Newbery Honor Author Renée Watson

I asked Erin Entrada Kelly, Derrick Barnes, Jason Reynolds, and Renée Watson to answer two questions and to finish two sentence starters. 

Today is Renée's turn to shine! Thank you, Renée!

Congratulations, Renée! Everyone loves hearing about THE CALL. What ran through your head when the phone rang? What were you thinking about when the Newbery committee was clapping and cheering for you?

Renée: Everyone who knows me well, knows I don’t answer calls if I don’t recognize the number. So at first, I wasn’t even going to pick it up. But then I saw the call was coming from Denver and so with a wave of shock, I picked up. As the committee talked with me, all I kept saying to myself was, “Is this really happening? Is this really happening?” 

What does the Newbery mean to you?

Renée: For me, the Newbery is about preserving books and recognizing the power of storytelling. The tradition of having librarians, teachers, and educators who love children and care deeply about their growth and well being gather to critique and discuss literature is such a beautiful and powerful act. It is a way of acknowledging that stories for and about children are important.

Please finish these sentence starters: 

Reading is freedom. The ability to read gives us power and access to information, places, and ideas. Reading is a way of escape but also a way of coping with reality. So many times, especially as a young reader, books were the anchor that kept me from drowning. As an adult, reading keeps me engaged with the world, keeps me asking questions about things I think I already know.

School libraries are incubators for possibility. School libraries provide an actual physical space that allows young people to gather, cultivate their ideas, practice empathy, and broaden their worlds.

Borrow Piecing Me Together from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


  1. I love that Renee is soaring! She deserves this light, as so many of us women of color do! #BlackGirlMagic is alive and well. I wish everyone from ambassadors to publishers could see our staying power and trust our goodwill/intellect in THIS reality...not just the escape in books! Bravo Renee! #WNDLibs


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