Cleveland Public Library Joins My Brother’s Keeper Ohio to Welcome Kwame Alexander, Author of Crossover

Join us, Cuyahoga County Public Library, and The Ohio Library Council for a conversation with New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander on Monday, January 25 at 6 p.m. Alexander wrote The Crossover, which won the 2015 Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor Award. He will discuss his life’s journey, the power of books, and the value of reading.

The event will serve as the kick-off to the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) book club for Ohio students in grades 5 – 12. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown will offer opening remarks. Senator Brown has been instrumental in the re-launch of MBK in Ohio, an initiative first started nationwide by President Obama. The purpose of MBK is to erase barriers, particularly for young men of color, and create opportunities for all youth.

The My Brother’s Keeper book club will launch in early Spring. Until then, the Library encourages young people to sign up for a Library card on, borrow the book, and read it in preparation for the discussion.

You can read more about the My Brother’s Keeper initiative on OverDrive.

My Brother’s Keeper Book Club Kick-Off Event Schedule

  • 6:00 p.m. – Welcome & Introduction by Kyle Strickland of MBK Ohio
  • 6:02 p.m.- Opening Remarks by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
  • 6:05 p.m. – Remarks by Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library
  • 6:12 p.m. – Introduction of Kwame Alexander
  • 6:15 p.m. – Remarks by author Kwame Alexander
  • 6:20 p.m. – Discussion with Kwame Alexander, Moderators: Ali Boyd (CCPL) and Erica Marks (CPL)
  • 6:50 p.m. – Wrap up

About the Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 28 books, including THE UNDEFEATED, SWING, and REBOUND, the follow-up to the NEWBERY medal-winning novel, THE CROSSOVER. His story is not a rags to riches story, but it is a story of starting at ground zero as a resourceful writer and business man who sold books out of his car and at Farmer’s Markets, to becoming an expert in engaging young audiences for companies like Nike, ESPN, Sesame Street, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Follett. A regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Prize, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. Kwame is the co-founder of L.E.A.P., an international literacy empowerment organization that built the Barbara E. Memorial Library and Health Clinic in the eastern region of Ghana, and the founder of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt which publishes books that will engage, entertain, and empower young people to imagine a better world.

About My Brother’s Keeper Ohio

MBK Ohio is a statewide coalition of advocates and communities dedicated to improving outcomes for boys and young men of color – and creating opportunities for all of Ohio’s youth. In 2018, Senator Brown launched MBK Ohio in partnership with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at The Ohio State University.

MBK Ohio is developed with the support of Cleveland Public LibraryCuyahoga County Public Library, and The Ohio Library Council.