Thanks to partnership between Davenport Public Library and the Rock Island Public Library, award-winning author Jason Reynolds will be speaking in Davenport on March 28 and Rock Island on March 29.
Members of the public are welcome to attend three public presentations and book signings. Reynolds is speaking at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 28 at the Davenport Public Library Main Branch (321 Main Street) and will sign books immediately following his talk. Reynolds will personalize one book per person and will autograph all additional items. Snapshots are welcome, but selfies or posed shots are not available due to time constraints. Books A Million will sell Mr. Reynolds' books and will accept cash or credit.
Registration for Mr. Reynolds' presentation at the Davenport Public Library is appreciated, but not required. For more information or to register, visit www.davenportlibrary.com or call the library at (563) 326-7832.
Thanks to a partnership between the Rock Island Public Library and Rock Island High School, Mr. Reynolds will also speak at 9:30 am and 1:00 pm on Friday, March 29 at the Rock Island High School Auditorium. Both presentations are also open to the public, and reservation is required. Community members should reserve for either the 9:30 am session, with seating available on the main floor, or the 1:00 pm session, with seats open in the balcony. Guests visiting Rock Island High School should enter via the auditorium doors located at the northwest corner of the building. Details about parking are available via the library's online calendar.
To reserve a seat, visit the Rock Island Public Library website at www.rockislandlibrary.org, and select the online calendar at "find events." To register by phone, call the Rock Island Public Library reference desk at 309-732-7341. Teachers/group leaders should register under the teacher/group leader name, and call the library with the number in your group so you can be seated together. A list of reserved guests will be at the door of each presentation.
Reynolds' remarks include details about his life, how and why he wasn't a reader until age 17, and how rap music and poetry both saved him, and helped him through hard times, some of which involved gun violence.
Davenport and Rock Island Libraries are hosting book discussions about Reynolds' work in advance of his visit. One of those is Tuesday, March 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at Cool Beanz Coffeehouse (1325 30th Street, Rock Island.) Attendees at the informal event are encouraged to purchase a coffee and learn or talk more about Reynold's writing. Booklists will be available.
Print and digital copies of Jason Reynolds' books are available for checkout through the respective libraries' catalog systems and online media services. The Rock Island Library has also ordered multiple copies of Ghost, Long Way Down, and The Boy in the Black Suit, for distribution to students at Rock Island High School, Thurgood Marshall Learning Center, Edison Junior High, and Frances Willard Elementary 6th grade classes.
Reynolds was named the American Booksellers Association's 2017 and 2018 spokesperson for Indies First, and served as the national spokesperson for the 2018 celebration of School Library Month in April 2018, sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Jason's many works of fiction include When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (co-written with Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You, For Every One, Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu.) His most recent work, Long Way Down, received both Newbery and Printz Honors. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC. (JasonWritesBooks.com)
Jason Reynolds programming has been made possible by The Friends of the Davenport Library, the Rock Island Public Library Foundation, a Rock Island/Milan PRIME grant, The Sedona Group, Rock Island Community Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Rock Island and Junior Board of Rock Island.