UNION, NJ – Kwame Alexander, a New York Times Bestselling author and winner of the Newbery Award, visited Union High School earlier this month.

Alexander has over 24 published books, including poetry, novels in verse, and children’s books.  He found ways to weave his personal stories throughout what became a poetic conversation with students and staff.  He captivated students with his poems, morphing them into call and response poems.  He was accompanied to Union High by guitarist Randy Preston. 

Alexander’s goal was to empower the students by helping them to discover an excitement for reading and writing. Overarching his talk was the powerful message: “Don’t let the NOs define your life. Saying YES opens doors.” He emphasized this message with a simple rhyme about basketball that the students and staff joined in to chant:

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Dribble, fake, shoot - miss.

Dribble, fake, shoot - miss.

Dribble, fake, shoot - miss.

Dribble, fake, shoot - swish!

“It was wonderful to see how positively the students reacted to Mr. Alexander,” said Union High School Media Specialist Lisa Krauze.  “I would like to make author visits a regular event offered by the UHS Library Media Center. This type of event helps students to develop an appreciation for how reading and creative writing can enhance their lives.”