Title: When I Was The Greatest
Author: Jason Reynolds
Release Date: 1/7/14 (hardcover), 8/18/2015 (paperback)
Reviewed by: Xander

Ali lives in a not-so-great part of New York; Bed-Stuy, but he doesn’t like messing around with anything bad. He’s a good kid. When Needles and Noodles move in next door, they become bros. Needles has Tourette syndrome – he’ll start cussin’ people out at random for no reason but everyone knows he’s completely harmless. He has a recently discovered love of knitting, and he’s rarely seen without his knitting needles (hence his name). Noodles is a wiry kid who is more daring than Ali and Needles, and isn’t against taking a risk sometimes. This is the story of their friendship, and their one chance to go to something unimaginable, gone wrong. Jason Reynolds’s bold, real debut is a beautifully written heartfelt story with lots of heart.

My thoughts:

Jason Reynolds. JA-SON REY-NOLDS. *claps* This book, guys. I stayed up past midnight listening to the audiobook; once I started, I couldn’t stop. This book has heart, it has a voice it’s so REAL and tangible and you could tell it’s close to Jason’s heart. He put parts of himself in this book, he wrote it with love and created the characters and made them real, so real. The plot was awesome, I was never bored and the setting was present and alive throughout the whole story. The caring and compassion the friends had for each other was so heartwarming; they would be the best friends someone could have. PLEASE do yourself a favor and read this book. And Jason, man, you are amazing. Keep it up and I will be a loyal reader of yours for years to come. Also, this book won the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent and it 110% deserved it. I basically screamed in the middle of class when I found out. SO, please read this fantastic book. You will NOT regret it.

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