Can I Touch Your Hair?
Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship

ISBN: 978-1512404425

Co-written with Charles Waters
Illustrations by Sean Qualls & Selina Alko
Now available in the UK from Oneworld
Now available as an Audiobook

Can I Touch Your Hair? Discussion Guide

  • 2020-21 William Allen White Children's Book Award Grades 3-5 Master List

  • 2019 White Ravens selection

  • Featured Title, 2019 Ultimate List of Diverse Children's Books

  • 2020 Blue Hen Book Award (Delaware Library Association) nominee

  • 2018 Nerdy Book Club Best Poetry Book

  • 2018 Cybils Poetry Finalist

  • Kirkus Reviews'Best Middle-Grade Book of 2018

  • 2019 NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor Book

  • 2019 NCTE Notable Poetry Book

  • Best New Friendship Books
  • 2018 Book all Young Georgians Should Read
  • 2018 Girls of Summer Reading List
  • 100 Progressive Books for Children
  • NEA 2019 Read Across America poster
  • 2019 ALA Notable Children's Book
  • 2019-20 Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award title for grades 3-6
  • Michigan Reading Association Great Lakes Great Books Award 2019-2020 title
  • 2019-2020 Beehive Award nominee (Children's Literature Association of Utah)

  • Book Riot's 8 Great Picture Books about Friendship

    "one of the best titles of a work of poetry that we've seen in years."
    - Betsy Bird, Fuse #8 Production

    Gallery of Readers' Art and Poems Inspired by the Book

    Find out more:
    Kirkus Fully Booked podcast "Irene Latham and Charles Waters"

    The Horn Book Magazine "Exploring Race, Mistakes and Friendship Through Poetry" with Roger Sutton

    Travis Jonker - The Yarn "We knew we had to lay it all out there"

    "A fresh approach to exploring interracial communication...a brave and touching portrayal worthy of sharing in classrooms across America."

    "The poems delicately demonstrate the complexity of identity and the power of communication to build friendships."
    - Publisher's Weekly STARRED REVIEW

    "Young readers searching for means to have difficult, emotional, and engaged discussions about race will find an enlightening resource in Irene and Charles'explorations."
    - Booklist

    "...a beautifully direct yet somehow outstandingly subtle work that will allow young readers to navigate and understand their places in their communities and the greater world."
    - Shelf Awareness

    "This volume would make an excellent read-aloud or a launch pad for collaborative classroom writing."
    - The Horn Book Magazine

    See Irene and her CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? co-author Charles Waters read and perform poetry!