New Literary Work by Alain Locke Board Chair Chosen for 2019 ILLINOIS READS Program

A new literary work by Claire Hartfield, chair of the Alain Locke Charter School Board, has been selected for the Illinois Reading Council’s 2019 ILLINOIS READS program.

Each year, the Illinois Reading Council selects book by authors with ties to Illinois for age groups ranging from infants all the way up to adults. Hartfield’s book, entitled, “A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919,” was chosen for the program’s Grade 9-12 reading list.

“A Few Red Drops” examines the 1919 riot, which began after a black teenager was killed by a group of young whites after breeching an unofficial line of segregation at a Lake Michigan beach. According to, 38 people had lost their lives by the time the eight-day riot finally came to an end.

Hartfield is also well known for her 2002 work, “Me and Uncle Romie: A Story Inspired by the Life and Art of Romare Beardon.”

Written by Hartfield and illustrated by award-winning artist Jerome Lagarrigue, “Me and Uncle Romie” is a fictional story of revered artist Romare Beardon’s childhood vacation to his uncle’s home in New York City.

The 2019 ILLINOIS READS program kicks off on Saturday, March 16 with a free-to-attend book festival at Waukegan High School’s Brookside Campus.

Visit for more information on next year’s program.

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