Jabari Asim has a long and impressive resume. He is an author, editor, and professor who began his career as a young poet with great aspirations. When his poetry was published in a journal, he quit his job selling televisions for a department store and embarked on what would become a stellar career writing for various newspapers and magazines. Asim’s pivot into children’s literature was the result of a combination of experiences and inspirations—he reviewed children’s books at the Washington Post, his wife was a storyteller, he has five children, and a theater company asked him to write a children’s play.
His first children’s book, The Road to Freedom: A Story of the Reconstruction, is a middle grade story about a boy and his father who “must deal with their newfound liberty while finding a way to support themselves.” Asim has authored a total of nine children’s books, which include his new release due out this fall, Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis, illustrated by E.B. Lewis. He has also written several adult fiction and nonfiction books. Only the Strong, his latest novel, has been described by some reviewers as one of the best books of 2015. To learn more about Jabari Asim, see the sources and social media information below.
I want to convince [children] that reading and playing with language is a joyful experience…I want them to feel they belong, that’s there’s room for them in this world and they are entitled to its riches.