Storytime with Alliah L. Agostini, Author of BIG TUNE: RISE OF THE DANCEHALL PRINCE

Book cover of Big Tune: Rise of the Dancehall Prince

Did you know that OurShelves members . . . ?

  • Receive special videos and activities that open dialogue around the expert-curated books we send to you -- enjoy the video and discussion questions below!
  • Advocate for existing diverse books during a time of unprecedented book bans and advocate for the many more diverse books still needed -- take action below!

    Enjoy this Storytime with Alliah L. Agostini, Author of BIG TUNE: RISE OF THE DANCEHALL PRINCE!

    In this video, Alliah L. Agostini reads her story to you and shares why she wrote this special book, illustrated by Shamar Knight-Justice.

    While watching this video and reading this story, you might discuss . . .
    • What is drawn on the end pages, and why do you think the illustrator drew them? (End pages are the pages at the very beginning and very end of the book.) 
    • Why do you think Shane doesn't want to dance with the others earlier in the story? What changes for Shane by the end of the story?
    • Are there events or gatherings in your community that are special to you? What makes these gatherings special to you? 
    • Why did Alliah write BIG TUNE?
    • What books do you have that reflect any parts of your life or your heritage? Is there a book you could write or draw to reflect a part of your life or your heritage? What would the title be? If you decide to write or draw a book, or even a page of a book, that reflects who you are, we'd love to see it! Email us at

    Engage your children in taking action!

    Unprecedented book bans that disproportionally target racially, ethnically and religiously diverse, LGBTQ+, and other under-represented characters, authors, and illustrators are on the rise. (Learn more from PEN America and Get Ready, Stay Ready, a community action toolkit.)  

    Here are 5 concrete actions you and your children can take to proactively support diverse books and their creators:

    1. Buy and borrow diverse books like BIG TUNE: RISE OF THE DANCEHALL PRINCE.
    2. Share this book and this video (on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads) within your family, classrooms, library, and beyond.
    3. Send a note to Alliah L. Agostini and Shamar Knight-Justice to share why this book matters to you (check out their social media and website links below).
    4. Follow and support your favorite authors and illustrators of diverse books, like Alliah L. Agostini (on Instagram and her website) and Shamar Knight-Justice (on Instagram and his website). Like, comment on, and share their posts!
    5. Leave a short review for BIG TUNE: RISE OF THE DANCEHALL PRINCE and other favorite diverse books on Goodreads and Amazon.
    Visit our Advocacy page for more ways to take action!