Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day [Book Review] #KidLit #MiddleGrade

August 2, 2022

Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day by Kelly J. Baptist

Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day by Kelly J. Baptist (cover) Image: A young African American boy (with blue cape) and girl stand looking at the camera

Genre/Categories: Children’s Contemporary Fiction, Middle Grade, Family Life, Diverse Read

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @RandomHouse @CrownPublishing (Crown Books for Young Readers) for a complimentary e ARC of #IsaiahDunnSavesTheDay upon my request. All opinions are my own.

In this follow-up to Isaiah Dunn is My Hero, Isaiah and his sister and mom continue to live with Miz Rita. As Isaiah starts middle school, his home life is more stable, Mama is feeling better, his poetry business is growing, he continues to work at Rock’s barbershop, his best friend Sneaky has a new side hustle, he starts working with the Rockets Reach Back mentorship program, and he continues to rely on his dad’s journals for inspiration and guidance.

My Thoughts:

Isaiah is still the same lovable, kind, earnest, and creative boy from book one!

Although Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day can be read as a stand-alone, it’s a richer reading experience having first read Isaiah Dunn is My Hero.

Isaiah is an inspirational main character whom you can cheer for! He’s relatable, a caring big brother, a responsible son, and an excellent role model for young middle-grade readers.

So much to love: I love that Isaiah writes poetry and that his business partner is a girl. I love that Isaiah agrees to become a mentor for a troubled elementary school kid and that he is growing in his desire to help others. I love that he’s a writer. I love the way he meets life’s challenges and overcomes obstacles. I love that Isaiah is not perfect but he’s growing. Isaiah is one of my favorite young literary characters.

I love having reading recommendations for boys in the 9-11 age range! If you want to add more diverse reads to your home or classroom library, these books are an excellent choice. I hope the author will continue with the series as Isaiah grows and faces new challenges.

My Rating:  4 Stars


Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day by Kelly J. Baptist (cover) Image: A young African American boy (with blue cape) and girl stand looking at the camera

Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day Information Here

Meet the Author, Kelly J. Baptist

Author Kelly BaptistKelly J. Baptist has been writing since…well, since she learned how to write! She won the 2015 We Need Diverse Books short story contest with The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn, which is included in the middle-grade anthology, Flying Lessons and Other Stories. As a result of her work in an urban school district, Kelly felt compelled to continue Isaiah’s story. Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero is her debut middle-grade novel. Kelly has also written a picture book, The Electric Slide and Kai, which is set for publication in the spring of 2021. When she’s not actually writing, Kelly is usually thinking about new story ideas…and dreaming of palm trees while living in Southwest Michigan. Kelly works as a middle school Social Emotional Learning Interventionist, is a Hamline MFAC student, and keeps beyond busy with her five amazing children, who always give her plenty of story ideas and background noise to write to.


Is Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day on your TBR or have you read it?
Do you enjoy an occasional Middle Grade read?

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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  1. I don’t have any close relatives in this age group, but if I did, I would definitely get them this book. Positive role models are so important

  2. I read Isaiah Dunn is My Hero after you recommended it, Carol. I then recommended it to several teacher-librarian friends who are still working. I will do the same with this one. Nice to see that Isaiah is still such a great character.

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