Texting with Mayor Sly James

The mayor rates his top 10 reads.

   We asked Kansas City Mayor Sly James to share his favorite top 10 books, because not only is he one of the most influential political and cultural forces in our community, but also a great advocate for reading — especially reading to children. In 2011, James founded Turn the Page KC (turnthepagekc.org), a program dedicated to lifting the reading proficiency of third graders to above grade level. Every month, the mayor takes time out of his busy schedule to visit classrooms and read to kids. Here’s what gets prime placement on James’ own bookshelf.


Mila 18 and QB VII by Leon Uris
“I have always been a Uris fan. These books are two of my favorites.”


Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America by Paul Tough »
“An excellent example of how education can be changed by one committed person.”


« Rich Man, Poor Man by Irwin Shaw
“I loved the interfamilia conflict.”


Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
“This book applies to all ages. It is inspirational. I once used it for a graduation speech to UMKC Law School students.”


« Time to Kill by John Grisham
“A chilling portrait of racism and how it can be overcome.”














HamletJulius Caesar and The Merchant of Venice, three plays by William Shakespeare
“I learned to love Shakespeare as an English major at Rockhurst University.”


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
“A portrait of the haves and have-nots.”


Books courtesy of Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kan., rainydaybooks.com