Ain't Burned All the Bright
by Reynolds, Jason; Griffin, Jason (ILT)






"A smash up of art and text that viscerally captures what it means to not be able to breathe, and how the people and things you love most are actually the oxygen you most need"-





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 Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He's also the 2020-2022 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the GreatestThe Boy in the Black SuitStampedAs Brave as YouFor Every One; the Track series (GhostPatinaSunny, and Lu); Look Both WaysStuntboy, in the MeantimeAin't Burned All the BrightMy Name Is Jason. Mine Too. (with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.

Jason Griffin created the artwork for My Name Is Jason. Mine Too, written by Jason Reynolds. He's an artist and master collaborator, who has shown his art in major cities all over the world. His most recent projects include a commissioned mural for the children's cancer wing at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, as well as a residency at the new contemporary art museum in Amsterdam, Het HEM. He currently creates in Queens, New York.





*Starred Review* Reynolds and Griffin's searing indictment of the status quo is expressed in the voice of a young, unnamed Black man, whose timely comments resonate beyond the personal to the universal. Divided into three parts called "Breaths," the text begins as the boy ponders why his mother won't change the TV channel from repetitive news stories, what keeps his brother glued to his video game, and the implications of his sister's plan to attend a protest. Breath Two introduces the boy's sick father, who, isolated in his bedroom, can't stop coughing. Breath Three finds the boy feeling suffocated and searching for an oxygen mask, eventually finding lifelines in small but meaningful details around him. Reynolds' text-printed on strips of white paper affixed to notebook pages-comments on a seemingly changeless world on fire, on protests in the wake of George Floyd's murder, and on the seeming omnipresence of COVID-19-all of which reflect a world without the freedom to breathe. It's a bleak picture but not one without hope of change. Griffin's remarkable mixed-media collage pictures that employ a palette largely of black and red are a perfect complement to the text, capturing its tone and style exactly while expanding and enhancing the poetic words. The result is an important combination that expresses the zeitgeist of a troubled time. It's essential reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: There's nothing Reynolds can't do, and his readers know it. This creative, timely reflection will be particularly admired by teens seeking change. Grades 7-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





A profound visual testimony to how much changed while we all had to stay inside and how much-painfully, mournfully-stayed the same. Reynolds' poetry and Griffin's art perform a captivating dance on pages of mixed-media collage and emotive reflection on the pronounced threats facing a contemporary Black family. In "Breath One," the opening of the verse narrative, the unnamed boy protagonist struggles with the onslaught of TV news coverage of the systemic violence and death experienced by Black people-coverage that is both overwhelming and insufficient. The television then forms the backdrop of the narrator's concerns for his bedridden father, who is struggling with an acute respiratory illness while isolated in a bedroom. The art is sometimes spare and monochrome before shifting to a bright and striking palette as Griffin deploys aesthetics that enliven the rich flow and rhythm of Reynolds' words. The two skillfully go back and forth like rap duos of old, each with a distinct voice that enriches the other. The result is an effective critique of the ways we've failed as a society to care for one another. By "Breath Three," however, a complicated optimism shines through for a family that perseveres through closeness and connection despite what is broadcast from their TV. While grounded in 2020, many of the issues touched on explicitly are very much not over and not even new, making this remarkable work both timely and timeless. Artful, cathartic, and most needed. (conversation between creators) (Illustrated poetry. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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