Jason Reynolds and I avoided books like we avoided police officers growing up in the 1990s. Because we hated reading, we were seen as the problem. But the problem has always been the books, not the children. Kids “don’t actually hate books,” Jason says, “they hate boredom.”
Jason is a leader in the popular middle-grade and young-adult genres in American publishing. He is becoming one of the most treasured authors of our time for ushering youngsters, especially Black teens, out of the boredom, and into lifelines and lifetimes of reading. He’s publishing two to three page-turners a year: the latest, Look Both Ways, is a finalist for a National Book Award. Judges have showered his more than a dozen books with awards; readers have devoured them. At one point, he had three works on the New York Times best-seller lists. Who does that?
Jason Reynolds. And ask him, he’ll tell you he’s just getting started.
Kendi is a National Book Award–winning author