#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, May 23 Edition

For Every One by Jason Reynolds, narrated by Jason Reynolds
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
ISBN: 9781508246114

“For Every One” is a “poem in form only, a letter written in parts” that Reynolds wrote over several years concerning his journey of achieving his dreams. This book is for everyone who has ever hungrily pursued their dream; for everyone who has ever had setbacks and failure while on the path to that dream, and for everyone who may be too scared to dream again.

“For Every One” is a piece of literature combining poetry, epistolary, and life experience to produce a unique book that applies to everyone who has ever had a dream, ambition, or goal. The book’s ability to reach a diverse and wide audience is one of its best facets. The book does not cater to simply one dream or demographic, but to all dreams- big, small, ambitious, and modest.

The narrator, Jason Reynolds, is the obvious choice as this letter is not only to himself, but to all dreamers. He narration is sublime. He provides enthusiasm, surprise, sadness, and nonchalance when appropriate to his text. He does not preach his message, but rather takes this grand and profound idea of “Pursue your dreams!” and has a conversation with the listener. Reynold’s book and narration are by no means a self-help guide to achieve one’s dream (as Reynold’s states several times “I don’t know nothing about that.”), but rather it is a letter from one wanderer to another while journeying on the path to their respective dreams. Thus, his narration humanizes the daunting and monumental topic of dreams, failure, and the persistence of never giving up.  

Fans of novels-in-verse and young adult poetry such as Long Way Down by the this author, Solo by Kwame Alexander, Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace, 2Fish by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo, and Adultolescene by Gabbie Hanna would also enjoy “For Every One.” For those who do not currently read poetry or books, fans of artistic video games such as Ico, Journey, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian, and Abzû would enjoy the artistry and conciseness in Reynold’s words to convey the importance of dreamers and their journey. For those who tend to watch rather than read, fans of inspirational shows, films or documentaries such as The Dead Poet Society, Stand and Deliver, Rocky, This is Us, Planet Earth, The Transformative Power of Classical Music, and Happy would also find inspiration in this book.


–Brittany Garcia