cover image For Every One

For Every One

Jason Reynolds. Atheneum, $14.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8624-8

As Reynolds writes in an introductory note: “When I started writing this, I didn’t know what it was.” He goes on to explain that this handsomely presented collection of short, loosely connected poems was first written at a time (in his 20s) when he struggled to hold onto his own ambitions. In extemporaneous, ruminating fashion and in fonts reminiscent of handwriting and typewriter print, the poems confess Reynolds’s insecurities, hopes, and struggles throughout the stages of his personal and professional development: “At sixteen / I thought / I would’ve made it / by now. / Now / I’m making up / what making it / means.” Reynolds asserts that his successes have come by way of perseverance, passion, plenty of missteps, and possibly some luck, suggesting that readers, too, will find their way. He modestly emphasizes throughout that he cannot speak to the experiences of others and that even when it comes to his own achievements: “I don’t know nothing about that.” Yet readers will take to heart both his message of solidarity and his assertion that every person’s journey is theirs alone to discover. Ages 12–up.[em] Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Apr.) [/em]