Dear Jason Reynolds,
This past weekend, I saw you on TV on a book club channel.
You were being interviewed for some book conference. I think it was in Virginia.
You were charming.
You talked about your mother.
You were funny.
But as you talked and tossed your dreadlocks and smiled, I could not help but think:
“Stop talking! Get back to writing!”
I know this is selfish, but if you don’t get back to writing, there will be fewer reading options for students.
Fewer options to offer students who have (literally) raced through the track series Ghost, Sunny, Patina, and Lu series.
Fewer options for those who have devoured Miles Morales, Spider-Man.
And fewer options to offer the student who finished reading A Long Way Down (independently).
He stands there asking,
“Miss, anything more like this one?”
You should know that this student has stretched a long-dormant reading muscle.
He can read; he chooses not to.
He chose the book because it didn’t have too many words on the page.
He finished the book because the words were compelling.
He wants more.
His teacher makes suggestions, “How about this one?”
But Poet X and Brown Girl Dreaming are not this particular kid’s cup of tea.
Not Booked or Crossover…not sports.
To bridge him from your book…to what’s next?
So, please stop talking.
Get back to writing.
But, you started it… and they want more.