Date and Time
Jan 22, 2022 4:00 pm
Jason Reynolds, Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestseller, gives us two new outstanding books for his young audience, STUNTBOY, IN THE MEANTIME and AIN’T ALL THAT BURNED BRIGHT. An author with a great many achievements behind him, he comes together with Jessica Smith-Hebron, Chief Program Officer at Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Maryland, to discuss the themes in these vastly different but thoughtfully inventive stories.
For his middle-grade audience he brings us a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of in STUNTBOY, IN THE MEANTIME! Portico Reeves is a fourth grader with a pretty cool secret — his superpower! It’s up to him to make sure all the other superheroes, like his parents and two best friends, stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy! But he has another not so cool secret — His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows, and all these secrets give him the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. But it’s Portico’s superhero responsibility to save them—as soon as he figures out how.
His second release, in collaboration with best friend Jason Griffin, is something unlike anything: A smash-up of art and text for teens that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. The two friends had a mind-meld. And they decided to tackle it, in one fell swoop, in about ten sentences, and 300 pages of art. This piece is self-described as a “contemplation-manifesto-fierce-vulnerable-gorgeous-terrifying-WhatIsWrongWithHumans-hope-filled-hopeful-searing-Eye-Poppingly-Illustrated-tender-heartbreaking-how-The-HECK-did-They-Come-UP-with-This” project about oxygen. And all of the symbolism attached to that word, especially NOW. A book for those who did not know, to learn. And for those who already do to nod along as say yup, that’s exactly how it is.
This event is free and open to all, accessible through our Facebook and Youtube pages (@busboysandpoets).
Our program begins at 4 pm, starting with a brief introduction from one of our Busboys and Poets Books members. Jason Reynolds will be joined by a local children’s author, Jessica Hebron aka Culture Queen. After the conversation there will be a quick Q&A, followed by book purchases and signing. Please note that in order to attend the in person event, you must present a vaccine card and ID. For children, we require vaccine cards for those 12 and over. We encourage those tuning in via livestream to RSVP to receive direct links to the event from Busboys and Poets Books.
Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He’s also the 2020–2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the Greatest; The Boy in the Black Suit; Stamped; As Brave as You; For Every One; the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu); Look Both Ways; Stuntboy, in the Meantime; Ain’t Burned All the Bright; My Name Is Jason. Mine Too. (with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.
As the chief program officer, Jessica Smith-Hebron leads Young Audiences’ strategic development of innovative programs that use the arts to spark student learning, curiosity, and expression while enhancing existing programs and building relationships with educators across the state. Prior to joining Young Audiences, Jessica was the interim executive director of Prince George’s African-American Museum and Cultural Center and served as children’s program coordinator for Busboys and Poets. She is also the owner and founder of Culture Kingdom Kids LLC, which delivers innovative and empowering children’s events with a cultural twist.