others, adventure, anti-violence, barbershop/beautyshop themes, character education, ethnic identity, family diversity, fantasy, heritage, history, humor, life lessons, mystery, positive self-attributes, predictions, and FUN!  


    Literacy Tips  

 The First Years Last Forever


·         Give Your Child a Healthy Start

·         Select Quality Childcare

·         Provide Opportunities for Play and Exploration

·         Limit Television and Watch Appropriate Shows with Child

·         Talk and Sing with Your Child Everyday

·         Provide Materials that Prepare Your Child for Writing

·         Be a Role Model by Showing Your Love of Reading

·         Read to Your Child Everyday

·         Visit Libraries and Bookstores

·         Instill a Lifelong Love of Reading


National Research Council:  During the first years and months of life, children's experiences with language and literacy can begin to form a basis for their later reading success.  Research consistently demonstrates the more children know about language and literacy before they arrive at school, the better equipped they are to succeed in reading.


Banfield, B.  (1998).  Commitment to change: The Council on Interracial Books for children
     and the world of children’s books.  African American Review, 32(1), 17-22.

Bishop, R. S.  (1992).  “Multicultural literature for children:  Making informed choices.” In
     Violet J.


Harris.  (Ed.), Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8.  Norwood, MA: Christopher-
    Gordon,    pp. 37-53.        


Brewer, J. A.  (2001).  Introduction to early childhood education:  Preschool through Primary
 (4th ed.).  Boston:  Allyn and Bacon.                

Brinson, S. A. (1997).  Literature of a dream:  Portrayal of African American characters
     before and after the Civil Rights Movement. The Dragon Lode, 15(3), 7-10.


Brinson, S. A. (2002, November).  Start early: Using multiethnic literature in P-3 classrooms.
presented at the 92nd Annual Conference for the National Council of Teachers of
    English, Atlanta, Georgia.


Goodman, K. S., & Goodman, Y. M.  (1991).  Consumer beware!  Selecting materials for whole
    language readers.  In K. S., & Goodman, L. B. Byrd, & Y. M. Goodman, (Eds.). The whole
    language catalog,
p. 119.  Santa Rosa, CA:  American School Publisher.


Huck, C. S., Helper, S., & Hickman, J.  (1993).  Children's literature in elementary school 
(5th ed.).  Fort Worth:  Harcourt Brace


National Center for Education Statistics, National Association of Educational Progress,

 Norton, D. E.  (1991).  Through the eyes of a child:  An introduction to children's literature
 (3rd ed.) New York:  MacMillan.


Simpson, A.  (1996).  Fictions and facts:  An investigation of the reading practices of girls
     and boys. English Education, 28(4), 268-79.


 Smith, M. W., & Wilhelm, J. D.  (2002).  "Reading don't fix no Chevys":  Literacy in the lives
    of young
men.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.


Taylor, S. I., Brinson, S. A., & Turner, S. B.  (2005).  Nurturing children’s spirits using
     literature.  The
Dragon Lode, 23(2), 9-16.


Wilhelm, J.  (2002).  Getting boys to read.  It’s the context!  Scholastic Instructor, 112(3),


Setting up B-BOB/G-BOB in Shops

Suggested Steps


  • Register with National Headquarters/Communicate freely as needed.

     ·         Submit annual reports on March 1st.

     ·          Identify a coordinator-Primary contact person for barbers/beauticians. 

     ·         Identify barbershops/beautyshops to participate. 

     ·         Confer (The Coordinator) with barbers/beauticians about the number of
             regular child patrons to get an idea of how many books are needed and to
             identify a place to set up reading nooks (e.g., house books and literacy
             tips).  The Coordinator obtains
demographic information (e.g., ages,
             ethnicities, interests, and hobbies of regular patrons) to use when
             selecting books from recommendations.  The C
oordinator also maintains
             reading nooks-Maintenance varies depending on size of shop, number of
             children, and number of books displayed, but monthly works well for most.
NOTE:  It is better not to display all of the books at the same time.
Instead, display some for a while and then rotate them in and out with

    ·         Refer to B-BOB/G-BOB recommendations for book selections-Remember to
             select books children identity with to encourage- and increase reading

    ·         Team with others (e.g., Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, Fraternities/Sororities,
            Librarians, Ministries) to promote literacy by getting as many "Boys
            Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops" as possible!







                          Organizational Structure  

  Boys Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops


Founder and National Director

Dr. Sabrina A. Brinson


B-BOB/G-BOB Board of Directors

Members provide guidance for the program.


B-BOB/G-BOB Partners

African American Read-In Chain, Aiken County First Steps, Boys Who D.A.R.E. (Dream about Reading Everyday), Dallas Texas County Community College District, Germantown Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, Mocha Moms Incorporated, Pee Dee C.A.P. Head Start, Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Child Development Institute, P. S. 31 Parent Teacher Association, and Top Ladies of Distinction Incorporated.



National headquarters are located in Springfield, Missouri. 

Local chapters of B-BOB/G-BOB are formed across the United States.


Community Partners

Authors/Illustrators, Barbers/Beauticians, Book Publishers, Book Vendors, Educators,

Entrepreneurs, Librarians, and Members of Community-based-, Faith-based-, Professional- and Service Organizations.


National Advocate

Stand for Children is a highly effective child advocacy organization.  It helps children by advocating for quality schools, child care, and other child-oriented programs.


Boys Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops

 Founder and National Director

Dr. Sabrina A. Brinson

(417) 836-5070



Boys Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops has national headquarters

 in Springfield, Missouri, and implements chapters in shops across the USA.  If you are interested in starting a chapter, becoming a partner, sponsor, or a participating barbershop/beautyshop please contact us.


B-BOB/G-BOB is committed to advancing the literacy of ALL children and promotes diversity and access by welcoming all ethnic groups, races, religions, educational backgrounds, and income levels.                                                   



        Boys Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beautyshops © 2003