*Washington, DC — David Miller (pictured above) knows only eighteen percent of black fourth-graders read proficiently. Likewise, he’s aware that it’s increasingly difficult to find quality children’s books by authors of color.
Miller is counting on his newest work, Gabe & His Green Thumb, to be the first of many children’s books to buck those trends.
A husband, father of three, writer and social entrepreneur, Miller has published a fresh, new children’s book about Gabe Gresham, a typical kid who loves reading comic books and playing with his friends after school. In this delightful tale, one day Gabe’s life is changed forever while he’s working in his family’s garden. Written for second graders and up, Gabe & His Green Thumb is about a boy who discovers the power of growing food. The sensational book, complete with bright, bold illustrations, takes kids on Gabe’s journey as he transforms from a shy kid to an overnight celebrity because of his ability to raise championship-sized vegetables. Kids of all ages will be amazed by Gabe’s “magical” thumb, his superpowers and the way he remains humble while handling his newfound success.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 national reading assessment, only eighteen percent of black fourth-graders read proficiently, staggering statistics that Miller says underscore the need for getting black students excited about reading early and often.
“We simply must find ways to entice our children to read because we’re losing a generation of kids to the streets and the violence it spawns,” says Miller, no stranger to children’s books. “While I’m certainly not proffering that reading books is a panacea to all of our problems, I am suggesting that improving the outcomes for children of color can begin with something as simple as finding ways to engage them in the power of reading books that interest them.”
Miller is a Baltimore native who has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Baltimore and a Master of Science in Education from Goucher College. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work at Morgan State University in the fall.
A former teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools, Miller is widely known for designing Dare to Be King: What if the Prince Lives? The survival workbook for African-American males features a fifty-two-week curriculum designed to teach adolescent males how to survive and thrive in toxic environments.
Previously, Miller has authored two children’s books, Khalil’s Way and The Green Family Farm. His works have been featured on CNN, PBS and NPR and in the BBC Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, The Huffington Post and in a variety of other publications.
“What would it look like if a kid switched thumbs with the Incredible Hulk? Ask Gabe. This fantastical story about a boy’s love for gardening will spark children’s curiosity about food – and where it comes from.” — Alvin Irby, comedian, author of Gross Greg and founder of the award-winning literacy program Barbershop Books
“Gabe & His Green Thumb is a must-read book for black boys! The main character carries on the tradition of growing food in his family’s garden, and one day his life changes for the good after he acquires the superpower of supersizing vegetables. Of course, his new talent brings him both media attention and prizes, which add to the engaging tale! Complementing Miller’s outstanding work are vibrant and engaging illustrations by C.J. Love that take young readers on a visual journey that will inspire them to want to dream big and create their own gardens. This book, aside from being a cute read, can and should be implemented as a tool to inspire family/school projects around growing food and flowers.” — Dr. Nosakhere Griffin-EL, founder of Young Dreams Book Club
Gabe & His Green Thumb
With illustrations by C.J. Love
Also, be sure to follow David Miller on Instagram: @uchangenow
Dare to Be King Project