Why You’ll Like It: Slice of Life. Friendship. Community.
I LOVE JASON REYNOLDS. LOVE HIM. I feel that he touches his manuscript and it turns into complete gold. I am very certain that is how his writing process works. Kidding! At a time when the gap in African-American young adult literature was vast and mixed with renowned author Walter Dean Meyer's death, Reynolds came right in and filled that gap.
My dad is a pastor. When you are raised in the black community, you attend funerals. When people want your dad to do the eulogy, you can can count on attending a LOT of funerals. I have attended more funerals than I have weddings. It's just a fact of life. I have lost plenty of cousins to a variety of issues: drive by-shootings, gang violence, mistaken identity and the list goes on. Within that are some great life memories from the repass, the talks with family and friends, and the support of the community.
Reynolds puts all of my experiences into this quietly moving book. I laughed till tears ran down my face at some of the instances he portrayed between Chris, Lovey, and disorganized funerals. He captured so well what it was like experiencing those events growing up. I can't even describe to you what that felt like reading a snippet of my life.
ALSO. THAT COVER. I went to this workshop (at a conference) that talked about white-washing book covers. I'm so glad to see that this was not one of them. Anyway, if you are looking for easy characters to connect with, inner city struggles and triumphs, and a wonderful cast of characters...look no further!