Jason Reynolds was tricked into being a writer. For years his aunt would only give him books for Christmas, ranging from Huck Finn to Moby Dick. Year after year she’d disappoint him with a gift-wrapped book. He’d force a smile, and when no one was looking, Jason would toss that year’s “bad gift” on the shelf with the rest of them. Until the sixth grade, when he discovered poetry. It was then that his world was opened, and he went back and started tearing through all the dusty, stiffened books his aunt had given him, suddenly grateful for every page. Jason went on to study at the University of Maryland where he earned a degree in English with a concentration in Writing and Rhetoric. During his graduation, the commencement speaker made it clear in his speech that with an English degree, you could only teach or go to law school, but to be a writer was as far-fetched as they come.
Jason has been reviewed and profiled in The Washington Post, NPR Books, Kirkus, Hornbook, School Library Journal, WNYC, Publisher’s Weekly, Poets & Writers, Gawker, mentioned as a standout in the Wall Street Journal, AM New York and Ebony Magazine. Reynolds is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing For Young People MFA Program, and currently resides in Washington DC.