Albany High Students to Meet Gifted Young-Adult Author through NYS Writers Institute

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 13, 2015) –  On Tuesday, November 17, Jason Reynolds, a prize-winning young adult author and poet, will tour the Capital Region as a guest of the New York State Writers Institute (NYSWI) located at the University at Albany.

Part of Reynold's visit will include a stop at Albany High School to give students an opportunity to meet and speak with an award-winning writer and role model. The event is a collaboration among the University at Albany, Albany High School, and the NYSWI. 

Reynolds will also give a reading on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Huxley Theatre in the NYS Museum. The event is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by NYSWI, and cosponsored by Albany High School, The Center for Law and Justice, The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, the Department of Literacy, Teaching and Learning at UAlbany's School of Education, and the Friends of the New York State Library.

Reynolds writes books for "teenage boys who don't like to read." In highly engaging and laugh-out-loud prose, his fiction depicts the trials and tribulations of young adulthood in African-American neighborhoods in the inner city.  

All American Boys jacket cover

Jason Reynolds' latest novel is All American Boys (2015, with Brendan Kiely).

For his first novel, When I Was the Greatest (2014), Reynolds received the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. Booklist called it, “urban fiction with heart, a meditation on the meaning of family, the power of friendship, and the value of loyalty.” The book also appeared on the “2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults” list of the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association.

His newest novel is All American Boys (2015, with Brendan Kiely), the story of two teens—one black, one white—and the repercussions of a single violent act. Sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for nothing more than a bag of chips when a fist-happy cop mistakes him for a shoplifter. National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson said, “At once timely and timeless, funny and wickedly smart, All American Boys is a beautifully written narrative… about what it means to be a young man in America….”

The novel was originally scheduled to be released in 2016, but was fast-tracked by publisher Simon & Schuster because of its relevance to current policing controversies.

Reynolds is also the author of The Boy in the Black Suit (2015), about a young man who loses his mother to cancer. The NPR reviewer called it, “a beautifully real approach to grief.” School Library Journal said, “The author’s seemingly effortless writing shines in this slice-of-life story, which covers a lot of the protagonist’s emotional ground. The realistic setting and character-driven tale keeps readers turning the pages of this winner.”

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620.

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