Thanks to Kwame Alexander's latest verse novel, BOOKED, my own verse novel, ALL THE BROKEN PIECES has awakened renewed attention. How did I miss this? one teacher wrote. I can't wait to share it with my students. Kwame's inclusion of my characters in his book reveals his open, generous spirit.
A few weeks ago I met Kwame at a friend's house. Never one to be impressed by celebrities, I confess to being in awe of Newbery award winners, writer's who have opened their hearts and connected with readers in such a profound and positive way. I had read about Kwame's larger-than-life personality, his ability to fill a room with his voice, his personality, his stories. Kwame, it seemed, was like the force of the mid-day sun— unrelentingly bright, too bright for a tortoise who is ready to slip into her shell or burrow underground at a moment's notice. I was worried about meeting him. Worried about being too quiet. Worried about being too talkative. Worried about being out of my shell.
I shouldn't have wasted my worries. What I read about Kwame was true. He is kind, open-hearted and gregarious. He's that guy you wish were your friend, the guy who knows just what to say and how to say it...the guy who makes everyone feel welcome and appreciated.
That's the thing about sunshine— sometimes, even the tortoise is delighted to bask in its warmth!