Book Beat fundraiser for Gesu school in Detroit

On Sunday, December 8th, from noon until 5 pm, the Book Beat will be hosting a holiday fundraiser (bookraiser!) for the Gesu Catholic School library in Detroit. 20% of your book purchases will go directly to help put new books in the school library, that serves 180 children from K-8th grade. Local authors Wong Herbert Yee , Jean Alicia Elster and photographers John Osler and Jenny Risher have all agreed to visit on that day to sign and personalize their books. Books make the best holiday gifts! This will be a wonderful afternoon to support reading, authors and local bookstores! – and help grow a children’s library.

Detroit Jazz a new release

Photographer John Osler will be visiting from 4:00-5 pm.

We are pleased to present John Osler’s first book Detroit Jazz: Documenting the Legacy of Gretchen Valade, a book of mainly Detroit Jazz musicians taken from the Detroit Jazz Festival. This is John Osler’s first book of photographs, and the first book  to ever document the Detroit Jazz Festival, the largest festival to celebrate jazz in the world.

Visit John Osler’s website HERE.


The Family Christmas Treasury (Hardcover w/CD)A New Outstanding Christmas Anthology!

Author/Artist Wong Herbert Yee will be signing his books from 2:00-3:30 pm.

Wong Herbet Yee’s  out-of-print classic Small’s Christmas, is one of the featured titles in the new book, A Family Christmas Treasury, which also contains stories featuring Curious George, Tacky the Penguin, Lyle the Crocodile, Gossie and Gertie, and Strega Nona. The book also comes with holiday music on CD and for download— just what Santa ordered to ring in the Christmas season! Yee’s latest book Mouse and Mole Secret Valentine will also be available,

Wong Herbert Yee is the author and illustrator of Tracks in the SnowWho Likes RainFireman Small and Big Black Bear, among other books. Born in Detroit, Michigan, one of his favorite memories of childhood is of leaving the first tracks on fresh-fallen snow. He also remembers his first grade teacher tacking one of his drawings on the bulletin board—ever since then, he’s been an artist. Yee’s book Mouse and Mole Fine Feathered Friends received a 2010 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award. He studied printmaking at Wayne State University and lives with his wife and daughter in Troy, Michigan.

A Story set in depression-era Detroit

“An emotional and compelling look at how the joys of daily life and the legacy of slavery affected children of the 1930s.” – Ruth McNally Barshaw

Jean Alicia Elster will be signing from 3:00-4:00 pm.

In The Colored Car, Jean Alicia Elster, author of the award-winning Who’s Jim Hines?, follows another member of the Ford family coming of age in Depression-era Detroit. In the hot summer of 1937, twelve-year-old Patsy takes care of her three younger sisters and helps her mother put up fresh fruits and vegetables in the family’s summer kitchen, adjacent to the wood yard that her father, Douglas Ford, owns. Times are tough, and Patsy’s mother, May Ford, helps neighborhood families by sharing the food that she preserves. But May’s decision to take a break from canning to take her daughters for a visit to their grandmother’s home in Clarksville, Tennessee, sets in motion a series of events that prove to be life-changing for Patsy.

Jean Alicia Elster is a professional writer of fiction for children and young adults. She is the granddaughter of Douglas and Maber (May) Jackson Ford, whose family story is the basis of The Colored Car. Her other books include Who’s Jim Hines?(Wayne State University Press, 2008), which was selected as a Michigan Notable Book and a ForeWord Book of the Year finalist; I’ll Do the Right Thing; I’ll Fly My Own Plane; I Have a Dream, Too!; and Just Call Me Joe Joe. She was born, raised and lives in Detroit.


Heart Soul DetroitHeart Soul Detroit

Jenny Risher will be personalizing her books at Book Beat from 1-3 pm

Heart Soul Detroit is a handsome collection bringing together portraits of key Detroit personalities in photographs and informal interviews. This will make a treasured gift for anyone on your holiday gift list.

Through compelling portraits and raw interview transcripts that allow them to tell their stories in their own words, Heart Soul Detroit presents 50 of the most influential, successful, fascinating and beloved Detroiters. From super-athletes like Nicklas Lidström, Barry Sanders, Al Kaline and Tommy Hearns to internationally admired musicians like Smokey Robinson, Jack White, Eminem and Martha Reeves to business visionaries such as Berry Gordy, Lee Iacocca and Bill Ford Jr., Heart Soul Detroit showcases the men and women who put The Motor City on the map.

Jenny Risher’s photographs have been published in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Noise, Marie Claire, Curve, Parents, Redbook, Hour, and Mens Health magazines. Advertising clients include: DKNY, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Jack Spade, Hanes Corporation, Shiseido Cosmetics, Victoria’s Secret, Verizon, and Kenneth Cole Productions.

About Gesu Catholic School

“Gesu Catholic School, found on Oak Drive at the edge of Detroit’s University District, began with 200 students in 1925 as a ministry of the newly founded Gesu Catholic Parish. The school grew rapidly in its largely Roman Catholic neighborhood. At its peak in 1968, Gesu had 1,660 children in two buildings.These days, Gesu School is a smaller affair, serving about 180 students. The majority are not Catholic. Rather, they are neighborhood residents who want a safe space to learn.”  -Karen Dybis
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