For Every One by Jason Reynolds
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books on April 10th, 2018
“Dreams don’t have timelines, deadlines, and aren’t always in straight lines.”
I think I found my new book to reread each year.
The one book I try to reread every year is The Alchemist. I first read it the summer I graduated from high school and it changed my life. It was one of those books that became so meaningful to me. I felt like I read it just at the right time. I was about to start a new chapter in my life. I was moving to Montreal to go to university!
Since then, I’ve reread The Alchemist once a year. It’s become a book that I turn to whenever I feel lost or I’m feeling down. And I now can add For Every One to this special and elite list.
Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, this inspirational poem by Jason Reynolds is a rallying cry to the dreamers of the world. It’s a poem for every one.
This is a very short read. I read it in about 30 minutes while I was waiting for my laundry to be done. But it’s pretty hard-hitting without being too cheesy. It doesn’t read like an after school special.
I appreciated the fact that his poetry is short and to the point. It’s raw without going overboard with metaphors and flowery language. If you’ve been turned off by motivational reads, I’d try this out.
Reynolds writes from a place of “I’m trying like you’re trying to do it; I might file and you might too; but let’s just do it together” and not from a place of “Hey, kids! I did it. I achieved my dream and now you can too!”
I think there’s something very sweet and heart-warming about this letter to dreamers. Society has built up these one-in-a-million geniuses or entrepreneurs who make it in life as teenagers or young 20-somethings. But that sets us up for failure if we constantly compare ourselves to others and set random times for us to achieve our dreams.
I appreciated the fact that Reynolds explained that he expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. But realizes that there’s no set date or age because dreams take time and involve countless struggles.
I would’ve loved to read this when I graduated from university and there was so much pressure. If you’re looking for a graduation gift for someone, this is it!