Jason Reynolds is a charismatic, laid-back, plain-spoken guy from Washington D.C. who also happens to be a mesmerizing American author who writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle grade readers. He is also the recipient of numerous awards for his writing. Chief among those awards is that he is currently serving as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. And here’s why that information is important: on Monday, November 1, 2021 at 7:00pm, SCPL will be hosting a watch party of Jason Reynolds’ talk from the Kentucky Book Festival. If you are one of the first 35 persons to register you can join us in the community room for this event!
I won’t bore you with “Jason” details. I’ll just refer you to his blog spot jasonwritesbooks.com. Please visit. You will not be disappointed.
However, as a truly delighted reader of Mr. Reynolds’ work, I will tell you a bit about his writing style and his impact on me. If you like straight forward, no-nonsense everyday language, look him up. If you like a range of emotions that truly convey real life occurrences. Run, do not walk to his books.
I, personally, have been most impacted by his book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. This undertaking is a remix of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Dr. Kendi’s book is mammoth (and yes, I am reading it!), but Jason’s book breaks down this very important American History for young readers. He makes complicated situations more understandable, more digestible. When you read this book (and I strongly encourage you to), the centuries old problem of racism in the United States make more sense. It draws readers into an information packed volume in such a way, you think you’re talking to a friend whose stories are meaningful to the actual understanding of your own life… because you are! It is a smaller book than the original with just as big an impact. I suggest this book not just to young adults, but to adults who love history and to those who simply need a place to start enlarging their understanding of American racism. In the author’s words “it’s not a history book. At least not like the ones you’re used to reading in school.”
Among his other books, Long Way Down, a novel in verse and For Everyone, a letter to humanity about life and dreaming, are two of my other favorite excursions. Again, if you are looking for echoes of honesty and encouragement, check out these gritty reads. His other novels include sports series as well as other novels in verse. Also, shout out to all the Spider-Man lovers, Jason Reynolds is the author of Spider-Man: Miles Morales.