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204 pages, Kindle Edition
First published October 8, 2019
👉 So many authors steer clear of "taboo" topics -- parental illness, deaths, abuse, bullying, homosexuality -- and make children's fiction goody-goody happy experiences. Not Jason Reynolds.
👉 So many authors will try to incorporate higher level vocabulary in their works so that the book ends up as an "educational" experience for its young readers. Not Jason Reynolds. A tardigrade isn't called a tardigrade, it's a water bear. That's indicative of an author who knows what his readers enjoy.
👉 Show me one author who can write a story around boogers and still make it so heartfelt... Imagine a middle grader deciding on a book. Will boogers appeal to him? Heck, yeah! The book is full of wit that will appeal to its target readers.
👉 "Stop acting like children, children." - the one sentence all teenage children will identify with. And that's what they want from books - something that resonates with them! All the stories deal with things that happen in regular children's lives, with a bit of pizzazz added to make them snazzier. Video games, ice-creams, school buses, homework,... Everything that actual children can connect with. And what child wouldn't love to know the mystery of the falling school bus!?
👉 One would assume that Jason Reynolds writes for black or brown kids. But if you see carefully, nowhere is the skin tone or race of the child mentioned outright. There are references to dreadlocks and Afros. But the stories could be about any child who feels invisible. I loved how the stories catered to the underdog. The main characters are all average children, not exceptional in any way except for their situation.
👉 The back cover of the book declares in big, bold letters: “How You Gon’ Change the World?” Every single child in this book is taking baby steps towards changing the world around them. Isn't that the best place to begin? Charity begins at home, after all. What a beautiful way for children to know that every little gesture of theirs makes a difference!