Jason Reynolds recently told me about one of the best days of his life: the day he took his mother to the National Book Awards gala where his book didn't take the prize, but the two of them got to see congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis win, and win again. That story says a lot about the kind of person Reynolds is, and his writing reflects his generous spirit.
This year Reynolds wrote three books for young people, including Long Way Down; one of our top picks for the best young adult books of 2017.
What does a man who published three books this year like reading himself? See Jason Reynolds' picks below, and look here for the latest celebrity favorites.
Jason Reynolds' favorite reads of 2017
I loved this book for many reasons, but the one that stands out is Ward’s ability to capture the voice of an adolescent boy as he grapples with a harsh reality, while simultaneously navigating a tangible surreality. Such beautiful grit.
An in-depth look at the intellectual icon that strips away the cliche and cartoonish figure we think of when we think of Albert Einstein. It gets into his ego, his certainty, his family, and of course, his brain.
I bought this at the airport—and NOT from an airport bookstore, which is to say, I had low expectations. That’s why it was surprising when this book, a story about how a tragic accident involving a teenager leaving nothing salvageable but his heart, turns everyone who knows him and even some people who don’t, upside down.
*Photo credit Ben Fractenberg