When I Was the Greatest

Jason Reynolds

Here’s the Brooklyn you don’t see as much in stories: the tight-knit community, the people with dreams all shapes and sizes, this is the Bed-Stuy Jason Reynolds writes about. Ali is a quiet, unassuming guy who mostly keeps to himself, loves his little sister Jazz, and has a complex friendship with his next-door neighbors, two brothers Jazz nicknamed Noodles and Needles. It’s getting harder and harder for Ali to balance alliances with them both as Noodles gives himself over more and more to his anger at everything, and Needles - who got his nickname from how he compulsively knits to keep his Tourettes somewhat in check - clashes with the outside world the more he tries to interact with it. Reynolds has a fresh, crisp voice, and maybe the most engaging internal POV in a fist-fight that we’ve ever read.

Page Count 240
Part of a Series? No
Age Level 13 — up

This book is . . .