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Jason Reynolds: How Can We Connect With Kids Through The Written Word?

James J. Reddington

About The Episode

Jason Reynoldsis an award-winning author and National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. This hour, Jason speaks with Manoush about reaching kids through stories that let them feel understood.

About Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a best-selling author and the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He was recently appointed to that position by the Library of Congress for a record third term.

/ Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster

Reynolds writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature. His other works include All American Boys, the Track series, Long Way Down, For Everyone, and Miles Morales: Spider-Man. He has received numerous awards for his work, including a Printz Honor, a Newbery Honor, a Walter Dean Myers Awards, an Edgar Award, and a Carnegie Medal.

Born in Washington, DC and raised in neighboring Oxon Hill, Maryland, Reynolds found inspiration in rap music and began writing poetry at the age of nine. He self-published his first work at age 16 and continued writing poetry for several years before writing his first novel, When I Was The Greatest, in 2014. He won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for this first work of prose. In the following years, he has written more than a dozen other works, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Ibram X. Kendi.

/ Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster

As National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, he visits schools all over the country to connect with kids over books and reading, as well as raise national awareness of the importance of young people's literature. He is featured in a YouTube series entitled "Write. Rite. Right." through the Library of Congress where he gives young writers creative prompts to stretch their imagination and to learn to write authentically.

<em>Long Way Down</em>
/ Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster

This episode of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Fiona Geiran and Rachel Faulkner. It was edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour

Our production staff also includes Katie Monteleone, Diba Mohtasham, Sylvie Douglis, James Delahoussaye, Matthew Cloutier, and Harrison Vijay Tsui. Jeff Rogers is our executive producer. Our audio engineer is Daniel Shukhin.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Fiona Geiran
Rachel Faulkner White
Rachel Faulkner is a producer and editor for TED Radio Hour.
Sanaz Meshkinpour