Featured Author
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 two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. Reynolds is also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC.
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Introduce Jason Reynolds to your readers with this special Q&A

Q: With Lu closing out the Track series this October, readers will have gotten to hear stories from all four runners: Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu. Why was it important to you to tell a story from each character’s point of view? While writing in their voices, did any of the characters surprise you?

It was important to hear each character’s story (and voice) to better represent the polylithic world of youth. When we think “young person,” we often run down a checklist in our minds outlining what a “young person” is. Irresponsible. Immature. Hyper hormonal. Entitled. Funny. Spoiled. And on and on. But hearing multiple voices from multiple perspectives, hopefully explodes that and says, young people are far too many things to list. And furthermore, they are far more expansive than checked boxes.

Q: Sunny loves to dance; Ghost likes world records and sunflower seeds; Patina enjoys being an older sister and running relays; Lu is known for his distinctive style and speed. Do you have any surprising talents or hobbies? Did you run track growing up?

I ran in high school. But in terms of surprising talents…hmmm. I love to cook. I can crochet. I don’t know. I have lots of hobbies and interests but I’m not sure I’d call them “talents.”

Q: What advice would you give to kids that you wish someone had shared with you at that age? How about advice for young writers?

It’s okay to not know. But it’s definitely not okay to not want to know. Same for writers.

Q: How many ideas for books or characters do you have rolling around in your head at one time? Do you have one character that you’ve written that’s most memorable or personal to you?

Probably four or five books rolling around my mind at any given time. I’m always thinking of new ways to challenge myself, new ways to spin a tale. I have so much I want to say, and so many elements of the human experience I want to explore through story. My favorite character I’ve written—Genie from As Brave As You. By far.

Spotlight on Sunny: Book 3 of the Track series
HC: 9781481450218
EB: 9781481450232
Audio: 9781508246145
Ages 10 & up
Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics. They all have a lot of lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold’s electrifying middle grade series.
Sunny is just that—sunny. Always ready with a goofy smile and something nice to say, Sunny is the chillest dude on the Defenders team. But Sunny’s life hasn’t always been sun beamy-bright. You see, Sunny is a murderer. Or at least he thinks of himself that way. His mother died giving birth to him, and based on how Sunny’s dad treats him—ignoring him, making Sunny call him Darryl, never “Dad”—it’s no wonder Sunny thinks he’s to blame. It seems the only thing Sunny can do right in his dad’s eyes is win first place ribbons running the mile, just like his mom did. But Sunny doesn’t like running, never has. So he stops. Right in the middle of a race.
Engage your readers with these reading group guides for Jason’s novels
Also by Jason Reynolds
The Track Series
To learn more about Jason Reynolds, visit JasonWritesBooks.com or follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @JasonReynolds83.