It’s worth pointing out that there are absolutely amazing people in the world. Not everyone who has an imperfect childhood uses that as a reason to torture other kids or cause harm to the world.
Turning Lemons Into Books
Some people take their life experiences, good and bad, and turn them into an excuse to make this planet better. It takes courage and strength to move beyond the pain of facing academic challenges, such as difficulty with reading, but it can be done. Jason Reynolds has proved that repeatedly.
Jason, who didn’t read a book from cover to cover before he was 17 years old, has a way with words. He just had to find his own path. And his path has led to success as well as heroism.
The Strange but Beautiful Path to Literacy
Having rejected such classics as “Moby Dick” and similar assigned classic books as irrelevant and unworthy of his attention, Jason happened upon something he could relate to: rap music. The lyrics, as it turned out, were his gateway to literature.
Jason now writes about people he can relate to. His ability to empathize with troubled characters shines through his words and has turned his books into bestsellers. He easily relates to his readers. On his website, he admits: “Because even though I’m a writer, I hate reading boring books too.”
His books are anything but boring. As Nora Krug of the Washington Post writes, “Reynolds is a best-selling author with an array of awards, including multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award honors and an NAACP Image Award. He’s been a National Book Award finalist, shared stages with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Rep. John Lewis and appeared in the pages of People magazine.”
Kindness Such As Jason Reynolds’ Does Matter
The best part about Jason’s story is that he’s turned his success into a way to make other people’s lives better. He recently bought nearly the entire inventory of his own books from booksellers in Washington, DC so that bookstores could give them away to its customers. At a time when so many people are hurting financially, Jason found a way to simultaneously help kids and their community bookstores.
Thank you, Jason, for putting a smile on my face. And know that your kindness (along with your talent and hard work) matters.