Jason Reynolds admits that he does not have the answers to life’s big questions. His new book “For Every One” is a poem about the peril and uncertainty — and the hope — of chasing your dream.
The New York Times bestelling author of books for kids and teens originally read the piece in 2011 at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, but he says that it was borne of a “melting down” in his life after his first book did not sell well during the recession of 2008.
“You have these moments when you’re like ‘maybe this thing isn’t for me,” he says. He began work on what would become “For Every One” shortly after that as a way to, as he puts it, “lick my wounds.”
The book states up front that it is not an expert take on how to make your dreams come true because, as Reynolds writes, “I don’t know nothing about that.”
“There’s nothing I hate more than someone telling me how to fix my life,” he says. “What I wish we saw more of, rather than books with answers in them, are books that present the exact same problems to remind people that they have companions in the world.”
This story originally appeared with an audio interview on WABE.org.