J. Dillard Helps Kick Off States Read One Book 2023

For the last seven years, Read to Them’s States Read One Book has rallied schools and districts across an entire state to read one book together, all at the same time. Since our inaugural program in Texas in 2016, we have proudly helped launch additional state-wide programs in Mississippi, Virginia, and Arkansas. Just this year, we have added state-wide programs in Florida and Michigan! 

This week, we kicked off the States Read One Book fun in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.  Arkansas, Michigan, and Virginia are eagerly looking forward to diving into their title come March! 

Each participating student across these six states will be reading J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard. The story follows young J.D., who is smart, scrappy, and… just received a terrible haircut from his mom. So he takes things into his own hands, cutting his own hair to some pretty awesome results. J.D. soon develops a haircutting business – only for the town barber to threaten to shut down J.D.’s bedroom barbershop. But then J.D. challenges his opponent to a barber battle to see who’s really the best barber in town. The competition is on! 

Read to Them’s Gretchen Kelley had the opportunity to conduct a hot seat interview with Dillard, asking all the burning questions about haircuts, candy, and advice Dillard would give J.D. Check it out! 

Already curious about what we ask? Check out the timestamps for each question below: 

1. Your first haircut: good or bad? (3:55)

2. What is your catchphrase? (5:03)

3. What is your most embarrassing moment? (6:05)

4. What is your favorite song to belt? (8:00)

5. Choose one candy to eat for the rest of your life. (9:22)

6. It’s a barber battle! Choose a haircut. (10:42)

7. What is one food you would never eat? (14:07)

8. What do you miss about having hair? (15:07)

9. What do you like about being bald? (18:22)

10. What advice would you give J.D.? (20:11)

If you’re participating in a States Read One Book program, be sure to share photos from your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @readtothem. And if you have read J.D. and the Great Barber Battle, let us know what you liked best about it in the comments below!

Don’t see your state above but you’re still interested in participating in a state-wide program? Let us know! Email us at


Leave a Comment


To get the latest Read To Them content

Read More