Bluford Series Author, Paul Langan

Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear guest speaker Paul Langan at the Chicago Teacher Librarian Association meeting in Chicago. His visit was sponsored by Children's Plus Inc. and was a great event for those that had the opportunity to hear this insightful author. Langan is both the editor/author of many of the popular Townsend Press - Bluford Series books. ‘The Bully’, ‘The Gun’, ‘Blood Is Thicker’ and ‘Schooled’ are just a couple of the books he has written and are very popular with pre-teens and teens.

Langan spoke passionately to an audience of about 200 librarians, reading specialists, teachers and left an indelible message for all:  Today's youth deserve more novels that reveal a truthful life experience.  The following are some highlights from his presentation:

  • He was raised by a single parent mother, moved frequently from town to town and was bullied as a child.
  • While in high school, he learned that there was 'power in writing' when he won a $5.00 prize for writing the scariest story.
  • He was an active participant on his high school’s wrestling team.
  • The stories that he writes are connected to his personal life and experiences.
  • He is currently working on the sequel to 'The Gun'.
  • His wife is the author of, "The Teacher's Guide to the Bluford Series."
  • The Bluford Series speaks to a group of readers that have historically been ignored by mainstream publishing. Very few books written/published today reflect the world that some teens can relate to.

The goal of Townsend Press is to help build life-long readers by providing affordable books for students to read. I’m so thankful that Langan and his colleagues at Townsend Press are committed to young people during a time when some publishing companies ignore their personal interests and emotional needs. Through the powerful messages in their books, educators across the country connect with young people struggling with life challenges and help them make positive choices in their lives.  I’ve personally experienced the impact of the messages that the Bluford Series conveys by observing my former students at Ninos Heroes Academy. They loved these books and would anxiously await the opportunity to read the next book in the series. The students also enjoyed the discussions and art related activities facilitated by the middle school teachers Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Brown.

It was a pleasure speaking to Langan after the meeting and I look forward to reading more from him in years to come. Check out the Townsend Press homepage and take advantage of the affordable books they have to offer:  Townsend Press -


  1. Thanks for the "shout out" Ms. Boyd. The Bluford Series has added such great interest to our reading program here at Ninos Heroes Academy. Ms. Carolyn Brown offered the books as supplemental reading and I noticed that the students just could not put these books down. I had to request class sets. Our upper grade students have been reading more than ever since we introduced this series to our curriculum.
    K. Jackson

  2. Dear K. C. Boyd,

    It was an honor to finally meet you in person on my long overdue trip to Chicago. I enjoyed the CTLA luncheon and look forward to supporting your efforts in the future on behalf of young people. Thanks for all you do each day and for taking some time to speak with me.


    Paul Langan

  3. Dear Ms. Boyd:

    I too have found that African American children can not get enough of reading books that tell stories about their life experiences.

    As a former teacher I found that there was a severe lack of books that addressed the life of
    African American children. Most books depicted them in negative urban environments (drugs, gangs, sex and peer violence).

    Our children and others need to read about the many positive experiences and people especially children that are also found in African American communities.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences as it relates to people of color in literature.

    Retired Teacher/librarian

    Gloria Thomas

  4. I love his books they are so interesting we did a project with his books in my ESL class and everyone in the class could not stop reading.

  5. hope you make more

  6. i really love your books

  7. Your books are really good. The stories are about things that happen in most schools.

  8. your books have me on the edge of my seat