Captivating, touching, and sincere, “Pansy Boy” tells the story of a thoughtful young boy who is tormented by his classmates because they perceive him as being different. With whimsical, thoughtful rhymes and a mixture of colorful imagery painted against a grayscale canvas, author and illustrator Paul Harfleet shows us how a seed planted by hate can bloom into a garden filled with love. the main characters optimism and hope in the face of ignorance shows the incredible strength of compassion, and after reading, will surely inspire others to go out into the world and cultivate their own spaces of love.

I was struck by the juxtaposition of Harfleet’s art style—the pops of bright colors in a sea of varying shades of gray; the unflattering expressions of the homophobic classmates versus the soft features of the main character. It adds to the depth and thoughtfulness that went into his words, weaving a beautiful narrative within the images themselves. “Pansy Boy” is not simply a story. It is a call for action, a kindling of fires, an offering of hope for those who need a reminder that there is always a way to rise above the hate.

This review was written by Takoma Bookstore Supervisor Melanie Kates

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A Reflective Minute: The Crown Act Mural Unveiling in Anacostia

Busboys and Poets is built, in part, on the premise of being a place where, “arts, politics and culture intentionally collide.” So there is no better place for Candice Taylor’s Crown Act Mural to be displayed than on the side of a wall of Busboys and Poets in Anacostia. The 2019 Crown Act was created … Continued

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Busboys and Poets – Baltimore

You may have noticed the new mural being installed on the windows of the new Busboys and Poets location Charles Village – 3224 St Paul Street Baltimore, MD This mural is titled: The Busboy and the Poet by Mia Duvall The name Busboys and Poets refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #20

FINAL POSTING FOR EVEREST BASE CAMP TRAVEL LOG. Thank you for staying with me and for your beautiful comments. Hope to see at least some of you soon. Why I am here. It is 7:15 am. Our flight out of Lukla is at 8. I savor a yak cheese omelette and my last Himalayan coffee. … Continued

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The Nepal Chronicles #1

March 2, 2021… For the next couple of weeks I will be blogging on Facebook about a trip that I have been planning the day I turned 65, which was about a year ago. I am heading to Everest Base Camp and hoping to celebrate my 66th there. I got the all clear from my … Continued

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Community Resources for COVID-19

Here are some resources that you may be able to take advantage of: Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist One Fair Wage – Emergency Funding for Tipped Employees/Service WorkersRWCF- Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund USBG- COVID-19 Relief Grants for Bartenders Restaurant Opportunities Centers- United … Continued

Busboys and Poets Books Interview: E. Ethelbert Miller

Busboys and Poets Books Interview: E. Ethelbert Miller

February saw the release of If God Invented Baseball, the latest collection of poetry from DC legend and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller. A devoted fan of the Washington Nationals, Ethelbert celebrates in the book the magic of baseball and its lessons for life.  In advance of the poet’s upcoming event at Busboys and Poets … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #15

The Sherpa of Sherpas Dawa is the name given to Buddhists born on Monday. In Swahili it means medicine man. In Arabic it means medicine. He’s been guiding these treks for ages. Doling out advice medicine to those who are willing to accept it. Today I am the fortunate one on the receiving end. The … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #13

Seeing is believing. I worry that I’ve seen too much. The beauty of everything around me can be overwhelming. I am in a constant state of awe. I worry about how the world will look when this ends in less than 10 days. For now, I am setting that worry aside and will cross that … Continued

Rising Artist Frank Ocean did something important

Rising Artist Frank Ocean did something important

“We can thank Frank Ocean, not only for making a public statement that sweeps aside shadows and offers young fans another powerfully vulnerable star to admire and emulate, but for reminding us that while proudly declaring an identity can be a politically crucial gesture, often the human heart is not so sure-footed. The process of becoming and unbecoming, loving and losing, is what often makes for the most meaningful art.” – Ann Powers, NPR